As the muskie season winds down just south of the Canadian Border, big baits scream productivity! Tulibee & whitefish are moving up shallow to spawn bringing big fish with them. Where do you start when fishing in late fall? A few tips and starting points for more success while using BIG Jakes on late fall muskie waters such as, Lake Vermilion!
As a general rule, I prefer the motto, “colder the water, the better”. But typically in the fall to late fall, I’ll start trolling 14” Jakes again when the water is about 48-52 degrees at the warmest and troll all the way until ice up. Trolling can be a game changer on any day of fishing, and if you’ve never done it before or have tried it but had no success, here are some general tips in getting started. In the fall, the tulibee and whitefish start schooling up and become a bigger target for big lazy fish. Take a look at Spring Bay Resort’s guest Mike S. and his 56”x25.5” brute caught trolling a 14” walleye Jake in (picture 1). It’s not necessary to just troll shorelines, the fish are going to be where the bait is, so that being said, find the bait fish and you’ll find the real fish! Shorelines are my starting point, but after a pass or two down one of my trolling runs, I’ll generally make another pass farther and farther out to open water until I find the bait. My speed is typically 2.5-4 mph with 40-80 feet of line. Metal “Down East” rod holders are my favorite and can handle getting hung up on rocks often. My rod/reel setups are Diawa line counter reels, Toothtamer 8ft Trolling Rods, 100lb Cortland Bronzeback, and 36-42” fluorocarbon leaders.
Big Jakes don’t have to be “just trolled”, with the right gear, you can cast them as well! Casting 14” Jakes can pay big dividends as well! I use an 8’6” Toothtamer Extra Heavy Rod, 100lb Cortland Bronzeback line, 150lb Stealth Leader, and a Diawa Saltist reel to cast the Jakes. Another Spring Bay Resort guest Ryan U. caught a nice 51” muskie in (picture 2) casting a 14” white bloody perch Jake on the western half of Lake Vermilion.
For more information on late fall Lake Vermilion muskies please contact:
Spring Bay Resort & Guide Service