Otisco Lake 10/15 + 16
Guided a full day on the 15th and a PM 1/2 day on the 16th on Otisco Lake for Tiger Muskies. The bite was tough on both days. It's always tough to tell what's what with musky fishing, since hits/fish are often few and far between, so one lucky/good move and a nice fish is caught and the day is a success.
10/15: Got out around 9:30 am with Bobberman Perry and his pal Fireman Bob. I hadn't seen Bob in a while and it was good catching up. The guys like to take their time and I don't mind. It's their trip, but I felt that our late start really hurt us today in terms of fish-action. We had perfect light winds and dark/overcast conditions to start in the AM with low hanging cloud cover. As soon as we launched we were faced with bluebird (cloudless) skies and swirling winds. But that's the way it goes.
The guys had great bait including some nice sucker minnows. They set up 5 or 6 rods and we worked a few different areas. Nothing was hitting. No bass, cats, walleye, perch – nada. We finally got a hit and Bob wound up landing a nice 34" to 35" Tiger Musky.
10/16: Guided Ed from around 2 pm till 6:30 pm. He'd never caught a Tiger Musky before and unfortunately didn't catch one today. We gave it our best shot and he worked a bunch of different areas with some different lures with no action to speak of. The weather was very unsettled with mostly cloudy skies and some occasional light showers. I really thought we'd do alright today but it didn't happen. Water temp was 60 degrees.
I find Tiger Muskies to be interesting and perplexing fish. Hybrids are strange – they sometimes show traits of one or the other one of their "parent" species but also have traits all their own. We've had decent late-season Tiger Musky fishing on Otisco Lake in past years but it's a roll of the dice here. I think May – September is best, but then again last year we had a brute late in the fall, so you never know. And of course loads of fish get caught through the ice here – from 1st ice to last ice.
Musky fishing is rarely easy. Once in a while it is on Otisco Lake, but not usually and you have to be there at the right time on the right day. There are plenty of musky lakes across the country that are overloaded with stocked muskies and have resulted in much of the musky fishing mystique being removed.
But you have to fish on the fish's terms. Muskies don't care that you want to relax in the morning and have a nice breakfast at the local diner. They will eat when they want to eat – often in the early AM or late evening. You have to fish them (and all species) on their own terms! Dr. Musky has limited visitation hours!