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How to lure 50-inch muskies in Parry Sound

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How to lure 50-inch muskies in Parry Sound

John Cowan with a beautiful Restoule Lake muskie caught on a bucktail while executing a figure 8 maneuver at boatside. • Credit: Jim Saric

Catching big muskies on Lake Restoule.



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One of my favorite things to do is fish new water, or return to waters I haven't fished in over twenty years to see if anything has changed. Last fall I ventured to Lake Restoule, which is about 4 hours north of Toronto, Ontario. My friend John Cowan and I were filming and episode of The Musky Hunter Television Show. I had a paper map with a few spots that one of my friends had marked. Although I have fished the lake twenty years ago, I was really surprised at how little I remembered. I guess that's the first sign of old age! Anyhow, we had to go "old school" as there was not a lake map on my GPS. In fact there wasn't even a lake outline. So, we left on the east end of Lake Restoule with great expectations.

After three hours without having a sniff from a muskie, admittedly I was starting to second guess my decision to try and film a show on Restoule Lake. On the next spot, I made two casts and a giant 52-inch muskie inhaled my bucktail and the battle was on! The water exploded the fish jumped and in a matter of minutes we had quickly landed and safely released this muskie. I could tell from the markings on the muskie it was an old fish, but it swam away strong to be caught again. A few casts later and we boated a 48 inch muskie. Let's just say in a matter of minutes our thoughts on Lake Restoule had changed. I was now wondering if it was such a great idea exposing this "gem" of a muskie lake. We ended up boating five muskies for the day, and by the end of the next day we had completed filming an awesome episode.

52-inch Restoule Lake trophy.
52-inch Restoule Lake trophy. (Photo credit: Jim Saric)

Lake Restoule, Stormy and Clear are all part of Restoule Provincial park. And the Restoule River flows out of this chain of lakes ultimately discharging into Georgian Bay. What's great about Restoule Lake is that its 5,000 acres and is very manageable to fish. Although Stormy and Clear lakes are connected to Restoule the channel isn't navigable, so you simply have to launch at an adjacent boat ramp in the Provincial Park. It's a simple process and the boat ramps are very good. Plus, although Restoule Lake is stained water, Clear Lake is just that, clear water that offers a variety of muskie fishing opportunities.

Lake Restoule is stained water, is over 90 feet deep in spots and has lake trout. So, there are some muskies that relate to shallow rocks and weeds and others that spend their time roaming the deep basins. Therefore, it's both a muskie caster and troller's paradise. We spent most of our time casting on Restoule Lake and we found the muskies relating to cabbage weeds adjacent to points. We did locate muskies on a few wind-blown rocky points and shallow rock humps. The muskies were generally located at depths of ten feet and shallower, although I would expect the muskies to be deeper later in the fall. We had action from muskies on both in-line bucktails and topwater lures. Gold and black bladed bucktails with black or chartreuse skirts were most productive. The topwater strikes were awesome, as there were no signs of the fish following, simply an explosion on the water.

Martin's Camp is a perfect location on Restoule. They have everything you need for your stay. If you are looking for a quiet muskie adventure, where you don't have to compete with other boats on the water and want to have both numbers of muskies as well as trophy fish awaiting your presentation, than Restoule, Stormy and Clear lakes are the place for you. You can find out more information on Restoule lake and other great muskie waters and lodges at www.gofishinontario.com

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