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Nips & Tips, “Currents” How currents can and will affect you and what to do about them. Lake of the Woods is a tremendously large body of water that can make even the experienced fisherman feel a bit meager. The lake measures seventy-five miles north to south and seventy miles east to west, translating to an area of over 5,000 square miles. Now that’s a lot of water! But as the name implies there are many land masses, great and small, which break this body of water into countless bays and channels. Factor in the many small islands, rocks, and reefs that proliferate in the Canadian Shield lakes and we have a lake with tremendous diversity and structure. So where does one begin to fish for muskies in a lake of this size and nature? Muskies are found in almost every section of the Canadian portion of Lake of the Woods. The lake is broken into major sections and bays, such as Whitefish Bay, Sabaskong Bay, Miles Bay, Little Traverse Bay, Bishop Bay and the north lake with the Barrier Islands. Within each of these sections are numerous secondary bays. In an area of water this large, winds are almost always a factor. With high winds, large waves develop across the open water, making travel and fishing difficult, even treacherous. More important to us as anglers is the fact that these winds are also producing water currents constantly. These currents become most apparent in necked down areas between larger bays or even the narrow sections between groups of islands that block the wind-induced currents. During high wind, the currents can resemble river flows in restricted areas. Even after the winds die down, the current remains for some time and then slows gradually. In time, the current may even reverse its flow in these restricted areas as the lake settles to calm. These water currents carry the phytoplankton and zooplankton (microscopic plants and animals), as well as shrimp and insect hatches. Minnows and small bait fish utilize these items as their main food source, predators feed on the bait fish and large predators feed on the smaller predators. Bingo! All we need now is the right type of fishing structure in an area with current and we have home sweet home, no matter which predator. I’ve always considered the muskie a wise and sensible predator. After all, they can be very elusive, I’m not afraid to admit. I cannot imagine a muskie growing to large sizes by randomly chasing all over a lake wasting its energy in search of a meal. Natural selection has favored those who are efficient at finding food while expending the least amount of energy in the process. In these current areas we have the whole food chain being constantly replenished. In my world, I would certainly not drive all over town wasting time and energy if the gourmet pizza wagon was always parked in my driveway. I’m sure that a good many muskies utilize this same philosophy through natural adaptation. The right structure and cover with all the food you can eat spells fat city. The beneficial effect of wind and current can also be pronounced against land masses, such as points, half moon bays, or other objects that trap and break the current. As microscopic organisms and baitfish are moved along by these currents, they tend to collect in these areas, as the current is forced to break its direction. Predator fish will move in to feast on the disori- Drift Control

ented baitfish. More than once, quality muskies have been taken against these wind blown structures, as well as in the calm water formed behind the structure as the current passes around the obstruction. As the wind and current subside, muskies, which prefer vertical structure, will still be found in relatively close proximity and in that comfort environment, whether it consists of boulders, a rock wall, weed bed, a particular depth along a breakline or a combination of these. I have fished muskies in large, expansive weed beds. These beds support an abundant food chain. However, it can take hours and hours of fishing to cover these weeds in order to locate the muskies. I prefer to fish areas where one can pinpoint the fish’s location more quickly. If we pick bottleneck areas and passages carefully, identifying the ones that contain good structure such as points, reefs, rocks and saddles mixed with enough appropriate weed cover, it will take a lot less time to cover these small areas and locate the target of our efforts, the muskie. The odds of presenting a lure in front of a muskie increase, and that is when the real work begins. We must now convince the muskie that our offering is the next meal. Continued from Pg 29 Springtime Crappie Bonanza Target docks by using light, flexible, smaller rods to slingshot Little Nippers underneath. As water continues to warm, look for crappies suspended off the outside weed lines. Cast a Little Joe Quiver jig and a minnow and let it fall. Also check fish cribs with the jig/spinner or a slip-bobber rig. Drifting areas off weed lines with slip bobbers can also be productive. One word of caution: contrary to what some believe, panfish populations can take a beating from more and smarter anglers equipped with the latest technology. Take only enough for a meal or two. That way, there’ll be more for you when you return next spring. Ted Takasaki, Professional Angler and president of Lindy Fishing Tackle. www.lindyfishingtackle.com Put Simply. Do you have items you would rather sell than store? If so, display them to thousands who enjoy exactly what you do. Simply click this link for rates: simplyfishingmagazine. com/Want Ads Want something special? we will quote your ad rate. Put your money back into your pocket and enjoy even more days in the outdoors Inquire today . simplyfishingmagazine. com/Want Ads