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TMF89

Best Musky Fishing In The North

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Alright guys, here's my situation. I'm going to college at BSU (Bemidji State University), and just completing my freshman year. I think next year I'll be able to bring a boat up (17' Lund with a 115hp, so I can go on all the big lakes lol), and get to fish whenever and wherever I want. However I'll only have the months of September-November (till ice-up) to fish, and I've never fished any of the lakes up here. I know I have a lot of choices, Vermillion, Leech, Rainy, Kab, Mille Lacs, and obviously Bemidji. All those are within a day's drive for me, however the closer the better, obviously. I'm thinking I'll probaly spend my time up here learning one or two lakes really well, instead of fishing all of them a couple times. However, as some of you know, I've not actually done that much musky fishing. I know all the lures and techniques, just haven't applied them much. I plan on changing that this summer though. So out of those lakes, if you had to choose one, which would you choose for the easiest to learn, and successfully fish, in the fall? Also any guide suggestions are welcome!

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obviously Bemidji since you're going to school right there. The river too. Learn the home lake!

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Bemidji, plantegenet, cass chain, not far drive to leech lake and longville area, if I were you I would hit bemidji and plantegenet hard. There's plenty of good guides up there if your interested. I only know of one; Kevin crochan.

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I fish the Bemidji area all year. Your best lake IMO is Plantagenet. Big lake is a good one also. I know alot of guys do well on Bemidji in the fall but I haven't ,yet.

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I've fished Bemidji four times and have yet to see a muskie in that dang lake. I'm starting to wonder if it's a conspiracy and there really aren't any skis in there... confused You guys wouldn't mess with a guy just because he's a little dim-whitted, would you??? smirk

Leech, Bemidji, Plant, Big, Little Wolf, Elk, Andrusia, Big Wolf, Cass, Pikes Bay, on and on and on...

Given your position, maybe you want to pick a couple of the smaller ones and learn them inside and out in that timeframe? Elk and Little Wolf would be obvious choices if that's the case.

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What Matty said Bemidji and Plantagenet would be lakes to hit most of the time...the fall fishing is good on either lake- A few guides; Kevin Cochran, Mike Crawford, Brian Truax for Bemidji and Plantan. A good one for Cass Lake chain would be Brian Jones. These are just guides but seems like you know what you are doing so you're probably not interested in one.

Good Luck! You'll have a great time at BSU and in Bemidji!

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I'm a BSU alum. and all those lakes have a time and a place, since I don't get up there much anymore we boated a few on lake irving also, not technically muskie water but there are some in there. Doesn't sound like a poor college kid if you are willing to run to mille lacs or vermillion from Bemidji, if finances are an issue I'd learn lake bemidji inside and out, there are some behemoth's in there, from my years on the water, times have changed but they seemed in the mid-thirties or upper 40's and beyond, we used to see and catch either hogs or small ones, back in the early 90's it seemed like that was the going rate.

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Gregg Thomas one the PMTT there with a 54" I think...

Shouldn't you be pre-fishing? smile

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This would be my advice, learn Bemidji, it is really close and you can run over to it after class if even for a few hours. I attend UW-Madison and mostly fish Monona and Wingra becasue they are 5 minutes away. It makes getting on the water for 2-4 hours really easy and you have spots marked and can keep chasing a couple of big ones! My 2 cents.

Or before class, I have gone out from 5am-8am and be back in time for my 8:50 or 9:55am class!!! Who can say they have caught a Musky before going to class?

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I would add hit those early season walleyes on Bemidji to, we used to catch as many as we had minnows early on then we'd switch to rapala's. That's right, muskies eat all the walleye's, I must have hallucinated the year we released over 500 walleyes before June 1st. JK smile PS. I wouldn't get into a lot of running and gunning muskies because once you have a theory on a local lake, you make that run to an unknown water, get ideal conditions and you'll probably wish you were on your known water, closer to home and you won't feel like you wasted a perfect outing hoping to hit a jackpot. Then you have that couple hour drive home to think about why didn't I just go to my usual.

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That's what I was thinking. I was just mentioning other lakes to see if you guys thought there was a significant difference, i.e. like three times the number of muskies caught on Leech vs Bemidji, or something like that. I think I will hire a guide though, just because I have a confidence problem, so it'll be nice to know I'm fishing the right spot.

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Didnt that guy get like at 55 or something out of Bemidji last fall?

It was a 54" caught on a killer eel or a double cowgirl. Only 6 fish caught in the two day tournament.

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From my expirences on Bemidji, first dark is usually the best time to fish whether ,its muskies or walleyes. I say get one of the guides that Quackaddict suggested and you will do fine. Your only problem will be splitting time between class and fishing. If I went to school there it would take me eight years to get a bachelor degree. So good luck with that JK. I don't think you will have a tough time finding any fish or even big at that. There isn't a reason for you to fish muskies anywhere else and if you want a change you got Plantagenet just ten miles south of campus. Good luck fishing .

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I would also say Bemidji first, Plantagenet second, Big third. For a lark you can try Little Wolf, or drive a little South to Big Mantrap. Cass/Pike Bay are also full of Muskies, but is tougher water to pattern compared to the others. It's a great area, my favorite in the state.

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Quackaddict9,

Thank you for the recommendation. This year you need to break that PB wide open!

Derek (PDXFisher),

When are you headed up here this year? Wife just got a new German Warmblood this spring, should be interesting...

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Hah! More dependents, just what you needed smile I will be there starting around 6/28. I plan on hitting your area that week and weekend, then continuing on to LOTW for at least a week. Will stay in Baudette and hit Morson/Sabaskong every other day or so. We'll be spending at least as much time on Eyes and Pike this time to keep Cliff from wearing out. Need as many tips as possible on the Eyes, we're terrible at catching them. I've caught more on Shallow Invaders than I have on jigs (yeah, that one in your boat). I'm going as far as to check if the boat has electrical leaks that repel fish. Have volt-ohmeter, will travel...cuz, it couldn't possibly be that we have no skillz :P...

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You are in Musky heaven. No need to drive more than 20 minutes to find good fish and lots of them anytime of the year.

Bemidji, Plant, Big, Cass Chain in that order...

Bemidji has some pigs but it gets fished pretty hard, the whole lake is fishable but most people concentrate on the north end. Any and every bait can work well there.

Plant is alot smaller and the easiest to fish. If you don't see anything in the first 2 hours, start trolling or head to Bemidji.

Big can be a good #'s lake with a ton of structure. It's a tough lake to learn especially if you don't have a gps and chip.

Cass Chain, take a guide...

I would reccomend Kevin Cochran on Plant, Big, little wolf or Bemidji. I have heard good things about Brian Jones on Cass.

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Quackaddict9,

Thank you for the recommendation. This year you need to break that PB wide open!

Derek (PDXFisher),

When are you headed up here this year? Wife just got a new German Warmblood this spring, should be interesting...

Brian... nice to see you on here. I was beginning to think you gave up on the FM forums. Hope everything is going well for you. Got your card over the holidays... nice touch...

Back to the topic at hand, I too would recommend going in your own backyard and hitting up Bemidji as much as you could. I sure wish I had a lake like that in MY backyard when I was going to college.

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