Musky America Magazine

As Muskie fishermen, we all tend to go through periods when we are not catching fish. This is especially true if you are unable to 'butterfly' from lake to lake. Before the 2001 seasoned opened, I was sitting around the kitchen table with John Dettloff. I mentioned to John that the Chippewa Flowage had not been as kind to me in recent years as it had been in the mid-1990s. John listened to my lament and then jumped right in the middle of my chest with some hard reality... "You've changed the way you fish from the way you used to fish" , he said. "Remember that the Chippewa Flowage is not a 'run and gun' body of water. You can't fish it as though you were in Canada and you have to pay attention to what the water is telling you about the prospects for fishing success". I came away from that kitchen conservation with John intent on recapturing the methods that had produced fish for me in the past. My good friend Rob Meusec and I exchanged ideas on strategy for the Chippewa Flowage. Rob observed that many times we tend to overlook the potential that is no further than the dock at which the boat is moored. He reminded me that Fred Hirsch, one of the trailer residents at Indian Trail Resort and owner of Ghosttails lures, starts an early morning fishing adventure by sneaking away from the boat slip without starting his motor and fishing the resort shoreline before he motors to other locations. We decided to take a more methodical and relaxed approach to our Muskie hunt in the 2001 Muskie season; fishing the area leading up to the 'prime water' and after the 'prime water' so that we truly were fishing the spot clean. On June 7th Rob and I hit the water of the Chippewa Flowage armed with our plan for success. We knew that the water temperature being in the mid to low 60s would have the Muskie closer to the shoreline and we knew that the high water in the Chippewa Flowage would likely contribute to keeping the Muskie in close to the shoreline. There is a shoreline and a shoreline connected bar called Miten's Bar not more that 2 minutes away from Indian Trail Resort that had all of the elements in our