2007 Tom Dietz Chatroom Seminar
Mar 14th, 2007 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Mar 14th, 2007 at 12:00 AM
March 14th – Tom DietzOhio Musky Guide and Seminar Speaker.Two time qualifier for the PMTT Championship including a 3rd place finish in the Championship Event in 2000 and a 10th place finish in 2006 in the Top Gun overall standings.Contributing Writer for Musky Hunter Magazine and Ohio Outdoor News and other regional publications.Store Manager of Gander Mountain in Dayton, Ohio.Pro Staff for Gander Mountain, St. Croix Rods, Frabill, Cortland Line, Gamakatsu Hooks, Spro Company, and Roberts Outdoors.http://www.tomdietz.comBallistic: MuskieFIRST welcomes Tom Dietz to our online Seminar Room– Welcome Tom! Tom_Dietz: Thanks for joining this tonight everyone!! Hi all!Ballistic: Let the questions begin! Tom_Dietz: ok!Ballistic: Tom, give us a little background about your muskie fishing beginnings Tom_Dietz: Well, I was always a bass – walleye guy until I caught my first musky on North Twin in 1986 fishing walleyes on the opener on a jig, (38″er) and I was hooked for life, and I have been chasing them ever since that Springsorenson: Do you approach tournament fishing differently than ‘recreational’ fishing? if so. how? Tom_Dietz: Yes, I try to relax, yet think smart, and try to stay with my game plan if at all possible, but most importantly, try to have fun! Tom_Dietz: There are times when your plan goes to heck (like lake Vermilion this year) but you have to keep plugging away and try to be versitile if necessaryBallistic: You lived in Wisconsin for quite a while, didn’t you? Tom_Dietz: 37 years in packerland, yes! Tom_Dietz: I lived in Eagle River for 10lambeau: what’s your approach to planning before a tournament? Tom_Dietz: Well, I do my homework on the body of water and try to garnish local fishing reports and what the hot baits are, etc Tom_Dietz: Then I always pre-fish the lake, always!sorenson: Do you have a tendancy to stick w/ ‘tried and true’ performers w/ regard to baits or ‘swing for the fences’ w/ somthing no one else is liable to try? Tom_Dietz: Well, usually tried and true stuff, but sometimes going outside the box proves deadly, like at the Championship this past November! lambeau: tell us about that… Tom_Dietz: Those guys deserve a tip of the hat on that pattern! They used small J-mac jigs with rubber trailers to nail 3 fish after being tipped off by walleye anglers, and the weather really slowed the fish down that event. frigid weather Tom_Dietz: frigid! Tom_Dietz: They used a vertical approach and stayed patient sorenson: when on a tournament trail, do find that generally ‘muskie fishing is muskie fishing’ or do you find yourself adapting drastically to local preferances? Tom_Dietz: Great question! A little of both actually, for example, Dave Foor and I adjusted to the Cowgirl phenomenon at vermilion and I boated a nice 44″er on friday and we moved some other nice fish too. Tom_Dietz: My PMTT partner Dave Foor and I will be fishing the events again this Spring, plus we are trying the Webster tourney in may too. Shep: Tom, You have any open water down there yet? Tom_Dietz: Oh yes! Guys are here fishing Caesar’s Creek Lake near Dayton, OH and the Cave! Shep: Caesar’s Creek. Wading, or small boats? Tom_Dietz: Big rigs! Over 3,000 acre impoundment and 110 ft deep sorenson: a reservoir? please elaborate… Shep: Crek. 3000 acre creek. hehehe Tom_Dietz: Yeah this resevoir is FULL of shad and the muskies are really taking off here! We caught 7 in one day last June, and the fish are now in the 40 plus inch class!Shep: This creek, what is in there? Tigers, natural, Leech, Spotted? Tom_Dietz: I have a feature article coming in the next Musky Hunter on the lake, and these are natural Ohio strain muskies, with some Cave Run strain thrown in as well Tom_Dietz: I plan on getting out in a week or two, after I finish readying my rig for the waterlambeau: do you have any boat readying tips you can share with us?Tom_Dietz: Well, you need to check your tires, seals (replacing mine this Spring) change plugs if necessary, and check and/or change your batteries, etc Ballistic: Speaking of open water, what’s your favorite Spring presentation? Tom_Dietz: Well, back in the days of living in Eagle River, I loved site fishing with plastics (jig/creature combo). Now I key on the shallow coves and bays with rattle traps and Super Stalkers, etcsorenson: do you target inlets mainly in the spring? Tom_Dietz: I always key on the solar windows in Spring, and fish skinny water sorenson: so you mainly follow temperature prefs? Tom_Dietz: The bait is drawn to the shallows and the muskies follow…..Yes, I always pay attention to water temp, especially in spring, a few degrees can make all the difference! Ballistic: solar windows? Please explainTom_Dietz: Solar window: The maximum sunlight penetration (usually in the late afternoon) where water temps reach their zenith and the fish are most active Tom_Dietz: If you get off the water in early spring for lunch you could be missing the best bite of the day!sorenson: