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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey ther,

i'll start off by saying i'm new to fishing the SJ river and im all geared up for muskie with the proper nets for release and take pride in letting a fish go to be caught another day.....ive done my research and have a pretty good idea of how to fish and where to look for them (i think??)

its been afew months and i've spent probably 4 weekends sun up to sun down lookin for the "big one" (minus some smb fishing to break up the day)..... i've had a couple "follows" from big fish and been catching quite a few smaller ones in the 2ft range....even managed to land one fatty around 3ft.....
im wondering if spending my time in the zone 1 area from around woodstock to nackawic is a waste of gas in the truck and if i could be having the same success a bit closer to say freddy or elsewhere?......or maybe im lookin the wrong spots where im at?

i realize fishing for these beauties is not that easy and that i have had some moderate success...any input would be awesome, i'm not lookin for somebody to give away ther spots but maybe just discuss some techniques and general info that has worked for them.....

and yes i know about the chapter website..... i really do respect what they are doing and love the enthusiasm surrounding these awesome fish... but i'm not a tournament fisherman, i go fishing to "get away from it all" and im not looking to spend anymore than it already costs to get out on the water.....i didnt find the site all that helpful for actually catching fish
 

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hey ther,

i'll start off by saying i'm new to fishing the SJ river and im all geared up for muskie with the proper nets for release and take pride in letting a fish go to be caught another day.....ive done my research and have a pretty good idea of how to fish and where to look for them (i think??)

its been afew months and i've spent probably 4 weekends sun up to sun down lookin for the "big one" (minus some smb fishing to break up the day)..... i've had a couple "follows" from big fish and been catching quite a few smaller ones in the 2ft range....even managed to land one fatty around 3ft.....
im wondering if spending my time in the zone 1 area from around woodstock to nackawic is a waste of gas in the truck and if i could be having the same success a bit closer to say freddy or elsewhere?......or maybe im lookin the wrong spots where im at?

i realize fishing for these beauties is not that easy and that i have had some moderate success...any input would be awesome, i'm not lookin for somebody to give away ther spots but maybe just discuss some techniques and general info that has worked for them.....

and yes i know about the chapter website..... i really do respect what they are doing and love the enthusiasm surrounding these awesome fish... but i'm not a tournament fisherman, i go fishing to "get away from it all" and im not looking to spend anymore than it already costs to get out on the water.....i didnt find the site all that helpful for actually catching fish
Your not doing bad number wise. You have to spend a lot of time to catch muskies, but you can be wise about it and only fish productive weather, which is hard to do if you don't live within close range.

The muskiesnb.ca website is not all that helpful for finding fish for a reason, no one wants to publish their spots and techniques so everyone and their dog is out pounding their areas. Members often don't share specific spots or will hide backgrounds in their pics from other members. However, if you get to know people or get out fishing with them, they don't mind telling you about spots etc. They're a good bunch. Joining up is well worth the money and attending an event or going fishing with the more experienced members will help your musky "game". No one goes out everytime or even every other time and gets a big musky or a multiples. On occasion guys might get 3-4 musky and the best I've heard of was approx 7 between 2-3guys in one boat. There are so many people fishing for musky now and there aren't that many musky to begin with, so I would think they are getting a bit wiser.

I don't think the fishing in the SJ river was very good for anything this year. So it may have nothing to do with you, just water levels, temps, clarity and flow. The SJ river is somewhat featureless in most areas and you have to be able to find underwater structure etc to find most of the fish when they aren't in obvious fishy looking spots.
 

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Well Dude, if u r in Freddy u are in good muskie territory. 6 were caught yesterday, 3 over 40" and the others in the 30,s. 98% of the muskies caught are between the princess margaret bridge and the bucket club which is the upper limit in which fishing is allowed. Spend some time trolling in this area and watch other boats, u also have the advantage of catching a striper in this area on your muskie baits if u r lucky!! cheers Casey
The striper in my avatar was caught muskie fishing 2 weeks ago!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for your replies guys......

yup.... i've found out the SJ can be a tough body of water to find fish in, just trying to locate the smb had me questioning my
"bass game" for a while and i broke down and finally bought a finder......but i love a new challenge!!... of course i realize that nobody's gonna give up their honey hole for muskie (if such a thing exsists ) but i didn't realize there was so many people after them as i've yet to run in to a fellow "hunter" yet.....

any tips on what kind of weather "turns them on"?? so far ive found the river almost opposite of most lakes ive fished where the higher the sun the better the fishing (on the river)....not living close by puts me in a position where im forced to fish it when i can but being able to plan a trip around weather and get the most out of it would be a huge advantage.....

congrats on yer striper casey!! what a hogg!! you've sold me on giving freddy a chance....any advice on where to launch @ ??

its great to see the awareness of how fragile the population of these fish can be and lets just hope it spreads to all the new muskie anglers coming out..... being relatively new to the east i had no idea these fish were here until this summer and its just great to get to fish them.....
 

