Spence Petros sends around a fishing report and thoughts every few weeks.
I think it is worth reading what the biggest name in Chicago fishing and the veteran fishing teacher has to say: That's him in the photo above from a few years ago on an outing I did with him on Eagle Lake in Canada:
Had a pretty good trip to Lake of the Woods for muskies. Fished a little over a week with Big Mike who helps me in the classes. During that time frame I filmed with Steve Pennaz for an up-coming North American Fisherman TV show, also with Babe Winkelman's film crew without Babe because he was out West elk hunting. We caught 31 muskies and many pike in the 34 to 40-inch range. Got home late on October 26. We had a lot of nice size muskies up to about 34-lbs. ( just under 50-inches), 22 over 40-inches and about 10 that weighted 24 to 34 lbs. About 2/3rds. were caught trolling 9-inch Grandma's, the rest on 10-inch Jakes. The best color was one that ran straight between 31/2 to 41/4 miles per hour. The best depth, as usual was 8 to 14-feet. After a string of years that produced 50-inchers every year, topping out with Mike's fat 55 1/2 incher a few years ago, we haven't broke 50-inches the last two years, 49 inchers were tops. I guess that's stupid to make the magic 50-inch mark such a big deal, but I do it anyway as a goal.
A couple small groups of anglers who were also there had past class members in them. We missed Jack and Brian Thomas who had been there the last few years. I guess after Brian caught a 54-incher last fall he got spoiled. I hope he didn't turn into a walleye fisherman! Those are just "bait" at that time of the year.
This was about the 13th or 14th year in a row I've gone up for the fall trolling bite. You can cast but you"ll catch more and larger muskies by trolling. It's actually pretty easy to do. You need a GPS with a chip that features Lake of the Woods, A trolling rod about 71/2 to 8-feet long, a line counter reel spooled with braided line between 65 to 100-pound test and 8-10 large crankbaits. I'd be happy to mark off some trolling runs to get you started if you are there on my week, but just don't keep doing the same trolling runs every day. You burn them out! If all goes well, I'll be going up to Lake of the Woods again on the fall trip on about October 15th, and staying 7 to 10-days. In about 80-90-days of fall fishing up there, we've only had 3 days where we didn't boat a musky. Beautiful log cabins go for $500 a week, with American plan optional. We stay at Bill Sandy's ">Blackhawk Island resort out of the Northwest Angle. Bill will be inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in the "Legendary Guide" category during the Musky Show at Harper college the second weekend in January (Bucher and I will NOT be speaking at that show next year). Sandy will have a booth at the Musky Show and I'll probably be hanging around it. The camp numbers for Sandy's are 218-386-1099 and 218-689-3852. This is where Musky Hunters Magazine School is held in July and where Joe Bucher and I film every August.
Soon the ice-fishing season will start. Watch for shallow bays and back waters to freeze up first. I'll be working these areas, especially those off the Fox River for bluegills and crappies. I fish a lot of 2 to 5-foot depths, so if the ice breaks I can easily get out. For those still wanting some good open water fishing I would target walleyes in rivers, and Lake Erie walleyes at night from shore (see class recommendations on "Best Mid West Waters". The best place for a giant walleye right now is the Bay of Quinte off Lake Huron. Walleyes Unlimited club usually has an outing there every fall. This is the best teaching club I know of. They have a monthly meeting in northern ILL. (Gurnee-847-223-2398) and in Franklin, WI (414-745-3855).
Hopefully, I'll see many of you in the classes again or at the sports show. If you look really old, don't tell me you've been following me since you were a kid, because that's really depressing! I'm only kidding. If your old buddies can't do it, find some younger friends that can. It will keep you young.
Have Fun and Play Hard,
Spence may be old enough to have people who followed him when they were kids, but he is up-to-date enough for a Web site. Click here for the latest on Spence and his classes.