what’s the water clarity like there? Tom_Dietz: Here in Ohio it is more murky than WI, but Caesar’s Creek has zebra mussels, so it is pretty darn clear!!Tom_Dietz: I also fish Clear Fork lake and Alum Creek here in Ohio Tom_Dietz: I guide anglers on all three reservoirs cincinnati: Tom, have you fished Brookville yet? Tom_Dietz: Nope! Keep hearing good things though! Have to try it some day with DavidShep: 100 ft deep. Is there a suspendo bite?Tom_Dietz: Oh yes! In July/August Shep: What presentation for suspendo’sTom_Dietz: For suspended fish here in mid-summer, we troll the ThermoclineTom_Dietz: Usually Depthraiders, little Ernies, etclambeau: on murkier reservoirs like the Cave, how do you find the clearer water? Tom_Dietz: Well the cave is weird that way….because usually if it is muddy the whole thing is muddy, but I typically fish the main lake under those conditionsESfishOX: bright colored baits in the darker water? Tom_Dietz: Usually, but not always, sometimes dark colo rs Tom_Dietz: I heard of a 50 1/2″ caught at the Cave yesterday! Tom_Dietz: Customer told me about it today at my store in DaytonBallistic: do you find the ‘mudline’ areas where muddy meets clear to sometimes hold fish?Tom_Dietz: Mudlines can be deadly yes! We had a great mudline pattern on the Susquehanna River in PAESfishOX: how do you locate mudlines?Shep: Do you look for mudlines, or just fish them when you come acroos them?Tom_Dietz: They are easy to see with your naked eye, and you fish the edges accordingly lambeau: do you fish along them, through them?Tom_Dietz: Both usually, but for me the edges seemed to be bestBallistic: Do you fish a mudline like structure, or try to find one ON structure?Tom_Dietz: I fish it like structuresorenson: As a person in retail, do you find yourself giving or getting more usable angling onfo? Tom_Dietz: I would say that I give more than I get here in Dayton because a lot of newbies here to the sport (musky fishing) lambeau: how much of your fishing business in Dayton is muskie-related? Tom_Dietz: Less than 10 percent overall, but I was the number one store in the East region in musky salesBallistic: IS there significant growth in the muskie angling there now? Tom_Dietz: Huge growth yes! We have just opened a new Muskies Inc Chapter here ( I am the Prez!) and we have over 50 members already in three months lambeau: you wrote an article educating anglers that muskies don’t eat all the other gamefish in the lakes. is that a common misperception in your area?Tom_Dietz: Oh yes, and it was in Wisconsin too!! Same problem everywhere I think….Its all about education. Muskies are often hated by bass anglers when introduced to a lakeShep: Still that misperception here Tom_Dietz: Caesar’s Creek was no exception here, we have found “floaters” with the gills cut! sorenson: why do you suppose it is that very few people accuse walleyes of eating ‘all the panfish’ when just by sheer numbers they are more likely to have a bigger impact on prey than muskies?Tom_Dietz: Because muskies are easy to blame because they are big with teeth! Thats my theory anyways… Extreme_One: Tom, you mentioned thermocline a while back. How do you fish it when it is a deep thermocline? Tom_Dietz: Well, using line counter reels to pin point the proper depth and remember, a muskie will always come up for a bait, rarely down!Smokin_Joe: What was your best muskie producing lake in Vilas County??????????????? Tom_Dietz: HMMMMM……I have four….But most consistent for me was and is Kentuck Lakefish4musky1: do you ever fish the UP muskie lakes?Tom_Dietz: Yes, Smokey, Stanley, etcTom_Dietz: Never hit Peavey though I heard it was good! Tom_Dietz: hard to get a big rig in there Got_Esox?: Whats the #1 thing you miss about living in WI? (assuming there is at least one) Tom_Dietz: I miss all the numbers and variety of the lakes!!! I miss my close friends up there and watching the Packers every sunday! I miss cheese curds, but I DONT miss the LONG winters!! Extreme_One: Is there anytime you will not fish for them because of water temps? Tom_Dietz: Yes, late July and August here, so I drive up with my kids to Wisconsin the n Tom_Dietz: I try to minimize my time on Ohio lakes then and I bass fish a lot in small lakes and ponds here (night fishing) Tom_Dietz: We get surface temps in the mid to upper 80’s! Got_Esox?: How long were you a sales manager for Mepps??? Tom_Dietz: Two years, covered MN, WI, SD and ND and the UP of Michigan Tom_Dietz: That was just before running Bucher Tackle for 9 years sorenson: All things being equal (which we actually know they’re not), which type of bait would you rather fish with? Tom_Dietz: If I had to pick one lure…bucktail for it’s year round consistency, but you cant beat a surface bait explosion!! Ballistic: Let’s talk late summer and early fall out there, what patterns work for you?Tom_Dietz: Late summer in WI means topwater peak and big fish showing up on the deep weed edges again (late August). Prime time to night fish with Cranks!! Ballistic: What about in Ohio, and Kentucky? The same, or not? Tom_Dietz: Not