07-27-2004, 12:58 AM
Hi! I could use some help on a trip. I am going to the French River (Hartley Bay area) on August 7th -14th. I have been there many times before and know the area well, but I usually go in late September. I am taking my 8 year old son up and I am hoping to get him his first Muskie, but more importantly, I want him to catch fish (pike and smallies). How much different will the patterns be in early August than in late Sept? Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.
07-27-2004, 04:23 PM
I have fished the French several times. Both in August and Sept. The main difference in the pattern was you can still find Muskies in the weeds in August. We trolled deep a good bit with no luck in August. Trolling worked in Sept. Ox bay is a good place.Thopmson Bay also , to the western outlet. Make sure to cast the island on the western outlet just past Crombie(I think) bay. And around the islands near the railroad bridge in the main river.We used 6" or 7" jerkbaits/gliders in August. Also large spinnner baits like a Pearson grinder worked for us. Good luck
07-29-2004, 02:18 PM
Thank you for the info..... i know the spots you speak of well. I have had fish hit and follow in all those locations over the past 7 or 8 years. So what you are saying is that I can find them in weeds, but at what depths? 2-5 feet? 5-10 feet? 10-15? I asume you mean weed pockets near deeper water or are they back in some of the shallower bays. I have had tons of luck up in Allen Lake in both Smith and Frazier bays in Sept. I wonder if that is going to be good this time of year as well?
Any clue on the smallies? My son has yet to experience a smallie or a muskie, so I hope he can come home having experienced both. Are they deep or are they near weeds as well?
Thanks again for the info.
Hook em' Hard }(
07-29-2004, 03:40 PM
We had the best luck for Muskies by fishing the outer edges in about 10 to 12 feet. We casted parralell to the weed edge thus keeping the baits in the strike zone longer.The weed edges that were best were near 20' or deeper water. Hope that made sense. We caught a fair number of smallies just down stream of Thompson Bay where the western outlet narrows.Also near the island on the western outlet. We were using the medium size rattle trap ans white flukes. Only problem with the flukes was pike biting you off. In later trips we started using a home made leader adapted to fish the flukes. We wound the leader wire directly onto the hook(4/0) and use a very small crane swivel. It helped with the biteoffs but I must admit it robs the action of the flukes a little. Its kind of a trade off.
07-30-2004, 08:30 AM
Thanks again for the info. I too have been experimenting with leaders for flukes. I have been using 60lb and 90lb Mono tied directly to the hook and I crimp a loop at the other end. I use super braided line so i wrap the line around the loop 6 or 7 times before starting a knot. This method seems to keep the line from cutting into the mono loop and still gives you decent action. I had to move up to the 7" Finess Fish, where I would normally use the Zoom Flukes. I don't think they make the Flukes in 7", I'd buy a bunch if they did.
Thanks again for the info!!!
Hook em' Hard }(