At The Manitou Weather Station
The King of the Lower Manitou
Lake Trout Fishing
Muskie Fishing Manitou Lake
Lower Manitou Lake has terrific trophy muskie fishing. Being a large lake with such diverse structure, the legendary muskie can be found everywhere in good numbers and sizes. Like any really good muskie lake found in Northwestern Ontario, muskie are caught in many different sizes from small to gigantic monsters. With muskie of all sizes being caught, we know that they are breeding naturally which tells you that the conditions are perfect for them to flourish.
The most common sizes of muskie being caught are in the 25-40″ range. Guests who specifically come to Lower Manitou for muskie and spend much of their time hunting them will catch muskie in the 41-46″ range. On occasion, muskie over 50 inches are caught and often sighted. Over the last few years, there have been fish in the 50-55″ range either caught or brought up to the boat on follows. Lower Manitou Lake gets such little fishing pressure that it’s impossible to tell how many large trophies are in the lake.
Muskie bite well in cold windy weather or hot sunny weather. As long as the weather stays consistent, the muskie are feeding. When the pressure is rising, they can start feeding like crazy for a short time; when the pressure is dropping. Since Lower Manitou Lake is west of the Great Lakes, we don’t get the weird weather patterns as often, thus our muskie fishing is more consistent than usual.
Here on Lower Manitou Lake, the Muskie fishing is outstanding from late June right through to November when the cisco spawn. The season starts the third Saturday in June.
Ontario Government Biologists have designated Lower Manitou Lake as a top Trophy Muskie Lake. Biologists feel that there are muskie of unbelievable sizes down deep feeding on Lake Trout and following schools of cisco. They also feel that Lower Manitou is one of ten lakes in Northwestern Ontario that could produce a new world record.
Muskie Fishing Tips
How to Catch Muskie:
Muskie, also called the Muskellunge and also spelled “Musky”, is an apex predator and feared by all other fish in the lake. They have a ferocious appetite and a competitive attitude, which makes them amazing fish to catch. Having the reputation of being a big tough fish means there is also a lot of folklore surrounding them. You may have heard that you have to troll really fast and use really big lures to catch them. This is not always true.
Trolling Speed for Muskie:
Muskie hunters find success trolling faster than they would for Walleye, but there is a limit. A good Walleye speed is around 1.5-miles per hour. Many people fishing for Muskie will troll as fast as 10-miles per hour, but the prime speed is between 4 and 6-miles per hour. You will catch Muskie trolling really fast and generally the really big Muskie hit the faster baits, but trolling at a slower speed enables you to catch Muskie of all sizes.
Size of Muskie Lures:
Traditional folklore also tells people new to Muskie fishing that you have to use really big lures. The truth is Muskie will hit any size lure. Tons of big Muskie get caught on little jigs used by Walleye fishermen. People trolling with both small, medium and big lures catch Muskie . The size of the lure should be based on the amount of weeds in the area or the depth you want to fish at. Lower Manitou is a clear lake and not choked with weeds so you can use bigger lures if you want. At the same time, being a clear lake, smaller lures have higher visibility thus you do not have to use big lures. The choice is up to you as it really does not matter. Muskie on Lower Manitou are hungry and hit everything.
In open water, try trolling with bigger lures. The most popular big trolling lures for Muskie are Willy Lures, Ziggy Lures, Swim Wizzes, large spinner baits or long shallow-running Rapalas. Perch-color and Fire-Tiger are good during the day and red seems to be good in the evening. There are many different colors and some anglers find unique color combinations that work well. In a lake with a high Smallmouth Bass population like Lower Manitou, try using brown or green colored lures.
When in weeds it’s better to use smaller lures. 5 or 6-inch Original Floating Rapalas (the skinny ones) or Thundersticks work well. The jointed J-11 Rapalas are also an excellent lure and seem to catch Muskie of any size. Spinner baits can be very affective as well.
Trick: If you have two or three people trolling in the boat, try having everyone troll with the same lure and at the same distance from the boat. This creates the look of a school of fish, which is very attractive to a Muskie.
Casting for Muskie:
If you want to cast into patches of Water Cabbage or between lines of thick weeds, various kinds of crank-baits work well. Suick’s and Believers are very popular. Large spinner-baits are also very effective.
Sunny hot days or windy cold days with rain; it does not seem to matter. Many fish start their feeding cycles when atmospheric pressure changes. The Muskie seem to like it when the pressure and weather stay consistent, no matter how nice or miserable it is on the lake.
Steel Leaders & Line:
You must use steel leaders at all times. It’s best to use black leaders as sometimes a Muskie will see a silver shine ahead of the lure and hit the top of the leader and bite through the line. It does happen. The line you use should be based on the size of the fishing rod you use. In open water with a light-to-medium action rod, many people use 10 to 12-pound test line. In areas where there are thicker weeds, 12 to 15-pound test can be used. What is really getting popular is the braded line. You can get 15-pound test, which is as thin as 6-pound. If you plan on doing a lot of Muskie fishing and you think your fishing line is going to see a lot of abuse, then try going to the 20-pound braded. It will last longer and stay strong.
The Secret to Muskie Fishing:
The secret to Muskie fishing is to have patience and try everything. You can fish for hours and hours and not catch anything and then start hitting them like crazy for an hour or two and then it stops dead again. Some people call Muskie the fish of 10,000 casts. This may be true on some lakes but not on Lower Manitou Lake. Lower Manitou is one of the top Muskie Lakes in the world. Your chances will also increase if you employ the services of one of our professional guides.
Top Muskie Lures
- Phantom ( blue or black prism, cisco, perch)
- Mepps #5 (silver) – catches a lot of different fish
- Suick (perch, yellow/black)
- Eagle Tail (black/silver, orange/black, chartreuse)
- Big Panther Martin (silver, gold)
- Bull Dawg (perch, cisco, bass, sucker)
- Big Tube (white, blue/silver, cisco, sucker)
- Cow Girls (chartreuse, silver/blue, silver/black, orange/black)
- Grandmas ( blue/silver, bass, sucker, cisco, bumblebee)
- Jakes (bumblebee, yellow/black, Perch, Bass, cisco, sucker)
- King Kong