I fished some new water and familiar spots with Bait Casting gear (5/0 1/2 oz Spinner Bait), later using 3/0 Marabou Bangers in the spots I knew would have fish.
I use the Spinner Bait to cover more water looking for Musky spots but it will catch anything. The Zara Spook walk the dog top water lure is also very good at drawing hits from anything. When I first came to the North Channel or actually any where I have explored big water like the Detroit-Saint Clair Lake and River systems, these big lures would bring up all kinds of fish and locate the good fishing spots. If you had to do this fast moving prospecting with flies, a big flashy popper that cast far and easy and fished fast would be the way to go. A 3/0 Marabou Banger is my favorite prospecting fly.
I got 3 Pike one 27 inches, 4 Largemouth average sized, 2 Smallmouth 11 and 17 inches and 2 very big Rock Bass. The poppers got the largest and smallest Pike, half the Largemouth, the bigger Smallmouth and one of the big Rock Bass. The poppers also got hit by a bigger Largemouth and either a very big Smallmouth or another good Pike that was hanging out in the current over about 8 feet of water. The water was cloudy in the channel and more wind was rippling the water surface so fishing poppers over deep current was not likely to work.
The big pike was the same fish that blew up the same 3/0 Chartreuse Marabou Banger and cut me off last time. At that time I was sure he was 30 inches or bigger and possibly a Musky. That fish had flashed pink on his sides, which I didn't report because nothing is pink here. This time I had 10 inches of 50 lb bite leader. I got this fish anchored in the same spot, casting the same 3/0 Chartreuse Marabou Banger to the same edge of the deep weedy dredged pocket back in the phragmites out of the current. This fish had 4 long vertical open scars (white, pink and red) spaced out along his sides as if a big Musky had struck him from below, tore him up, the spit him out momentarily, got another grip and tore him up some more. He hit hard twice before getting hooked on the second hit. He fought well and had taken the fly deep, 5 inches back behind those sharp teeth.
- Marabou Banger
- Hook Predator, Mustad 32606N or similar 3/0 or 2/0
- Head Foam Cylinder 2.1cm long, 5/8 or 1/2 inch Dia
- Prism Tape WTP Silver or Metallic Chartreuse Scale
- Thread 210 denier Chartreuse
- Tail Full Marabou
- Waist Clump of pearlescent Ice Dub center tied on top
- Tail Flash 5 - 7 strands Flashablou, both sides Silver & Opal
- Gill Red Nail Polish stripe on bottom of head
- Eyes Tape eyes, Chatreuse-Black dot, 3/8 or 15/32
Dan, Great reports. You tell all details…where, when, what fly/lure and rigging. Very refreshing among fishing blog!