54 or bust

Guidelines with Glenn McDonald from 54 or Bust; Canada!

October has come and gone, we are in the final stretch of open water fishing in Northwestern Ontario. November 1 has brought the first real snow of the season to the area, as well as the first real cool down. Things will change rapidly on the water now and most predictions are for a couple weeks of open water season left for us musky anglers.

The last couple weeks of October brought a tough bite, with tight feeding windows. Lake temps were holding above the 50 degree mark, but are finally starting to fall as I write this. 

I spent a weekend fishing Eagle Lake over October 22-24 and while fishing was tough we landed a few including a big beautiful blonde. This heavy fall fish hit a Top Line Baits Ripper way out from the boat in the last remaining weeds in a saddle area. Staying low right to the boat we knew she was a good one. Other fish over the weekend hit a Bondy Royal Orba out from the boat in shallow weeds as well. 

My buddy, Dave Chaval and I spent some time on the smaller lakes in the area as well. With a tough casting bite on one lake, we started a trolling run and right away Dave put a fish in the bag. Using a 12” perch Mattlock, Dave put a total of three in the boat. Finding the bait was key, find the bait and the muskies were close by. 

A day later we tried another local lake. The fish were chasing rubber baits and I got a fall fattie to hit in the figure 8! She chased a shallow swimmin’ dawg in and went deep and chased from under the boat!

A few days later we tried our luck with suckers, and with water temps still in the low 50’s the bite was off. Back to trolling. In a repeat of the previous trolling trip, Dave put three in the bag. This time the bait of choice was a 13” Grandma bait. When you have the hot hand you run with it. 

After a few days off the lake we got back out and water temps were hovering around 50. We managed to find fish close to the whitefish, as they stage for the fall spawn. I picked up a small, but gorgeous tiger on a sucker. A few days later on the same lake, I put three in the bag on suckers, including a tank of a tiger!

Only a day later we were back at it, and Dave’s girlfriend, Ange caught her first ever musky! A thick fall 43” on a sucker rig! First muskies are always cool, and something I alway love being part of.

With only weeks left in the season, the sucker bite should be in full swing as you read this. We will be back out the first weekend in November. I’ll keep you posted each week as we wrap up here in Northwestern Ontario. Things will change quickly and we will be on the water until the landings are frozen.

For those of you fishing this late in the season, especially this far north, please play safe out there. This time of year you have to be extra careful in the boat.

Good luck to everyone as we wind down 2021!

Follow us on our YouTube channel for video of most of our on the water action


Gregg Thomas

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