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jigstick

Chautauqua Lake Sucks

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Thanks for the kind words.I will only get to Chautauqua Lake a few times again this year, I have moved back close to home guiding on the Niagara River.I will post reports of what I have done on Chautauqua Lake for the other times I get there this year and will also report on the Niagara River & Lake Erie Fisheries.It was a tough decision shutting down Mostly Muskies Charters website and message board, but with Social Security earnings limit, I had to move to part time guiding!

Edited by mostlymuskies

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I didn't realize you had shut the website down, my apologies. I wouldn't have mentioned it had I known. The thanks belong all to you Captain. We'd see you trolling from the Bell Tower to the Cottages each time we fished there. I wish you luck and good fortune always.

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Larry I think the SS limit disappears as soon as you reach full retirement age (e.g. 66) Used to be age 70.

Edited by Sk8man

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I use 4 1/4 - 5 inch stick baits when I troll Erie for walleye.  Large magnum spoons as well.  Would a muskie hit a bait this size?  Im talking Renosky and Storm Thunderstick stick baits, Magnum Michigan Stinger spoons.  They pull in 10lb walleye, so I am assuming they could catch muskie as well?  I think I will try to hit up the shop in Lakewood.  I will be at my cottage the entire last week of August, and plan on really trying to get a muskie.  My plan is to run my rods horizontal off the side of the boat on my downriggers with 25-50ft leads....that should get my rod tips in the water.  I also plan on using my small dipsy divers on my 30lb wire dipsy rods.  The dipsy diver should help stop weeds from fouling my lures.  Am I dreaming that this could work?

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You really should be using at least 65 lb power braid,Preferably 80 lb.I use 60 lb test Leadcore line with 80 lb Fluorocarbon Leader.25 to 50 lb Mono leaders your asking for a bite off.I tried 36 lb 7 strand wire years ago and had a couple break offs and never used it again.Your Downrigger rods will work, just get a 300 yard spool of 80 lb Power Pro and use 150 yards on each reel with the mono as backing.I would buy either 5" Tuff Shad or Baker Bait in gold color from Mike Sperry's store or go on ebay and purchase a Wiley 5 2/2" Jtd in natural perch or golden brown perch color.Troll between 4 to 4.5 mph.

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I tried to duplicate what you'd report that day and spooled up a couple of Penn 340's with 60 lb test Mason leadcore. I think I went with 50 lb Seaguar leader because I had it in the box but will definitely take your advice and use 80 from now on. Your reports were great and for example, you'd report putting out 4 1/2 colors at 4.0 mph, using a 5 1/2" jtd Wiley in perch color. We'd just do what you'd report and we'd catch fish. I remember watching a pontoon boat follow your boat around and film for espn i think?

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This is my favorite Chautauqua Crankbait though, by Zach Baker. I love how he signs and dates his crankbaits. My son has told me that everytime he looks at that bait, he remembers his Uncle Cliff telling him the story about me catching a Chautauqua Musky on it. A memory he'll have long after I'm gone. Thank you Zach!

 

 

 

 

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Thun, The pontoon boat with movie camera was for the Sportsman Channel and a promotional video for Chautauqua Tourism. We caught 46" & 43" muskies in a couple hours with the camera crew that August day.Baker Baits are my second go to bait as well!

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I'm not real experienced at trolling for Musky, but here's an odd option that I ran across when I lived in the midwest.....  4-5 ft. leader ....  attach an oversized treble hook up the leader, maybe even at your swivel.  Weeds get hung up there and don't make it to your lure.  Just my 2 cents canadian,  so like ... .0.08345 cents..... cheers

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danley4..."Just my 2 cents canadian,  so like ... .0.08345 cents..... cheers" ,,,,,,,,Boy, what's happened to the U.S. dollar..? :lol:    

1.00 CAD = 0.911369 USD

Aug 09, 2014 21:09 UTC

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I'll be fishing Chautauqua all this week for Muskie. Anybody else going out and want to hook up?

