Chat with Lake of the Woods Muskie Guide Frank Walsh
Feb 28th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Feb 28th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
Steve_Worrall: Frank, welcome to MuskieFIRST’s chat room, let the questions begin! nwild: Frank, How many new entries to the 50 club last year muskyboy: Frank, what is the heaviest fish you have heard of from LOTW the last couple of years? Steve Crook tuffy1: Frank, can you help Slamr catch fish Steve_Jonesi: Why is red/copper so hot up there Steve_Jonesi: Any other idiosyncrasies? Frank_Walsh: (19) 50″+ were turned in by customers last season. Not counting Pearson who I know got a 53″ or me. tuffy1: what part of LOTW are you on? Frank_Walsh: Muskyboy…I’m really not sure. nwild: When I was there last year it was a huge bucktail/topwater bite, is that pretty typical for July? ESOX_Maniac: What time of day is prime for a +50 on LOTW? captain_frank: what is your favorite way to fish for them Frank_Walsh: One reason copper/red is so productive is we use it a lot. While the water is clear, natural colors are typically more productive. Frank_Walsh: Norm. Pretty typical, but more so last July. Could also be that’s what worked, so we kept doing it. The proverbial Catch 22. sledge51: What are your most productive topwaters? Frank_Walsh: Tuffy, we are on Oak Island, in the Northwest Angle. Frank_Walsh: Prime time for me is typically the last hour of sunlight, until dark-30 muskyboy: How many of the 50’s came from slop/shallow water < 3 ft? Frank_Walsh: Most productive top water by far is the Top Raider. Followed by the Crackpot. Steve_Worrall: Is there a ‘best time’ of the season there? Steve_Jonesi: How was the late fall trolling bite this year muskydr: How long have you been there Frank on lotw? What was the pressure like say 10 , or 20 years ago? Frank_Walsh: Best time of the season, assuming no one else was here, would be the middle two weeks in July. I like the first and last week. Just about as prime, and way less pressure. ESOX_Maniac: Do you fish after dark-30? or is it too dangerous? Frank_Walsh: Muskyboy, since I was not with all of the guys catching the 50’s, I cannot say. I would say the about 1/3 of the ones I was around came from less that 3 ft. tuffy1: Is it more a rock or weed bite in July? Slamr: Frank is there a distinctive pattern for BIG fish versus numbers? nwild: Frank, at the Chicago show it looked like you were a Raider fan, why do you bet on the Bears? Steve_Jonesi: Cause he’s from CHICAGO originally!!!!! Frank_Walsh: I have fished past dark thirty with minimal results. The moisquitoes just about eat you alive. I would not be afraid to, but with it getting dark at 11:00, and sun up before 5:00, not much time. muskyboy: What has it been like in September and early October before ice up? Steve_Jonesi: Frank, How about the early morning bite. Some say don’t bother . Any thoughts? Steve_Jonesi: Oh yes.I’m now a Raiders fan too!!!! Frank_Walsh: July would be more of a rock bite for me. I tend to fish rocks, with or without small weed patched at that time. I’ll usually move into the larger weedbeds a little later in the season. Steve_Jonesi: Yes? Frank_Walsh: A lot of Raider fans out there. One even tried to tear the shirt off someone in the booth! Oneida_Esox: HAHAHAHAH LOL, I didn’t notice dcates: I’ll be making my first LOTW trip (the angle) in July. Beyond guides, map study, and a decent place to stay, what do you recommend? tuffy1: bug repellentcaptain_frank: whats your most productive way of fishing? Frank_Walsh: Early morning typically does not see much action people wise. A good reason may be the long day. I think it is a very much overlooked tactic. Good for beating pressure. Frank_Walsh: Early morning also good for avoiding the bloom that does not germinate before the sun gets warm. Oneida_Esox: WE had excellent success early morning last July muskydr: Frank do you wear gloves when you fish? MNesox: what is the farthest east people have gone from your resort for muskies in a day? MCR: When is a good time to book