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Just below the Westmorland st bridge at Carleton park is the boat launch. Good cement launch and the dock is still in. I dont live there so I am not sure of the street names. Cheers Casey!
http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=Carleton+Park,+Fredericton,+New+Brunswick&hl=en&ll=45.96365,-66.630535&spn=0.016049,0.038581&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=30.585115,79.013672&vpsrc=6&hq=Carleton+Park,+Fredericton,+New+Brunswick&t=m&z=15
Muskies like all types of weather especially crappy weather.Almost any boat on the river now will be fishing muskies or stripers until end of Nov.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thx for the tips casey, i'll be out giving it a try next chance i get...
 

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there could be any number of reasons you're having trouble with finding big fish. if you got a few small-mid sized fish you're doing better than me, this will be my fourth year on the hunt and i've only landed 4. i didnt land any muskie in 2011 but hooked a few and had LOTS of follows.

if you're looking for a monster the rule of thumb is go big and fish deeper water. my 2 miggest muskie were in the main channel on a 8"pikie (custom painted). thet were 40 and 41". my smaller fish were caught in shallow water on a 6" crankbait, but a i've seen 40plus inchers caught in the same general area on 6" baits too.

The problem here in freddy is becasue of the dam and some tidal influence the water lever is almost always changing. When we fish down here we have to take Water level, Tide, Weather conditions, and how strong the current is into consideration. one day trolling the flats might work, othertimes fish might only be turned on in the main channel or you might find the main river is C**p and go exploring in the nashwaak and sometimes it's better to bring some worms and fish for sturgeon!

I'd suggest fishing with someone who knows the water. there are a few spots that are decievingly shallow and some places where sunken trees may be a problem! Muskies here love the current so you'll find more pickerel (monsters) in the calm water spots but that wont mean muskie arent there too. another advantage to fishing spots with current is that's where the stripers will be too!

Fredericton muskies see a LOT of baits. It's common to see as people pitching muskie baits as bass anglers. That said you might consider launching downstream in lincon or oromocto. Freddy beach muskie hunters sometimes seem to think that muskie turn round at the princess margret bridge and head back to the dam
. This has been proven as superstition muskie have been caught by bass anglers in O-town and have recently shown themselves in grand lake and i've even heard one story of a muskie hooked in gagetown.

Muskies here in fredericton arent usually big. the 'signature' muskie in fredericton is mid 30's but fish close to 50" have been reported! i'm sure theres fish in the 50's here too. they're just smart!
 

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hey jay,

dude here....( new name......had to re-register after the site crashed)......

way to keep this post going.........i ended up having a pretty good fall, stayn at'er right up tilll the cut off......after tryn freddy with no luck i decided its worth the extra drive time and did my fishn above the dam......as it goes with the ski i was skunked on a few occaisions but after saying "to hell" with my normal spots i trolled.....trolled....and kept trolling.......i ended up landing the bigguns in the most unlikely of spots, but from what i hear thats fall muskie for ya.....absolutely no pattern whatsoever

now i just found out that these fish were in the SJ in september so being an ontario boy i was stoked to get rigged up and land me one......as you can tell from my posts i was gettn pretty beat up by the big river.......all said and done between me and my father ( my usual fishn partner and net man) we boated 6 fish each in about say 15 er so days.......not to mention the follows from fish that get bigger every time they haunt my dreams......biggest in the boat were around the 40 mark and FAT!

i've found theres so much truth to what you you say about the johnny bein a different and very challeging type of fishery.......theres way more to take into consideration than we hear about in traditional great lakes area.........

awesome to hear that there's some good ski action goin on south of freddy and im sure as time passes we'll hear more of the same......from what i've seen drivin by and on the map it just look like muskie country.......i will no doubt be tryn my luck that way come spring/summer

and i'd have to agree with ya that there are some serious monsters down there, the size of this river, availble prey and the way these fish seem to be so intuitive to an anglers presence makes me think the big ones are down there laugin at us!

call me crazy but next year i plan on goin attem with the long rod and some seriously different looking flies......would love to hear if anybody has tried or had any success this way as im sure it will be a learning experience.....anybody into muskie, fly.....or just fishn in general should check out a doc called "musky country zero2hero" this film is incredible!

anyway, its good to see somebody adding to the muskie forum, as you can tell i could talk about it all day...lol
 

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I could talk muskie all day too! sounds like a good season for you!

