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PostPosted: July 30th, 2012, 6:48 pm 
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I'm heading into the lower end of the Petawawa this weekend with my youngest son. He's been looking to catch a Muskie for a few years now and that's the one place in Algonquin that is known to have Muskie. Heck, I haven't even managed to get him a pike yet (I do much better guiding newbies on trout trips than pike believe it or not), but we might as well aim big. Not that I'm expecting a monster Muskie in there but from what I've heard any Muskie is worth bragging rights no matter what the size.

So the first question is, any pointers for Muskie? I'm assuming we should target them the same as pike. Morning and evening are probably best but shadows and weed beds could work any time of day. For lure planning on Rapala's (since they work well trolling while we paddle), spinner baits and spoons. I'm thinking a top water migh work too, something like a big Zara Spook that would look like a nice froggy appetizer. Ok, so I have some ideas but any recommendations?

That section is also supposed to have some walleye. My walleye fishing experience is pretty limited too, having a lifetime total catch of 1. (but it was yummy) That was a June trip on the French River and at that time I focused on jig heads with worms or scented plastics in about 8 - 14' of water after dinner to dusk. I recall there being a lot of sunken logs left in Whitson and Smith from the old logging days and I'm thinking that fishing jigs around there should be a good bet. Am I on the right track?

Thanks in advance!

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PostPosted: July 31st, 2012, 8:39 am 
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Hi Splake. I can't say much about Muskie since I don't spend much time in Muskie waters. At this time of year Walleye are pretty deep. They, being Walleye, don't like light so fishing late (after sundown is best) or early will get best results. Fishing outflows is also a likely spot for Walleye, if you are in Walleye waters. At this time of year my favorite lures for trolling Walleye are Rapala Taildancers (15 and 20 foot deep divers.) However this year I'm trying something new (for me) - snap weights which will allow me to use normal shallow diving lures to troll deep for both Walleye and Lakers. One more thing about Walleye - they school so where you find one you'll find many. When trolling, note where you get a hit and then head back to that spot and work it.
As for Pike, my experience is fish for anything other than a Pike and you'll catch a Pike. They are ubiquitous and you can find them in the weeds, on rocky ledges or deep. I never fish for Pike but I have managed to catch plenty of the slimy little beggers in the 3 foot range. They're not much in the way of fighters until you get them near the boat at which point they really thrash so beware of treble hooks! (a lipper and pliers are recommended.) They are fine for eating but because of their "Y" bones are a bit trickier to fillet. Good luck.


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PostPosted: July 31st, 2012, 9:50 am 
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Hey Splake, there are muskies in the Petawawa below Traverse... the problem at this time of year might be getting them to bite. They're coolwater fish, and if the water temps are getting up to 25C and warmer, they may have left the shallows for deeper, cooler places, or they may not feed.

Whitson IIRC, is shallow and weedy, maybe too warm at this time and you might be better off trolling deeper down in Smith and McManus. My choice would be a spinnerbait, since it will catch both walleye and muskie while at the same time being relatively weedless and logless.

My guess is that the more time and more water you cover trolling and casting, the greater the chance is you'll catch something. There are also bass and channel cats in the Pet (warmer water fish then coolwater muskie), so if the walleye/muskie fish isn't working, those could be something else to try. Good fishing!

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PostPosted: July 31st, 2012, 7:41 pm 
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Thanks Kerry & FT

I figure we'll have lots of time for fishing and I fully expect the campfire ban will still be in place so we won't have as much reason to hang around camp. We'll be camping on Whitson the first couple of nights but fishing on our way in and then we'll have a full day to fish both Whitson and Smith before heading back to McManus for our last night. Neither of the travel days should be too long and the real reason to head back to McManus for the last night is just to help shorten the day with that long drive home.

I remember there being some decent pools along Five Mile rapids too, so we might wade upstream a bit on the 2nd day just to get a bit more exploring in too.

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PostPosted: July 31st, 2012, 8:14 pm 
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Classic walleye water is at the base of rapids. There are ports around all the rapids, I believe. So you could port upstream around 5 mile and then fish the little pools on the way down(it's just CL I)

I have never landed a muskie. The closest I came was trolling a crankbait around the campsite at the Natch. I hooked one and played it a bit and then did a 'long distance release' :P

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PostPosted: August 1st, 2012, 8:35 am 
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Those 'distant releases' could work well since we're only looking for catch and release anyway. Of course we'll need to hook one first. :wink:

Not sure that we'll portage all the way up past 5 Mile, but we'll probably wade up a bit. I'll be taking the kevlar canoe and I'm expecting the water to be very low through there so I doubt we'll be paddling much on the way back down.

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PostPosted: August 7th, 2012, 10:03 am 
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Fishing was great. Not sure how soon I'll get the trip report put together but I'll share it as soon as I can. I'm pretty sure a return trip will be required after my older son sees the pictures. :D

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