As the water cools down from Summer conditions…Muskies begin their Fall pattern aggressiveness. Muskies get super aggressive between now and December. These articles about Muskies primarily focus on lakes such as Cowan, Caesar’s Creek, and East Fork. The reason for this is, “I live in this geographical area of Ohio”. Handling the musky (after the catch) can be very hard on the fish…especially in the hot Summer water.
Cowan Lake still has a good Musky population and I enjoy fishing there. The State does not stock musky in Cowan Lake anymore but the ones that still live there are in the 38-39 inch range. That size of a Musky and bigger can be a hard to handle fish, especially if you don’t have a net. If you do net Muskies they still twist and flop (after landing) so without careful handling Muskies practically die in the Summer if you boat them.
Hot weather is super hard on Musky. I never boat them anymore, just tire them out and remove the hooks with needle nose pliers (as pictured above). Then, I baby them back to life by holding the tail and moving them back and forth until they get revived enough to swim away. Sometimes this is even hard on Summer Muskies when the water is super warm.
Never-the-less I continue fishing these local waters in Southwestern Ohio (Cave Run Lake also)and just handle the Musky extra carefully. I’ve learned alot over the years about musky fishing and to be honest I’ve been guilty of killing a few nice fish (in the past). This was due to lack of experience in landing these massive fish that can get 50 inches or more.
I fish Caesar’s Creek but East Fork is in my home court. That’s why I monitor these fish so closely. The East Fork Lake muskies (5000+ fish the past three years) are a little smaller and less populated but I believe they will be coming on strong in years to come. Muskies no matter what size, are still delicate fish when caught in Summer’s hot weather conditions.
If you’re going to fish for Musky learn to land them and take your camera instead of landing. Take pictures of the Muskies in the water and then release them for future catching. Keep your hands off because these fish are a very delicate fish in the Summer. On the other hand they are very difficult to handle because of their teeth and gills which are razor sharp. There is however; a slit in the bottom gill that allows you to lift the fish without being cut. This spot can be tricky to find, especially if the fish isn’t tired or worn down from the fight. Muskies also have a slime coat that is essential to the health of the fish. This slime coat has a very distinct odor as well.
All this written to say this, “Muskies are delicate fish and die very easy”. I encourage everyone to take pictures of their catch and then release for future catching. As for those of you who catch a musky unexpectedly be careful how you handle these fish. They can cut you with gills and teeth; and they can die easily. Keep these factors in mind.
Let me know if you catch any Muskies at East Fork Lake at this Blog. Enjoy life fishing in Southwestern Ohio. Appreciate you stopping by. From both Chad and Dad we both say, “God Bless”.
P.S…notice the tail dancing Musky in the pictures above