New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

General musky fishing discussions and questions.

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Deewalt45
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New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby Deewalt45 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:43 am

After being a long time avid fisherman I started pressuring muskies this Fall, and I can already tell its going to consume me.

I have not landed a fish yet, but I was recently on the Tahquamenon and had a few followers, pretty epic to see.

I plan on trolling a few lakes in West MI the rest of the Fall until ice up and maybe St Clair once. Just a few questions around trolling. What is everyone’s preferred speed for Fall trolling, and how far back are you typically running baits?
[smilie=jamminz.gif]

Scott Williams
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby Scott Williams » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:43 pm

Tough question to answer. Much depends on the baits, and target depths. I am generally trolling slower in fall compared to summer. My speed is generally between 3.3-5 in the fall. Line distance varies from 5'-100'. Depends on the target depth and application.

Deewalt45
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby Deewalt45 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:49 am

Cool thanks Scott - Are you typically trying to run baits in the upper portion of the water column or should they be ticking bottom?

I'm thinking about fishing mac or the grand quite a bit, probably run some boards and try a bunch of different stuff until I figure it out.

Scott Williams
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby Scott Williams » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:36 pm

I usually look at where the bait is and try to run my baits thru and above the baitfish. I don't usually scrub bottom unless bait is belly to the bottom. I would rather run baits too high than too low.
I am not claiming to be a trolling expert, but it has worked for me.

Deewalt45
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby Deewalt45 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:19 am

Makes sense, thanks Scott!
tight lines.

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jasonvkop
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby jasonvkop » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:07 pm

I mainly cast, but the trolling I have done has been similar to what Scott described. Look for bait and try to have your lures in that depth zone. I think 3-3.5 is a speed the majority of people will recommend at this time as well. I'd look to get Musky Mike's Trolling Secrets book as it has depth curves for a lot of your popular baits which should start you off in a good direction. Check out some baits made by members as well such as the $treetwalker. It's made by Moski on this forum and has caught a lot of fish in the past year.
The Musky Bandit strikes again!

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vano397
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby vano397 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:51 pm

Like with casting, fish often like change of direction. Baits like streetwalkers do a lot of that on their own...
others need help, by constantly controling the boat, s patterns and speed changes, etc.
Figuring out if they are in weeds or open water is the hardest part for me sometimes, and usually the first thing i try to do. Depth is important, but so is manageable line length, making for easy turns and maneuverability. The good thing about trolling is adjustments are easy. The hard part of muskies is knowing which ones to make!
“My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him all good things-trout as well as eternal salvation-come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.”

Duke
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby Duke » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:25 pm

I don’t do much trolling, and typically I like it even less in the fall because baits that stop/pause/suspend tend to do better in cold water. But fall trolling is definitely a tried and true method that produces well too.

It depends on the lake and the forage, but I’d be willing to bet that skimming bottom is probably the best depth, generally speaking. BUT most lakes it’s quite difficult, and can be expensive with lost baits! Almost all musky trolling is done successfully up higher like Scott describes.

Macatawa and the Grand are pretty low on the success rate scale unfortunately, so those are real tough places to figure stuff out though. So hopefully you’re able to get to some other lakes too. Good luck and welcome to the sickness!!!!

Scott Williams
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby Scott Williams » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:27 am

Agree with Duke on Mac and the Grand being tough to learn on. I have many hours trolling on Mac the past few years with little to show. Also, last time on Mac the amount of uprooting grass floating throughout the water column was maddening. Keeping a line clear for more than 30 seconds was a major problem. Hopefully the grass has flushed out of the system, but it has been a problem through most of November the past few years.

Deewalt45
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Re: New Muskie Fisherman / Fall Trolling

Postby Deewalt45 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:34 am

thanks everyone for the info! Appreciate all of your help.