Musky America Magazine October 2023 Edition

upon available forage. More so than any other time of the year, forage will dictate the presence of Muskie. With that in mind, and after verifying that the lake had turned over, the hunt for this little 3 day excursion took on a new tactical approach. The location and concentration of the forage fish became extremely important. Combined with the turnover, was the gradual dropping of the water level on the Chippewa Flowage. This accelerated the mild current that moves the ‘flotsam and jettison’ upon which forage fish feed through the ‘neck down’ areas. It soon became obvious that this was the key to an emerging pattern of Muskie location. Along with John Dettloff, we consulted our maps of the water to determine the likely areas that would be ‘high percentage’ given this fall pattern. On Saturday evening, John and I set off for one of these spots and put our attack plan into action. With a pattern like this, one never knows where the fish are likely to reside on a piece of structure, so the method of area coverage also became very important. Our approach was, given the structure we were fishing, to accomplish multiple drifts of the area in overlapping patterns. We reasoned that this would allow us to cover the area efficiently and fish it clean. Lure selection was another variable to the Muskie equation. We looked at the recent catches and recognized that early evening success was vested in the use of jerkbaits. John and I loaded our rods with a Bobbie and Striker, respectively, and began to systematically execute the plan of attack.