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Guide Lines with Brian Clark: Chautauqua Lake

Fishing Report 7/8-7/15
Brian Clark

Captain Chaos Musky Guide Service

Another week is in the books up here on Chautauqua Lake and it was perhaps the best week of
fishing we have seen all year. Not only were we blessed with multiple fish days each trip, but managed
to land some giant fish (for Chautauqua standards).

The trolling bite remains really tough on the northern half of Chautauqua Lake despite lots of
baitfish showing in their normal summer locations. The southern half of the lake is producing some
trolling fish but nothing worth writing home about. These are reports I have been given from a very
talented troller. I have spent one day trolling in the last 2 weeks, and I can confirm that trolling on the
north half was awful.

Casting on the other hand has been outstanding. I credit this awesome casting bite and difficult
trolling bite to the status of the weeds this year. Weeds are deeper and greener than I can ever
remember. In my opinion, conditions are too ideal in the 12-18 foot range for muskies to leave the
weeds in strong numbers.

If heading to Chautauqua in the near future, I’d advice trolling in the southern basin or casting in
the northern half. Concentrate your efforts fishing weedbeds with irregularities to it. Avoid the long,
straight-away shorelines, and look for spots with bays, points, angled edges and spots with a gradual
taper in weed height.

Lure selection on the cast has been easy…they’re eating everything!! When cloudy or in low
light, fish are higher in the water column. So baits higher in the water column have been most
productive. Blades, swimbaits and even topwater have been firing in low-light conditions. In mid-day or
while sunny, fish are dropping off those edges and the deeper baits have been most productive then.
Deep rubber baits, vertical jigs and even weighing down bucktails (with a count down) have been our
best sunny baits.

Gregg Thomas

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