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French River Fever

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French River Fever

Jim Saric and Scott Siler admire a French River Lunge caught mid-day during the summer • Credit: Jim Saric

This waterway is rich in lunge lore, having produced muskies in excess of 60 pounds.

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Nestled between Lake Nipissing and Georgian Bay is the legendary French River. This waterway is rich in lunge lore, having produced muskies in excess of 60 pounds. Last summer, we filmed an episode of The Musky Hunter on the French River in epic summer heat, with flat conditions, and it did not disappoint.

One of the great things about the French River is that you literally are one cast from a giant musky. There is no question that trophy muskies roam this river system and when they move to a shallow shelf, they are usually there to eat. Speak with any anglers who regularly fish the French River, and they will all tell you of monster musky encounters, and freely show their big musky photographs.

A beautiful sunrise on the French River in anticipation of a great musky day, because any day on the French River can make musky dreams come true

There are lots of great spots to fish on the French River. We stayed at Lunge Lodge, which is located on the Upper French River. Lunge Lodge is the ideal place for any musky hunter. How can you go wrong at a place named Lunge Lodge? Scott and Tiffany were awesome hosts, and the Lodge has great cabins and a huge main lodge that’s perfect for relaxing and sharing musky stories.

From Lunge Lodge, you have the ability to fish in multiple directions and branches of the French River, and you’re only a 20-minute ride from Lake Nipissing. So there’s a wide variety of areas to fish. Some sections of the French are shallower and weedy, and others are deeper and rocky. We fished multiple areas of the French River and focused on islands and reefs. Many smaller islands had rock points or beautiful weedbeds that were adjacent to the main river channel.

Likewise, there were many large reefs marked by buoys that had giant boulders and held muskies. When looking at a map of the French River, you’ll notice sections that are wider and narrower. The wider sections often have shoreline areas rimmed with weeds that hold muskies.

Giant Musky
John Cowan and Scott Siler, owenr of Lunge Lodge, with a giant French River musky caught while filming and episode of The Musky Hunter

The French River was certainly a musky adventure. We fished hard every day and fished a variety of spots in search of a trophy musky. We had muskies follow each day and managed to get a bite despite the hot sun. However, as evening approached and the sun dropped, the French River came alive. As my friend John Cowan retrieved his Cowgirl over a large weed bed, a giant musky appeared.  He executed a perfect figure eight and triggered the giant to bite.

An epic battle ensued and in the end, we photographed and released a 50-inch class musky. The French River showed us what it was famous for, and there were lots of great stories and memories made at Lunge Lodge. There’s no question we will be back!

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