a fall trolling trip? Frank_Walsh: dcates, only use marked maps as a guide what to look for. Finding, and picking apart your own structure , ala Stellflue/Roberts can pay off big. ESOX_Maniac: When do you switch from natural to gaudy colors? Frank_Walsh: I only wear gloves in late October, and only on a cold day. muskydr: gotcha Franky, catch that Oneida? Frank_Walsh: Furthesr east would be about the Basil Channel. nwild: What is the number one structure type for the BIG fish during the summer, reefs, points, saddles, or is it a toss up Frank_Walsh: Start switching from natural to bright colors in July as the water darkens. And/or when natural is not productive. Fred_J: Frank….any idea on what the water levels might be like this year Frank_Walsh: MCR, the last two weeks of October, getting into November should be prime for trolling. Steve_Worrall: Do many anglers troll during the summer? Steve_Jonesi: What about casting and live bait during late season or are these low% techniques then Frank_Walsh: My guy feeling is that we will se a normal year water level wise. We have a lot of snow on the ground, and quite a bit south of here that will make it’s way to the lake. Of course, all up to mom natu. muskydr: Frank what is your website addy? dcates: What about live bait anytime? Heiting’s DVD makes a good case for early season use. Frank_Walsh: Very little trolling that I’m aware of in the summer. Maybe a bit between spots. ESOX_Maniac: If you had to pick one lure to fish with all day, what would it be? Color? Frank_Walsh: Not much goes on here with live bait in the fall. A bit hard to come by, and trolling is typically so productive. Covers quite a bit of water. dcates: What is the primary forage in summer? muskyboy: Late September into Early October, would you still cast or would trolling be more productive? Frank_Walsh: One lure all day, no regard to structure and water temp…ten inch firetiger Believer. Steve_Jonesi: I woul imagine water temps dictate a lot . True? MCR: Frank, how do you get the internet on an island in the middle of nowhere? Frank_Walsh: muskyboy. Probably both. My gut would say casting for bigger fish, and trolling for the 40 something males. Frank_Walsh: MCR…Not just internet, but fiber optic DSL Steve_Jonesi: sweet ESOX_Maniac: tooooo sweet- I can’t get that here! //10 Fred_J: indoor plumbing too! MNesox: have you seen a tapering off of the october trolling bite the last few years? compared to 99-00 Steve_Jonesi: and biiiig muskies Frank_Walsh: I would assume live bait would be effective earlier in the season. Especially during cold front conditions. Almost have to be pick a spot or two type of thing. ESOX_Maniac: Do you fish the deep water off known structure, i.e., reefs, points, etc? muskyboy: What is the biggest musky you have seen in the NW Angle? muskyboy: Do you have chubs or suckers in camp at anytime during the season for us? Frank_Walsh: MNesox, I dont think there has been a major reduction. When we look at the tremendous sucess of 99, you have to look at the area that was so hot. It really has never come back to those levels there. MNesox: thanks for the info Frank_Walsh: Esox_maniac. Absolutely! But more so in late August, through the fall. nwild: How much does it pay to avoid pressure, or would I just be wasting gas looking for my own areas Frank_Walsh: We have has musky suckers at camp in the fall, and usually end up throwing them away. Just no demand, However, we will get them for someone if the request them. Steve_Worrall tells you: what is with everyone getting booted, any ideas/ muskyboy: Thanks that is good to know Frank_Walsh: Norm. Pressure is not always a matter or distance. I have has guys who did not know better, smoke a camp full of “Big Guns”, and burn half a gallon of gas to do so. Ask Roberts! Steve_Worrall: Frank, what guides work out of your camp? nwild: I got a nice one in view of camp one night, but it is nice to be by yourself Frank_Walsh: Pearson. Doug Johnson and Danny Gibbins do as well. Treblebuster: I’m late. Fred_J: and Frank himself Treblebuster: