An Hour With Doug Johnson, 2010 Online Seminar
Feb 16th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Feb 16th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
Slamr: MuskieFIRST Welcomes back to the chat room – Doug Johnson, legendary guide of Lake of the Woods! Thanks for joining us Doug!
dougj: Hi folks! Fire away!
dtaijo174: For someone who has never fished LOTW, what end of the lake would you recommend? What types of structure would you target for summer
leech_lake_strain: doug j, do you find that you use any topwater in somewhat windy conditons and if so what type and why?
Slamr: please let Doug catch up a little!
dougj: I guide in the NW Angle, but fish a lot in the Morson area also, both good areas. I guess in the dark water areas, weeds early than moving to rocks later
Slamr: Of all the questions that you get from clients every year, what is the most important question you think needs answered about LOTWs?
Sue_Worrall: Any comments on soft plastics versus topwater versus spinner baits
Magnum: What are some of your best baits and colors
leech_lake_strain: do you use any topwater in the wind and if so explain alittle why
muskyboy: what soft plastic does best on the woods
dougj: The most common question is how do you fine your way around without hitting a rock!
dougj: Don’t use many top waters in wind. Mostly because I don’t have any confidense in them when it’s windy.
dougj: I really don’t use much in the way of soft plastics, I’ve caught a few on bulldogs.
Almost-B-Good: Doug, how many 50# muskies have you seen in all you years fishing, how many hit? Did you catch any?
dougj: I doubt that I’ve really seen a 50lb muskie on the LOTWs, biggest I’ve had is 56″ and I don’t think is was a 50.
dougj: Right now most of the fish we catch are on DCG’s.
dougj: A very high % on figure-8’s
KC: Do you burn DCGs or slow roll or both
pondigger: Doug…..what reels have held up the best for the cowgirls?…..ty
dougj: Still catch a fair number on spinnerbaits and jerks, but the past three-four years the D-10s ruled.
jdsplasher: How does the upcoming year classes of musky look on LOTW?
dougj: I use 7000’s a 975 Penns.
dougj: JD, I think that we’re still O.K. on year classes. I still get little ones, and it looks like there’s lots of year classes. I’m a little worried about reproduction with the missing weed beds.
1roofmusky: What rod action and length do you like best for big blades?
pmb: What month do you catch the highest amount of muskies on LOTW?
leech_lake_strain: do you pattern alot of fish
dougj: I’m using the EX heavy Okuma 8′-6″ and 9′-3″ rods, seem to work well.
dougj: Usually July is peak for casting and October for trolling. Last year July was slow,
1roofmusky: Do you troll LOTW any time of the season other than Fall?
Sue_Worrall: what color DCG do you find works better or best?
dougj: Yes, I do some, and it works year round, but it’s better in the fall when the tullibees spawn.
pondigger: Doug…..is the majority of your fishing structure related?……is there an open water bite on LOTW?
jdsplasher: Doug; The last 3 years or so it seems like the weed beds have been decimated. Is it due to the large rusty crayfish up there?
dougj: I like the rainbow, with silver blades, and the green with chartreuse blades, but I’ve caught fish on lots of different colors.
Pearson_Plugs: What about jerk baits doug
Lars: After DCG’s, what is the next lure you use?
dougj: Yes, I think that’s what’s happening. Lots of missing weed beds and lots of rustys.
dougj: If we get a warm July I use lots of topwater. Always catch some fish on Suicks and bobbies. Big spinnerbaits work.
Almost-B-Good: Doug, do you notice a higher percentage of fish hitting in figure 8’s on cloudy or windy or rainy days verses sunny and calm days?
dougj: In the fall I’ll throw Jakes and believers.
dougj: Seems like you can catch LOTWs fish on figure-8’s on every kind of day.
pmb: what is your favorite topwater to throw?
dougj: The big double-10’s are great figure-8 lures.
mostlymuskies: One of my clients said you tore him down tossing 10″ Jakes a few years back.
leech_lake_strain: if you could average it how many fish do you see such as a follow before hooking one
dougj: I like topraiders, rumblers, headbangers, and others.
dougj: It varies, but sort of a rule of thumb is 10 follow for each fish boated. That seems to have inproved some with the DCG’s.
Slamr: what is the number one innovation or technology that you’ve seen in the past 25 years that has changed fishing the most?
casting55: do you use dc10 much, or mainly tinsel 10
dougj: There’s lots of things. Boats, GPS, the super braids, the lure selection we have, the internet, and much more.
dougj: Mainly tinsel.
Lars: What is you favorite type of structure for targeting muskies?
mostlymuskies: Do you catch more fish in current area’s during algae bloom?
dougj: Sort of depends on the time of year. early it’s bays, later it’s reefs and points, and the fall it’s trolling shoreline.
Chuck: What are the most important things to do while trolling in the Fall
casting55: do you have spots you fish no matter what time of year because they are soo great
dougj: Not really, current area get algae just like other areas, the wind will clean out areas and you look for clean spots.
jdsplasher: Do you find that you get bigger musky trolling at slower speeds under 4mph or faster than 4.3mph?
dougj: Yes, there are spots that I fish year round.
dougj: I get most of my fish trolling at somewhere between 3.5-4 MPH, that varies some just by where you are.