I've tied a couple muskie flies but they're only 5-6 inches and i'll be looking into making some in the 8 inch range soon enough. Right now I dont have a fly strong enough to throw massive flies, but i do plan to upgrade and give it a shot. I've taken a few pikerel on flies and it's heart stopping for sure so i cant wait to hook a skie on the fly!

Our muskie sure ate fatties. everytime i look at the latest muskie hunter mag i chuckle becasue our mid 40's muskie probably weigh in the same as a skinny 50 incher from st clair!

Lots of places for them to hide all over the river, but i do agree that they are never in the "right" spot. i've spent hours casting in "likely" muskie haunts where i've had follows before and lot have a single follow, then try a less likely spot and get follow after follow.

I think this season I'll be focusing less on getting follows and more on getting fish hooked. wish me luck!
 

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Hey Jay, I've got a 12w and I'm going to tie up some more muskie flies this spring so hopefully that's what I'll need to get my first big muskie, because I can't seem to figure out the big girls yet. I wish they were dumb gluttons like big stripers! Any luck on the giant jointed pikie you painted up yet?

Synthetics and marabou are key in building big muskie flies, as well as wiring them up tandem. You have to plan the whole fly in two parts to make it have the proper shape and action as well as being less prone to catching itself while casting. I use bucktail only to keep the marabou etc in check by using it over the softer materials. You can't really cast any fly over 8" unless it's a sparse skinny fly. Anything over that size and it's more of a trolling or short casting (20-30 feet) to a visible fish. I'm tying up some 12" + flies that I'm going to use for trolling and possibly put a musky killer inline spinner on the front. I'm also going to try my umbrella rig that I use for stripers in the deep holes under the bridge and see what happens if nothing else works. I was watching musky hunter (?) on WFN and they were getting a lot of musky in the prop wash and I mean 15 feet behind the boat! I would think when a boat is going over head, the musky are keeping a close eye on the boat, then all of a sudden see a bait then WHAM. I would imagine that boats stir up baitfish and musky take advantage of that. So, therefore I'm not going to try to be stealthy and troll with a ton of line out anymore. I'm going to put two in the prop wash and two out to the side with planer boards and see what happens. (in tidal waters only of course)
 

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bigfish, i've also noticed that the ski will hit right close to the boat while trolling......last fall i was probably 20ft back reeling in my line to swap baits, when i thought i had a snag,,,,,,,killed the engine and my line went slack......no snag, no fish......kept my line out and start up the engine then BAM! the old man hooked into a thick mid 30's ski prolly 10 ft from the boat...........that fish must have been doing exactly what you talked about as im pretty sure the "snag" i had was the same fish......

if yer lookin for a good muskie fly-rod i would very highly recommend taking a look at "the pike saber" by a company called "piketrek" out of the u.k......its a very light 10wt but seems to cast best with an 11wt line......i ordered mine and still being fairly new to the long rod in general, i was wondering if i was getting in over my head, but this thing is awesome!......for the price its well worth it and was shipped at no charge whatsoever in a hard case and came with the 11 wt line....

i havn't tied n e thing myself yet as im waiting to actually use some of my ordered flies to see what works, but ive been doing a lot of driveway, casting, lol, and this thing will throw 10" flies 50ft or more with ease.......

i'd love to see some pics of your ties bigfish when you gett'em done as muskie flies seem to be a bit of a rarity, especially in the maritimes.......ive ordered flies from "vermont fly guys" who were super awesome to deal with and will do some amazing custom work as well.......there's also a fellow out of finland tying some incredible looking stuff at "baltic pike flies" that i may order up before the season........both have fb pages and websites.........
 

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no luck with the giant pikie yet, but i KNOW a big muskie or striper is going to inhale it some day!

i'll be tossing 6-8 inch flies this year. i'm no veteran fly fisherman and i probably spend more time tying flies than fishing them! I've never trolled a fly before but i do have a few LARGE spinner blades taken from gang trolls that will lead any fly i troll for them.

as far as casting big flies goes i've been thinking about looking into a spey rod for muskie. seems to be popular for large salmon and pike in europe and with some practice they can cast really far!
 

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Not Enough!!
only landed one striper so far, but it was 39 inches
by-catch while targeting muskies. hopefully i'll get a couple more this season. And i've only landed one sturgeon so far and lost a few more.
 
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