After spending a few days on a body of water, I normally take mental notes.
Taking a mental note is really no more than paying attention to detail, such as your surroundings or what type of method you are using part of the day like light conditions.
Questions you should ask yourself, what kind of structure did your fish come from, a sharp break a slow slopping shoreline, or was your last musky suspended, these are just a few pieces of detail, was it a rattle bait or non rattle, did the lure mimic a certain kind of forage fish.
All these clues are to help you catch more muskies. A good mental note would be, such as is were there a presents of baitfish, what kind of bait were you using at a specific time and day during the feeding period. Sometimes in the morning, the muskies may feed on suspending fish like shad, whitefish or white bass, during the day which are easy to target. During the evening the muskies may key in and feed on alternative fish such as walleyes, sucker perch or even smaller carp. Keep in mind the size of prey may change, there are allot variables and attitudes with all species.
Paying attention to details could resolve a tough day into a good day.
On a particular trip we were on our way to fishing for a week. On the first day we started fishing around mid-morning and we just released two muskies both on rattle baits such as Jakes. for the rest of the week the muskies had a preference, Jake baits with Rattles, and Ernie’s and sometimes no rattles, I often order believes with not rattles, this could be a preference in which the muskies or pike will prefer, there is a time and place for both. helpful mental notes to take are weather , light conditions and clarity of water. One day we were fishing Lake Saint Claire, the skies were blue and the water was clear, the baits of choice were Lokes were the preferred choice of lure but as the sun went down and visibility turned poor, the muskies were mainly attracted to plastic baits with rattles such as the stalker. Sometimes a simple switch from solid to jointed or rattles to no rattles could catch you a couple more fish.
Dirty water could be one of the best places to use baits with rattles in them, such as super stalkers, Ernie’s, and Jakes but super dirty water nothing beats a jointed Believer with rattles in them. So next time your fishing, put various baits out . Solid jointed or rattles and see what happens on that particular day.
By Ben Modica
Muskyfix Guide Service