2009 MuskieFIRST Online Seminar; Doug Johnson

Category: chat

 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!

Doug With A Southern Muskie

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  Tennessee

Mr_Musky: Nice!

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 Narrowsin July or do you try to avoid that area?

 dougj: I fish lots ofareas including the Narrows

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 Narrows versusothers?

Seasonal thing?

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 Narrows

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 Shoal Lake?

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.

Mr_Musky: Nice!

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?

dougj: Some.

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 Hansons King Islandand really liked it, but  my buddys and Iwill be fishing in Sept. out of Mylies Resort (thanks Operation Muskie) Sooo…how is the fishing in this area ?

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.

Top_H20: Thanks

leo: ever head up to the winnipegdoug?

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!


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