Bob Turgeon

Bob Turgeon has a passion for chasing big muskies anywhere, but he guides locally on Lake Minnetonka.

Posts about Muskie

Slow Rolling brings results

Posted by: Bob Turgeon Updated: September 14, 2009 - 11:20 PM
When fish are aggressive many presentations will produce results but the steady boring weather of late can slow the action down.

Slow rolling a Large inline spinner or spinner bait keeps the bait right in front of the fish longer and presents an easy target. Working deep weeds in low light conditions has been the number one producer so far this summer in my boat. What I am looking for are deeper weeds....9-18 feet of water with weeds that top out well below the surface. Many presentations can be effective over deep weeds but my favorite is to run a large inline spinner like the Musky Mayhem Super Model or a large CJ Spinner bait just over the weed tops. Simply adjust your retrieve speed so that the bait is just ticking a weed top here and there...if you are constantly hanging up in weeds simply speed up a bit...if you are not touching weeds at all slow down till you start making some contact. Taking things a step further you can experiment with adding weight or changing blade sizes to get the balence of speed and depth the fish seem to prefer..... for example a spinnerbait with willow blades will generally run deeper than one with Colorado style blades, larger inline spinners usually run higher in the water than smaller styles. Many times Muskies will follow a slow rolled bait right to the boat making no real effort to eat untill a good figure 8 boatside manuever closes the deal......make sure you finish your cast with a good figure 8 especially when working deeper or darker water where fish can show up way behind your lure unseen untill they strike.

Try slow rolling a bit on your next works.

Bob Turgeon

Speed can kill.

Posted by: Bob Turgeon Updated: August 18, 2009 - 1:57 PM
With water temps statewide hitting new highs for the year you should consider your arsenal of tactics incomplete unless you have one component available....SPEED. As temps rise there is usually what seasoned anglers refer to as a speed bite...when fish respond favorably to baits retrieved at the highest speeds possible. Speed puts a few things in your favor as a method to trigger bites.
The Reaction bite: when a bait moves quickly fish have only seconds to decide to eat or not and studying your lure is not an option either. Strikes tend to be very hard as the fish usually moves a short distance and then creams the bait.

Less visual confirmation: when your bait is moving quickly visual clues tend to diminish in a whirl of motion making it more difficult for a fish to decide if your presentation looks "right".

Sound: in general you are making a lure louder to the fish when it is moving fast...displacing more water and bringing attacks from greater distances.

Coverage: you simply get your bait in front of more prospects in a given day...uping your odds of encountering an active/aggressive fish.

So in order to get speed you need to concentrate on certain baits....ones that work at high speeds and won't "blowout" at higher speeds. Bucktails and other inline spinners like the famous Double Cowgirl's can be retrieved at high speeds easily. Certain topwaters work well at high speeds, the LOW Rider, Pacemaker, Super Topraider and Twisted Sister come to mind. Crankbaits: some work at high speeds some roll and blowout, experiment a bit...the Wileys, Jakes and Depthraiders  as well as some of the lipped soft plastics do well here.

Getting the speed: while casting a large high speed reel is a must, Both Diawa and Schimano make great light Saltwater reels than do well in this application, in general think big spool big gears and a fast ratio. The new Revo by Abu does well with lighter baits if that is what you want to throw. Thorne Bros. in Fridley has a great selection of these specialty reels and know what you need.

Trolling can be the ultimate speed presentaion, certain baits can be run up to 6mph and fish WILL chase them down. Adding weight ahead of a Double Cow Girl or Super Model was very effective for me last season and enables you to troll these baits at 4-6 mph all day...faster than you can reel and less effort !!!!!! plus you are showing them something the don't usually see....extreme speed...react or starve  sucker !!!

So try a little speed when all else could save your day

Warming Temps mean HOT action

Posted by: Bob Turgeon Updated: August 10, 2009 - 12:09 AM
Muskie action across the state is heating up and reports of some very large fish have come my way. A friend just got back from a 9 day trip in which 21 fish were boated with the two largest over 55". In addition I have heard of a few fish between 56 and 57" inches being caught and released..... quite possibly state record contenders. The concept of releasing a potential record fish would not even enter the mind of most anglers fishing other species but is common in the muskie fishing community. So we hear about many big fish that never get "officially" recorded. 

