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Muskey Fishing on the Labour Day Weekend

By Iain Loveman

Iain Loveman

There is always something about the arrival of the Labour Day weekend.

Could be the cool nights, the morning mist on the water, the gathering of the birds, the change in color of the leaves.

Some of that maybe, but its more likely its Muskey fishing time.

We were leaving Sunday morning, just after 5.30 am. for the 1 1/2 hr. drive to Head Lake, just west of Norland, so I took the time on Saturday to do some maintenance on the boat.

I put a couple of shots of grease in the bearing buddies, checked the tire pressure and general appearance of the tread. I was reading on one of the fishing forum boards, about trailer safety chains.

Apparently, the standard "S" clips are no longer legal and you have to use a spring clip type now.

So, I wandered down to my friendly CTC and purchase and installed a couple. Just the added security was worth it.

I also picked up a self adhesive fish measuring stick, but it was only 30 inches in length. I fixed it to the center seat and covered it with a piece of 1/8" lexan. I added a couple of 8' sections of nylon rope to the stern to be able to tie off the boat when docking.

I also added an extra guide wheel to the front to aid in securing the boat when trailering, power washed the boat from our French River trip and the final touch was to fuel up with gas.

Man, at a $1.35 a litre that really hurts. Now, a lot of you may be asking, what does all this have to do with Muskey fishing ? Well, not a whole lot but I can never stress how important it is to be prepared.

Time is not something you have to waste
, especially fishing and a blown tire or unsecure load will totally waste a good day of fishing. It appeared all my buddies were in party mode, Saturday night and I knew their heads would be hurting, so I picked up my fishing buddy, Roger about 5.45 am. and headed up north to Head Lake, Norland.

A quick pit stop in Brechin for coffee and a bagel and we were well on our way. I did however manage to take out a rabbit and almost lose the truck and boat while being blinded by sunlight on Hwy. 45 (Monck Road). Roger thought we were driving into heaven, what, with the fog on the road and blinding light, even with my sunglasses on, so was I.

Map Of Head Lake, Norland

With no further ado, we got the boat launched and headed out to the middle of the lake. Now, I was using my trusty new Lowrance LMS-332c fish finder which gave us a lot of new information.

I didn't realize the depths of the water could change so rapidly here. One second you were 18' of water the next 4' of water. The water temp. was 69.8 about 7.30 am. and rose to 73.4 by 11.45 am. The bottom ranged from a mass of weeds to a flat bottom and the water clarity was clear

We were only in the water trolling for about 20 minutes before our first big strike.

Roger was using some 10 lb. Spiderline and one of my special custom lures and a worm. I was using 14 lb. Berkley vanishing line and a 18" black leeder with a slightly different custom lure and a worm.

Anyways, Roger is a work of art when landing a fish and hopefully I will be able to get some film footage of him in action.

In between the beginning whisper, "ohhhh, its a big one", the rising, "come to papa", the blistering, "yeahhh, baby", several minutes of the sound of line being pull off and on the reel and a heavily bent rod tip he gets his prize in the boat (courtesy of me and the net).

Its a beauty Muskey, just over 30" long. Many of you may or may not know that Muskey are a ferocious fighter and don't give up easily. In fact they would rather die then be caught, so you have to be very careful not to abuse your time with them.

A quick picture, measurement and weigh in is all you really need then back in the water for some life saving CPR.