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Lake of the Woods Muskies

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Lake of the Woods Muskies

Jim Saric and Keith Davison hold a muskie that they caught in Lake of Woods. • Credit: Jim Saric

Muskie Hunter Jim Saric fishes Lake of the Woods for Big Muskies

This muskie had followed to the boat several times during the day and finally bit in the evening.

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Lake of the Woods is known to most muskie anglers as Lake of the Muskies. With more than 1400 islands and hundreds of miles of shoreline there's virtually thousands of places that hold muskies and sometimes it seems as if every good looking spot holds a muskie. Nestled in the Big Narrows section of Lake of the Woods approximately 20 miles southwest of Kenora, Ontario lies probably one of the most incredible resorts I have ever seen. Wiley Point Resort is part of Totem Resorts and despite being on an island, this resort has five-star accommodations including everything from gourmet meals and professional guides.

I had a chance to fish and film with my friend Keith Davison who guides out of Wiley Point during the summer. This section of Lake of the Woods can be characterized as a neck down area with current moving between hundreds of islands. That means there is current touching the upstream end of every island, as well as creating an eddy effect at the tail end of every island. Therefore, any rocky extension on the head or tail of every island can hold a muskie. Toss in a small patch of weeds and that makes the spot just that much better. Also in this area you'll find several bay or saddles between islands that have small patches of weeds growing in less than seven feet of water. We call these weeds "tobacco cabbage" as the leaves are broad and look like something you could wrap into a cigar! These small patches of weeds that range in size from something smaller than your boat to an area the size of a football field are muskie magnets. Keith and I spent the majority of our time fishing these cabbage beds adjacent to current areas and caught and had action from lots of muskies.

Jim Saric holds a trophy muskie caught on Lake of the Woods while filming an episode of The Musky Hunter TV show at Wiley Point Lodge (Photo credit: Jim Saric)

The water in this portion of lake of the woods and since you are primarily fishing depths 8 feet and shallower large bucktail spinners, topwater, minnowbaits and jerkbaits get the nod as the top muskie producers. I prefer black, orange, gold and chartreuse patterns in contrasting colors for most lures.

The key to being successful on Lake of the Woods is to keep moving and fishing different spots. When you catch a muskie or have a few follow, look around and find similar areas. It's easy to spot them using a combination of your map and shoreline clues. For example, you might find muskie in weed beds along sandy beaches. It's pretty easy to drive around and spot sandy beaches from a distance. Simply pull up to another beach and if there are weeds in the beach you most likely will contact more muskies. The same holds true for rocky areas. Often there will be vegetation such as rushes sticking out of the water in some boulder areas along islands. If you catch muskies from such an area, you can visually see similar areas from a distance, pull up and start fishing. Again the key is to keep moving from spot-to-spot trying to contact muskies and fish similar areas.

If the muskies don't bite right away but follow to the boat, try returning several times during the day whenever there is a weather change, and make sure to go back to the largest fish you have seen during the day, the last spot you fish in the evening. Most likely, you'll get the big one to bite right before dark. Then it's back to Wiley Point Lodge to celebrate your catch. Believe me, they will help you celebrate in style at Wiley Point Lodge.

There are lots of resorts on Lake of the Woods that cater to muskie anglers checkout: www.ontariosunsetcountry.ca or www.gofishinontario.com.

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