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Muskie and Pike
Written by Bob "Bobzilla" Chochola   
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
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Top 10 Muskie Bite Triggers
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CONDITIONS #5 & #4:   “Wind, Narrows, & Neck Down Areas”
Muskies are a native river fish. Without going into the grand history of the species, I’ll say that to know and understand this element will put you onto some of the highest percentage spots on the lake right away. Growing up fishing The Fox River gives me some keen insight into the musky world simply by my familiarity with the nature of the beast. That nature is current.
Current happens one of two ways on any lake: fast water entering the lake via a tributary and wind moving lake water through a neck down, saddle area, or narrows. Higher concentrations of nutrients and oxygen attract baitfish and active toothy predators won’t be far behind. I say “active” because I doubt that a big fish will spend the energy it takes to fight strong current unless she intends to eat something.
These areas provide perfect holding for muskies and any weed patch, rock point, or drop-off has great potential for success. Hold on to your gear in the mouth of a fast moving tributary, because a strike in the white water will rattle your teeth.

CONDITION #3:   “Calm with a Steady Light Rain”

Whenever we wake up and peek out the window to see clouds, calm, and a light rain falling, we go into overdrive. This is certainly one of the best times to be on the water – low light and calm with drizzle will move the baitfish (food). Muskies will hunt on a day like this and a seasoned musky hunter will do the same.
If fishing has been slow due to a long period of hot sun you can bet that it will pick up under thick clouds and a pitter-patter of rain on the glass-like surface. Activity will be high at all battle stations – weed beds, rock points, up on the reefs, and on the troll.
Grab your gear and cooler because it’s gonna be a long day on the water.

CONDITION #2:   “Approaching Frontal System”
Just like the full moon stirs-up all the wildlife on a lake, so too will an approaching frontal system. There’s nothin’ like a falling barometer to kick it into high gear. Everything from sudden light change to calm to drizzle to gusty wind through the saddle areas – it’ll all come with a front.
Use caution. A storm front can come out of nowhere and will be deceptively fast moving. ALWAYS PUT SAFETY FIRST… It’s not a good idea to take chances. I can’t tell you how many close calls we’ve had scrambling to get off the water. If you see lightning, even if it seems a long way off, dock it and hit that cooler.
We have a group of good spots that are within a short boogie back to camp and we generally stick close with heavy weather on the way. Buy a weather radio and pay attention to the forecast. If you do get stuck out there, by all means, pull your boat to shore and ride it out there.

CONDITION #1:   “Two Hours Before Until Two Hours After Sunset”
We call it “prime time” and if you could see the 8X10’s that wallpaper my den you’d realize that this is when we do our best work. If you can only gather the strength for a four-hour casting day, then sleep all day and be out on the water on your best spots in the evening. There are no special instructions – just get out there and cast your brains out! A strike at sunset or after dark is the most exciting strike of all. We are always out hunting at this time of day – always.
That wraps up my TOP 10 MUSKIE BITE “TRIGGERS.” I sure hope you find some of them useful out on the water. You should have ten good places to focus your attention anyway. Now get out there and catch a HOG!

Bob Chochola is a freelance Writer and Photographer based in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area. Read more of Bob’s articles and check out his photo galleries at WWW.BOBZILLA.TV
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