2009 MuskieFIRST Online Seminar; Doug Johnson
Mar 18th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Mar 18th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
Slamr: MuskieFIRST Welcomes back to the chat room legendaryguide Doug Johnson. Thanks for joiningus Doug!
Mr_Musky: How are things in Warroad tonight ?
Slamr: Please allow the questions to flow to Doug
caveman: how is lotw looking for the 09 season
dougj: Well, I guess I really don’t know I’m in
MuskieMike: Have you been able to pre fish any of the newOkuma rods or reels ? and if so what do you think about them?
dougj: From what I can see the lake will be high, with sortof a late ice out.
bignoise: there is still 3 feet of ice on lotw
Mr_Musky: Has the invasion of the “double tens”also changed your success rate on LOTW?
dougj: Just got three Okuma rods today to try out, look verynice
Mr_Musky: or shall I say have they led to more fish in yourboat?
dougj: Yes, we do well on DCGs on the LOTWs.
suicknut: On LOTW when do you focus mainly on muskies?
Targa01: Doug, Do you ever try summer time structuretrolling on LOTW or any open water trolling?
dougj: Lots of fish on figure-8’s
Mr_Musky: Is Rainbow still your fav color?
dougj: I’ve done some open water trolling, but without muchluck.
djwilliams: I hear so much about algae bloom on LOTW- Whereand when can I absolutely avoid it in the summer?
dougj: Silver blade and rainbow is good!
Mr_Musky: good to hear!
bignoise: doug the fall trolling was tough did it have anything do to the shiners run
dougj: Algae usually start in last August, but lsst year indidn’t for some reason, and fishing was good though most of Sept.
Mr_Musky: Do you spend alot of time in the
dougj: I fish lots ofareas including the
dougj: I don’t spend a lots of time there, but go through itoften.
dougj: There’s lots of places to fish there.
Targa01: Is there any particular reason why you might fish asection of the lake such as the
dougj: Usually start shallow and go deeper as the seasonmove on. Lots of areas that hold fish.
Slamr: what is the deepest you’ll fish during the season?
Targa01: Does water clarity play a role throughout theseason as to where you begin picking your spots?
Vonbuelo: Are there many weedbeds left around the Angle? Orhave the Rusties got them all?
dougj: There are fish in lots of other places then the
dougj: There’s still some, but they are much harder to find.
Mr_Musky: Do you think it was the late ice out/spring thatcaused that two week nightmare at the beginning of last July or do you feel itwas weather related with the huge drop in water temps so fast?
dougj: Worried about future reproduction if this doesn’tchange.
dougj: I think it was weather related, the ice has gone offlater than last years lots of times.
Vonbuelo: Could the late iceout, dropping watertemperatures, affected the spawn? Which screwed up the fishing?
djwilliams: Doug, if a guy was going to come up to LOTW forthe first time in July, didn’t want to make long trips each day, on a budget,what part of lake would you suggest he start?
dougj: The angle or the Mosron area
Targa01: So what was the big producer this past fall? 10″ Jakes?
dougj: That’s Morson
dougj: 10″ jake as usual.
dougj: Did well on firebelly.
Len: Ever do any fishing on
muskyboy: What big plugs do you like to troll late season inaddition to Jakes?
dougj: Nope, From what I hear not many muskie in Shoal.
Mr_Musky: Doug, trolling with your Triton how do you handlenot getting nervous trolling within a rod length or two of rocks all day!!! Do surprises ever come up or do you haveeverything GPS”d in pretty good?
dougj: I use Grandma, Believers, stalkers, and a fewothers.
dougj: Do’nt use GPS for trolling, just been doing it for 30years.
dougj: I do get surprised at times when in new water.
Mr_Musky: and there’s plenty of rocks!
lambeau: have you run the 13″-14″ cranks trollingin the fall? any difference in outcome compared to the 10″ers in numbersand/or size of fish?
dougj: If I’m trying a new run the first time through I goslow and try and remember where the rocks are.
Targa01: GPS helped us some with the learning curve but itdoesn’t update fast enough.. Doesn’t make up for experience!
Vonbuelo: What software do you like for your GPS?
Len: What kind of reels are you using for this upcomingseason
Mr_Musky: Do you try to add new water to your arsenal eachyear even after 40 years up there?
dougj: Lambeau: I do the big stuff some, usually in the middle,and they catch fish, but not any more than the 10″ as far as I can tell.
bignoise: what new lure will u try this year
dougj: I use Navionics mostly, but also C-Map. not much difference.
Targa01: Was there any predominant pattern or lurepreference last year?
dougj: Probably a different color DCG!
muskyfvr: What kind of structure do you target when trollingin the fall, reefs, sand bars, etc.?
dougj: I troll shore line, usually as close to shore as Ican get and stay in around 10′ or so or water. I troll structure.
dougj: The bigger the area I can troll and stay near mainchannels and big open areas the better I do
Mr_Musky: why is it that the early morning period neverseems to be very good during the summer?
