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Created by Scott McKee Oct 31, 2018 at 1:09pm. Last updated by Scott McKee Oct 31, 2018.

Thank you, Jay!

This site is sponsored by NMA Member Jay Nannen.

I went musky fishing on the Niagara River yesterday morning. First time since opening day. It's been a bad summer for musky fishing. Been sort of a bad summer for lots of things. 

At any rate I've modified my goals for musky fishing this year. Actually, I only have one goal. That is to catch a musky from the Niagara River. A relatively modest goal. The challenge isn't necessarily in catching a musky, but more-so in giving the effort to do so as musky fishing seems to move lower and lower on my priority list as I move through middle-age. Not that I don't enjoy musky fishing, as it remains near the top of my list of leisure activities. And really, there is nothing I have enjoyed more, and continue to enjoy, than drifting or trolling down the Niagara River in pursuit of a muskellonge. I just love being on the river.

Especially the west river, from which I, and most of us, are currently banned. My two favorite places on this earth, and probably in this universe, are the Chippewa Channel of the upper Niagara River and Lake Nipissing. Places I'm no longer allowed to visit. At least for the immediate future. Which is a bit depressing.

But the Tonawanda Channel still welcomes me. And over the years has been good to me. So I won't complain and will graciously appreciate its gifts.

It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy morning on the river. So in pursuit of my goal I started above Strawberry Island and took a couple of drifts with a ninja tube. From there I drifted along the east side of the Island where I encountered a recurrent problem with my electric motor. It kept losing an electrical connection. How can one effectively drift a ninja tube without a working electric? There are three potential locations from which the problem can arise. The first was my remote, which has been losing contact with the motor. But I replaced the battery cover and that problem was resolved (the battery was losing contact with the metal electrical prongs due to a damaged and loose cover).  The second was the wiring from the battery. But I checked that out and made sure that everything was secured and properly connected. The third is the plug receptacle, and that was the problem. So I took apart the plug receptacle, tightened a few things, bent a few prongs for better contact, put it back together, and gave it a whirl. That fixed the problem, at least for the day. Which was nice.

I then tried a drift along the Huntley plant area, but barges transporting fill to the Frog Island project kept getting in my way. I moved to the shallows between Grand Island and Motor Island and tried some casting. To my consternation, the barges decided to follow me and I was again in their path. I tried a brief drift in front of the Buffalo Launch Club and then decided to go down river a short distance and start a troll.

I wasn't sure how effective trolling would be because the floating weeds were noticeable.  There are three ways you can troll the river when floating weeds are around. First, you can hold your rod, and reel in and clean off the weeds whenever you feel the lure lose its action. Second, if you have another angler fishing with you, you can control the boat while your partner cleans the rods as needed. This is the easiest method for the driver of the boat, but wasn't available to me since I was alone. Thirdly, and as I did yesterday, you can troll two rods. When a lure's action dies reel in that lure, clean off the weeds and put the lure back in the water. Yesterday the weeds were such that after cleaning and resetting one rod I immediately reeled, cleaned and reset the other rod. Yesterday this routine was  quite constant but kept a cleanish lure in the water at all times thereby maximizing my chances of hooking a musky. Also, as an additional benefit, it negated my need or desire to go to the gym.

After about 45 minutes of trolling, reeling in, cleaning and resetting, my portside rod made a noise, a beautiful noise - zzzzzzing! I picked up the rod, which was armed with a shad colored straight raider 100 feet behind the boat, and felt a decent musky at the end of the line. The fish was quite feisty and stayed deep, perhaps belying its size. But it looked good enough to me. I tried netting it and missed the fish but snagged the lure, which, though not my intention isn't a bad idea, but the lure was deep in the fish's mouth.  I snipped a hook, twisted the lure out of the muskies mouth, and after a brief resuscitation and water measurement she/he briskly swam away. Was a very clean and healthy fish, but appeared to have one eye skinned over. I'll have to check the video to confirm. 

I reset my rods and continued to alternate reeling in, cleaning, and resetting each for another 45 minutes when I had an epiphany: "I'm getting to old for this". At least for the rest of yesterday. The sun was getting high and hot along with the boat traffic and so I reeled in and called it a day, satisfied that I caught a musky. End of story.

All of the above is just another way of saying "I caught a 36 inch musky yesterday". But what fun would that be? 

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As usual, a very well written story with a great twist:  a fish in the net!  Missed the August drawing by one day??? It would be nice if Canada would extend our license by a season but I wouldn't hold my breath on that thought. Stay safe!

Frank S.

I've read on the internet that US anglers are getting refunds for the 2020 season. My only question is should I wait for the season to end or should I ask for my refund now. I doubt that the border will be opened up this year, but I don't know for sure. 

It would be nice if they would simply extend the license for a year, similar to what my gym did.

Frank Stachowiak said:

As usual, a very well written story with a great twist:  a fish in the net!  Missed the August drawing by one day??? It would be nice if Canada would extend our license by a season but I wouldn't hold my breath on that thought. Stay safe!

Frank S.

Gooday
Great report
If I may add to “ There are there ways you can troll when floating weeds are around?”
My addition would be , “ you can jig!”
Jigginjojogoinout

No wonder legal documents are so long!!

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