KC: year around spots – what makes them hold muskies all year?
casting55: do you live out of a lodge when in Canada, if so what or which ones
dougj: Usually it’s a big area with lots of different type of structure available.
bigguy: how is Tennessee fishing so far this year?
1roofmusky: How was the biggest fish to visit your boat caught? Casting or trolling? And on what lure?
dougj: Usually along a main channel or near open water.
dougj: Biggest fish was caught trolling on a jailbird Jake.
Almost-B-Good: Doug, have you had much success fishing before 6:00 AM? If so, is there a better time of year for that?
dougj: I would guess that of the 10 biggest fish in the boat seven where caught trolling.
missourimuskyhunter: Doug, what do you see different between a natural born fish in Canada compared to a stocked fish say in Tennessee?
dougj: I usually don’t fish real early, getting to old for that. But when I did is was better early when water temps where high.
jdsplasher: How many 50’s did you boat in 09? Is that up or down from 08?
sorno: Would you guess that the enhanced number of big fish caught trolling is more of a speed issue or just a matter of being able to keep them wet more?
dougj: Yes, there does seem to be some differences, but it may be due to the environment rather than differences in the fish.
Bubbatn: what is the biggest thing you notice about TN fish rather than fish on LOTW?
dougj: I ended up with 8 50’s last year, I think we had 6 the year before.
lambeau: Doug…how did you like the Krave compared to the Jake for trolling?
mostlymuskies: that is a good year for 50’s
dougj: The Tn fish don’t seem to follow as much, and don’t stick around as long on a figure-8. Otherwise pretty much muskies.
Bubbatn: do you notice that if they do follow, that they follow deeper? or come out of nowhere beside the boat?
dougj: I did well on the Krave, but I’m not sure they are any better or worse than a Jake. They work well.
Slamr: what is the ONE thing you would suggest to all NEWBIE muskiefisherman?
dougj: They do both. I’just caught one the other day that acted just like a LOTWs muskie. Followed high, went around about six times and finally ate.
mostlymuskies: Every use any legend perch baits up north?
dougj: Learn one body of water well.
dougj: I don’t think so, although I’ve used so many lures, I sometimes forget.
Almost-B-Good: Doug, do you try to stay away from pressured areas, or do you just fish spots no matter even if they have just been fished by other boats?
dougj: There’s lots of spots on the LOTWs, about the worse thing you can do is to get someones marked map. You can be sure you’ll have lots of company.
Slamr: whats your take on big lure = big fish?
dougj: Yes, I think that’s true.
Almost-B-Good: Doug, do you use the 13″ Jakes and Believers? Have they ever outfished the 10″ versions?
dougj: Some of the problems with some trolling lures is that they snag too easily. Not sure about Plows and legends.
dougj: I’ve used them, but haven’t noticed any difference in catch rates or size.
Jeremy_Truedson: so dougj, do you have any experience trolling the 2lb bull dawgs?
mostlymuskies: Do you use a fuorocarbon leader when trolling?
dougj: The big lures seem to run deeper, and seem to snag more, not quite as bouyant.
pmb: Do you use strictly cowgirls or do you ever use other kinds of double 10s?
dougj: I usually don’t troll anything that sinks.
dougj: Yes, I use lots of things that have D-10 blades, they all seem to work.
Jeremy_Truedson: ever go to anything bigger than the number 10s? say 13s?
Slamr: 7 more minutes to go, don’t be shy with your questions!
Chuck: Florocarbon leader for trolling? and what kind of line for trolling?
dougj: Yes, I use 13’s also. Again haven’t seen any difference in catch rates or size.
Jeremy_Truedson: have you noticed bigger fish on the 13s compared to 10s?
lambeau: Doug, what are you plans for guiding this year? are you going to maintain a full schedule again or start to “retire” a little bit?
missourimuskyhunter: Fished LoTW’s last July for the first time with a great topwater bite, but how late in the year on that body of water have you had success with topwater?
mosdef: Do you use any live bait presentations in the fall?
dougj: I use 19 strand 130lb test steel 48″ for trolling, and 100 lb stealth.
musky_feltcher: Doug, do you have your captain’s license?
1roofmusky: Have you been mentoring anyone to fill your throne when you retire?
dougj: Might slow down a little, but still want to fish as much. Lost a real good fishing
partner last week so that will change a few things.
dougj: Yes, we’ve had to have them on the LOTWs for ever.
mostlymuskies: Doug over all these years I have always wanted to get out your way and spend a few days fishing with you, out of August or September what month would be best?
dougj: Early to mid August is good, but later than that you may hit an algae bloom.
Lars: Any last words of advice?
dougj: We don’t do any live bait up here. it’s one line only and you can’t bring live bait into Canada.
Slamr: Last questions for Doug?
mostlymuskies: Ok,I’ll check my book and try to book with you for early August later this week,I’ll bring along Dave Martin if he can get away.
dougj: Yes, fish hard, “Catch a big one and let it go. Let them all go.”
Almost-B-Good: Doug, do you notice a difference between the 9″ and 10″ Suicks as far as how much action you get from the fish?
dougj: Not really, I use almost all 10: now, but used 9″ for years and they worked also.
sworrall: thanks Doug for all the great info!
Slamr: MuskieFIRST Thanks Doug Johnson for another great chat session! Insightful as always!