Targa01: How does big winds affect fish location when falltrolling?
dougj: I look for area that hold tullibees and areas wherethey spawn.
weedsweeper: How often do you drag weeds when trolling closeto structure
dougj: Very seldom. Not many weed where we troll.
Vonbuelo: What type of structure do tullibee spawn in?
Len: How would you know where tulibees actually spawn?
dougj: Usually rocky or gravel areas.
dougj: Biggest thing is to start out in areas where theyspend their summers. Waters over 25′ deep.
weedsweeper: Do you used any of the new swimbaits?
Mr_Musky: Do you see increases in your catch rate and sizearound the moon phases?
Vonbuelo: Ever troll deeper than 10 feet of water?
dougj: The last couple of year we mostly been using theDCG’s
weedsweeper: Do you find the swimbaits have any betteraction than a good action lipped crank?
dougj: 10″ is not a hard and fast rule, it can varygreatly. Most fish are caught with in a range of 7′ to 20′.
Top_H20: Doug, I’ve fished around
dougj: I don’t go back and forth very often, mostly stay atthe Angle during the summer.
muskyfvr: What speeds do you troll in fall verses summer
dougj: I fish with Jack Burns a lot out of Morson and we dowell in September in that area.
Mr_Musky: Has the “early morning” timeframe beenproductive for you during the summer? Wehave struggled until the sun has been up for awhile so im curious.
leo: ever head up to the
dougj: I usually don’t troll much during the summer, as it’scasting time. Fall trolling is usually around 4 M PH.
djwilliams: Is Morson area/LOTW like the Boundary Waters-rocks just under surface near deeper water? Saw Winkelman on TV lose his lower unit. Gotta be careful everywhere? First trip guide needed (?)
dougj: Yes, the LOTWs is has lots of reefs, just under thewater.
dougj: Just go slow if you don’t quite know where you are.Watch your map carefully and know where you are on the map.
djwilliams: For a lake that big they must make many different nav maps-handheld- what do yourecommend?
lambeau: what are some of your general strategies for earlyin the year? (opener – July 4th?)
dougj: Don’t entirely trust you GPS either.
Top_H20: How thick is the ice now ? will spring be like lastyear ?( late)
dougj: I usually fish where the fish have spawned, butdepending on Water temps and ice out that may change.
dougj: It doesn’t take long to find out where the fish are.
djwilliams: Any specific paper map you’d recommend?
dougj: On warm springs I’ve seen fish a long ways fromspawning areas at opener, I’ve also seen fishing spawning at times. Every yearis a little different.
dougj: Get the Canadian hydrographic. better detail that allthe others.
dougj: 6216 for the Angle
dougj: I’d just like to give the guys at Muskiefirst a bigthanks for all the help they did with OMII. There 20 Vets who are smiling!
bignoise: thanks Doug wish u were up here shoveling all thesnow with me
Targa01: Very kind of everyone involved… a great thing
AJ: just wondering, when do you think iceout will be onlotw?
AJ: just a good guess is all I need
dougj: I would guess second week of May.
Cowboyhannah: Doug—How do NW Angle and Sab. bay (Morson)compare…Fished out of Red Wing and liked the area, but have heard a lot aboutthe angle.
AJ: thanks doug
Cowboyhannah: driving from WI so Morson closer
lambeau: it seemed there was a dominant mid-upper 30″syear-class up there last summer. what are your thoughts on the health of thefishery and natural reproduction prospects going forward?
dougj: They are similar. Right now I think there’s lesspressure out of Morson.
dougj: I think the fishery is in pretty good shape. Hopemother nature keeps it up. A little worried about the lack of weed growth orfuture.
muskyboy: We have July and September outings on LOTW and ourmembers do great!
dougj: Also lots of 44-47″ fish.
lambeau: there was poor weed growth in many areas south ofthe border last year due to the cold spring. was that the case on LotW, or isit a water level issue? crayfish? what’s causing the weed reduction?
dougj: And a fair number of 50″ fish.
dougj: Rusty’s are the problem.
dougj: Just came to the Angle around 6-7 years ago, and theyhave done lots of damage,
dougj: From what I read they boom and bust, so I’m hopingthey bust soon.
JRedig: You’d think if the rusties eat all the weeds, they’ddie off too then…what else do they eat?
Pointer: could become cyclical
Mr_Musky: With the high water this past spring there wasmore weeds then there has been in a long time do you agree?
Pointer: boom, eat out of house and home, die of, weeds growback, boom of rusties again
dougj: They eat what ever is available from what I hear.Just go to a shore lunch spot and look where they throw the remains forcleaning the fish.
Top_H20: They will bust… they will eat themselves out offood and die off sooner or later
dougj: Yes, high water is good for weed growth.
Pointer: they haven’t busted on Pelican yet from what I’veseen
dougj: Yes, I’m not sure they will on the LOTWs either. Justtoo many spots for them to be.
Targa01: Thanks Doug! Maybe run into you on the lakelate October/November this year!