the same, no, but yet we have about four excellent lakes in OH with trophy fish present, and I LOVE Cave Run! Extreme_One: Cave in October might be great!!! Ballistic: Is there a sucker bite late out there?Tom_Dietz: Cant even buy suckers here unfortunately, but I assure you there is a sucker bite here! Ballistic: Is it regulation, or just no one trying the technique?Tom_Dietz: No one trying it, I wanted to do so last Fall but couldnt find any big suckers around here Ballistic: Interesting, thanks Tom_Dietz: Crash and I had a conversation about them in Nov. at the Cave too, they would be deadly on the deep edges of the FlatsExtreme_One: What do you think of the PMTT lakes and times they are set up to be fished?Tom_Dietz: I think they are good, except I wasnt all that impressed with the Fox Chain (no offense). I am really excited about the Cave Championship though!Tom_Dietz: Cass lake will be a neat body of water too, with huge fish potential Mike_Morse: Tom, assuming you haven’t answered this already tonight……….would you share some of your keys to the ear ly season sight fishing Tom_Dietz: Hi Mike, you could answer that, since I guided you that day and you scored two nice fish in Wisconsin!Tom_Dietz: Sight fishing is deadly in WI and I am seriously thinking about going up there opening weekend for that Tom_Dietz: Steve Worrall is an expert on this technique as well Ballistic: Creatures early, sight fishing, it’s fun Tom_Dietz: Yeah that two week window is critical in early Spring up there Tom_Dietz: It is fun, its like bone fishing the Flats with explosive strikes Mike_Morse: fun is an understatement Ballistic: What type of areas do you target sight fishing, Tom? Tom_Dietz: I look for shallow sandy areas with sparse weed cover and rushes in three feet of water or less Ballistic: South face? Or do you have a preference?Tom_Dietz: Clean bottom is critical for spotting fish, as is a stealthy approach. We have had many multiple fish days up there doing this!Extreme_One: Have you noticed a best time of the day for shallow sight fishing?Tom_Dietz: Yes, back to the solar window thing….usually from about noon to 5pmGot_Esox?: For sight fishing, what “creature or jig” do you suggest. Tom_Dietz: I recommend the Jacks Jig 9/16th ounce swimmer head with a Black Creature Body made by Moore’s Lures Tom_Dietz: Unfortunately Gander doesnt have this, but Guide’s Choice or Rollies does…. Tom_Dietz: my ultimate favorite on these shallow fishTom_Dietz: But, I have caught ’em on 5″ black Reapers with a stand up head toolambeau: do you cast to the fish directly, near them, or past and work towards them? Tom_Dietz: You cast slightly ahead of them and beyond them and scurry the bait along the bottom, and HOLD ON!Tom_Dietz: These fish are unbelievably aggressive in this warm shallow waterlambeau: how do you avoid spooking fish with your movement? Tom_Dietz: Well its all about proper boat positioning and having great quality polaroids to see the fish before they see you. Sunny days are the best obviouslyGot_Esox?: Would a push pole be an advantage or does the trolling motor not spook them? Tom_Dietz: Push pole would work but you couldnt cover water fast enoughsorenson: does it even matter if they see you? even out here (tigers), I can get pretty close in the spring w/o them spooking. Tom_Dietz: Many times they see you but if you are careful you can still catch ’em!Extreme_One: Whats your rod set up like? Flipping stick style or ? Tom_Dietz: I use a 7′ St. Croix Avid with 80lb Spectron and 7-strand leaderssorenson: ever try suspending swimbaits? (under those conditions) Tom_Dietz: Not for the Shallow fish, I do not know why, but they just do not eat traditional baits way up shallow, trust me, I have tried ’em all, but the jig is the bestBallistic: moves as slow as you wantTom_Dietz: yep and for some reason the muskies think it is a crawdad or something and they inhale them!Tom_Dietz: Mike Morse can vouch for thatMike_Morse: YES i cansorenson: seems odd that it’s the only time they’ll seemingly move down to a bait..Tom_Dietz: yes I agree, but remember we aretalking less than three feet deepBallistic: fun watching a muskie ‘stalk’ a jig… Tom_Dietz: you are right! Gets the heart pounding! I had a HUGE fish stalk me on Smokey one year but couldn’t trigger her Extreme_One: Do you work the jig fast at first and then adapt if they don’t go for it? Ballistic: Tom, do you guide out there at all?Tom_Dietz: Yes! I had a 60 plus percent success rate last year Ballistic: How would someone wanting to book you reach you? Tom_Dietz: I guide on Caesars Creek, Clear Fork and Alum Creek lakes Tom_Dietz: The best guide dates here are April/May and OctoberTom_Dietz: go to my web site at www.tomdietz.com and all of the info is on thereBallistic: MuskieFIRST thanks Tom Dietz for an excellent hour of Muskie conversation, thanks, sir! Tom_Dietz: Thank you!!!!!!!!! Good luck this season everyone! sorenson: This has been one of the most educational chats I’ve ever participated in – Thanks Tom! Shep: Good job Tom. Lot’s of good info Tom_Dietz: thank you all!