Frank, what worked well for you this year. I fish the Kenora area and for me, it was deffently speed trolling ESOX_Maniac: What’s typical guide day cost? Not including the tip. Steve_Worrall: What does one need to do to book a guide and lodging with you? muskyboy: How far do you venture from camp? When I fished with Dick we went 100 miles a day! Frank_Walsh: Most quality musky guides are $250-$300 plus fuel Frank_Walsh: Distance is a responce to what’s happening. Some days 5 miles, some 75 miles. Remember a big chunk of the 50’s caught here are within 2 miles. nwild: As the Summer goes on do the fish start using secondary structure more to avoid pressure, or does the expanse of water on LOTW tend to cure pressure Frank_Walsh: Steve, A person should contact us via phone or e-mail to check availability. Opener through August dries up very fast. Steve_Worrall: Phone number? iowamusky: Frank, Is it acceptable to use hand held gps to put in icons when with a guide to remember the good spots? Steve_Worrall: email address? MCR: Should August be avoided up there or can you still catch them? Slamr: Frank, fish fighting question: rod to the side, or straight back over the shoulder? Frank_Walsh: Norm, Great comment. We there is unusual pressure the fish will move to secondary structure in a few days, and further in a few more. I have always felt if it’s not on this rock, must be the next one. Treblebuster: Frank, did you fish just before ice up in November. I was out on 9th through 14th and did not see even a pike. Just could not figure out the pattern. How about you? ESOX_Maniac: I want to set my budget for a week at your camp- What’s rough average cost for a week- w/my boat (not including fuel)? What about your boats? Also not to include poker loss’s or betting on Packers. Frank_Walsh: MCR… August should not be avoided. Fish are still here. Frequency typically not as good, but I have seen some awesome August trips. Just ask Dale Hurd. Would take more space for an explanation. Treblebuster: August was great for me this year on LOTW Frank_Walsh: Lodging $240 pp, per week. No docking charge. Boats $600 per week. ESOX_Maniac: thanksTreblebuster: Thats not bad at all! Never fished that part of LOTW’S yet. Might check you guys out Frank_Walsh: August can be great, can also be tough. Mostly up to mother nature. Great part is zero pressure. MCR: How long have you had Baystore Camp? Frank_Walsh: This is our tenth season. Oneida_Esox: I got kicked off for keeping my mouth shut!!!! that has never happened to me before. nwild: lol Treblebuster: Frank, did you see my November question? Steve_Worrall: OE, funny! MCR: Thanks Frank, by Frank_Walsh: With the lake freezing quickly, I did not fish at all in November. However, there is a point when the baitfish deal is all over, and the fish become very hard to target. Sounds like you were there. nwild: where is the next resort cluster to the east? dcates: What shows will you be attending if someone wants to talk with you in person about booking a trip? Treblebuster: Yes I was, Big time!!! ESOX_Maniac: I run a 17′ 6″ Skeeter bass boat- is it easy to find safe fishing if the wind is up & still be able to get back & forth to camp? buckeyesfan entered the room. Frank_Walsh: Resort cluster???? Spruce camp is 10 miles to the east. Otherwise, I would guess the MIles Bay area. Out of my daily travels. Slamr: Its 9PM Central, MuskieFIRST would like to give a big thanks to Frank of Walsh’s Bay Store Camp! Thanks Frank, would love to see you in here again dcates: Thank you. Steve_Worrall: Frank, thank you. Stay warm up there! muskyboy: I need to watch the Blackhawks lose on the road now! nwild: Thanks Frank, see you in July!! Oneida_Esox: Hey guys, I just want to say that I was in Canada one time and it was at Frank’s place, the next time I got back it will be there!!! thanks Frank Frank_Walsh: The only show we do is the Chicago Musky show. We are way too bust Ice fishing for me to leave during the show season. nwild: I am with John, top notch camp and guy. Frank_Walsh: Cool guys…..Thanks!