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I will not get to Chautauqua Lake until Saturday with clients, ask me questions here and I will tell you if I had any action or not and what method.

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Good luck jigstick.  I would expect it to be good fishing this week with the weather and moon phase.  If you aren't putting full days in, late morning and early afternoon were best for us over the weekend, and I would also expect that pattern to hold for a bit.

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So I went down to Reel Outdoors and talked to Mike.   He gave me a few pointers and set me up with a couple lures to try.  I just got off the lake.  I trolled the northern end, from the bridge up to the CHQ Institute.  I was running my lures off my down riggers, about 15ft behind the ball, at 22ft down based on my probe.  Sonar was marking a lot of large hooks in the 25-30ft depths.  Right around Prendergast Pt my rod started to bounce a bit.  I figured the lure finally got fouled with weeds.  So I pop the rod out of the rod holder and immediately my drag starts screaming.  Im not sure if I had a hit, or if I got snagged  in a ton of seaweed.  As soon as I put tension on the drag….POP.  Lost my new flouro leader and lure.  Not sure what to make of it.

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That was a hit IMO. I don't think you were anywhere near structure to get snagged. Don't give up, you'll get them.

Edited by Thun

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That happened to me about a month ago that's when I switched back to wire leaders. A large muskie will inhale a med. size crankbait exposing that leader to all them teeth. No good

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Was it your leader or main line that broke? I'm guessing you are using mono and not braid for your main line.

I've been tying my own trolling leaders out of 80lb floro for the last eight years or so for most of my applications. Knock on wood; I've never had a bite off. I always used steel before that and still use solid wire leasers for jerks when casting, but the floro has been great for me.

There is a nasty snag a little south of Prendergast in about 28 fow. I've lost a couple lures to it. You can also snag anchor ropes anywhere. Not saying it wasn't a fish but you'll probably never know.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Like Ivan, I have been using 80 lb test Fluorocarbon Leaders since 1995 and have never had a bite off in all those years with many big muskies to the boat!

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I went down to Chautauqua Lake yesterday to fish muskies with my friend Dr.Dave.We never got started until around 1 pm in front of Long Point Marina.The floating leafs were so bad you could not go far before you had to clean your crankbaits. Wind was very strong out of the West with white caps.Then we rounded Long Point going toward Whitney Bay the waves were a good 3 ft.Was a very slow day no hits at all, we trolled to dark.Many good marks down 15 to 20 ft over 25 to 35 ft of water but not active at all.Water visibility up north about 4 ft with 61 degree water temp, Long Point area 2 ft water visibility and 60 degree water temp and South of I-86 Bridge visibility not much green pea soup surface and 58 degree water temp.Most bait fish and bigger hooks were set up off points more then anywhere else.

Edited by mostlymuskies

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Thought I would update this post.  Last year I did manage to land my first two musky on Chautauqua.

 

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The fist picture is me and the first one we landed.  The 2nd is my brother in law.  We caught both fish within 10 minutes of each other in the same general area, on the same bait and rod.  Both fish were released in good condition.  I think it was more luck than anything.  I was just taking him for a ride on the boat and enjoying some "adult beverages" and he said "you have all these rods...why not put two in the water".  

 

Caught these two guys between the Institute and Pendergast point.  Off the down rigger.  12ft behind the ball.  

 

This year I plan on getting some dedicated musky rods and reels with braid on them.  Ill be trying the large barrel swivel and large knot tag to try and keep weeds down.  I do have tracks on my boat, so I may try and see if I can angle a rod tip into the water with the Down East rod holders.  But the sides of my boat are pretty high, probably 2.5ft down to hit the surface.  Any advice on what to use as leader?  Heavy flouro vs wire?  How long of a leader?

 

Do you guys "T" all of your treble hooks on your baits?

Edited by jigstick

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One other thing you might want to try to keep weeds off is to place a large split shot about three or four feet up the line from your lure. I know it helps while toplining for trout and fishing for walleyes

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