After a summer which has had below average water temps the recent warming trend is finally starting to get things kicked into gear. The full moon also was a factor the past week or so.... many trophy seeking anglers will plan outings to coincide with either the full or new moon as both have proven over time to kick up fish and game activity...especially the largest specimans. 

One commonly held old wives tale is the "dog days of August", now I am not sure which "old wife" coined the phrase but my guess is it was someone wanting to keep her hubby at home instead of fishing. Fish being cold blooded actually process food more rapidly as water temps heat up and require more they have to eat more. Compared to Northern Pike the Muskie is quite a bit more tolerant or warmer water temps, Pike will generally seek cooler temps while muskies actually seem to prefer warmer temps in general.

In general Topwater and inline spinners really start to shine as the temps climb and that is what I have been seeing and hearing as the reports come my way. If you leave the dock right now with only  a handfull of those baits you are well prepared.

On last thing to keep in mind is the higher the water temps the more potential stress there will be on the fish during the battle and then the recovery. Warmer water holds less oxygen so do your catch a favor and keep it in the water as much as possible so it can recover effectivly and live to fight another day. If you are unsure how to handle a big fish please review my release blog  posted earlier so we all can enjoy successfull outings catching these "recycled" fish.

Bob Turgeon  

Things that go bump in the night

Posted by: Bob Turgeon Updated: July 31, 2009 - 10:18 AM
"There's a's one......GOT IT" those were my words last night to my boat Partner/client Pete as a fish connected to my SuperModel Lure under the cover of darkness on an extended figure 8. I first felt the fish bump the lure saw a bit of a swirl and three turns later the fish connected. The fish was of average size...about 42" but hooking one on a foot of line next to the boat in darkness manages to magnify the experience quite a bit. A bit later Pete had a strike mid retrieve and had a fish on for a while that somehow managed to twist off, I told him that is why they call it fishin not gettin........ we regrouped and continued. Unknown to Pete I repositioned the boat so his cast would connect with a GPS icon I had placed earlier in the day when a large fish had followed but not struck. A couple casts later during an extended figure 8 Pete yelled "I got one" ...this was actually unneeded comentary as there was nearly four feet and somwhere around 30 pounds of Muskie in the air right next to boat! After a brief shortline battle we got the fish in the net and Pete's first figure 8, first after dark and biggest lifetime fish to date was in the books. After the high fives, unhooking, pictures and release the discussion turned to the effectivness of the figure 8 after dark as both of the fish caught had struck well into the 4th or 5th turn of blind figure 8's...we had no idea they were there until contact was made.

So if you want some full on X-Games style excitement make sure you do an extended figure 8 when you are fishing muskies...especially after the sun goes down.

Bob Turgeon

Finesse needed for muskies?

Posted by: Bob Turgeon Updated: July 24, 2009 - 11:33 PM

I was reminded tonight that smaller can be better for times. In general  Muskies respond best to larger presentations.... Large inline spinners like the Double Cow Girl, Magnum and Pounder model Bulldawgs, Big Jakes etc. Tonight we had a situation were the larger presentations were drawing a blank, a large front had passed thru in the AM, barametric pressure had risen and most of the fish had likely fed prior to the front passing thru....evidenced by the strong bite  the past few days. So based on what we were NOT seeing....( Muskies ) I put on a smaller std size Bulldawg in a hot color and shortly after had a 47" beauty just nail it  a few feet from the boat.

The dominate pattern leading into today had been the biggest Blades and Dawgs you could throw but for today at least that had changed. When the bite changes you need to change with it. When it ramps up again the biggest stuff will be the best play.

Cold temps and unstable weather patterns this summer have really had the fish either ON or OFF....if the bite or action seems slow try slowing down and sizing down..... it may save your day.

Bob Turgeon


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