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WELCOME TO AL LEGGO'S MUSKIE MANIA

This page is dedicated to muskie fishing on Lake Scugog, Ontario, Canada

Take the time to check out the Scugog discussion group on this page. ..................................................

What is a Muskie? - The Basics.

Esox masquinongy

The musky, or more formally, the muskellunge is a game fish native to north America. It's scientific name, Esox masquinongy, betrays its close relationship to the northern pike, Esox lucius, which is found across the northern hemisphere. These and three other species comprise the family Esocidae, all of which are top or terminal predators in the waters the inhabit.

The geographic range of the muskie in North America is far more restricted than that of the northern pike. Indeed muskie inhabit only about one percent of North America's fresh water. In the waters shared by the two species, muskies tend to be outnumbered by pike. This comparative rarity is one of the challenges of musky fishing. Another is their size and fighting ability. Muskies can reach weights of just under 70 pounds (although rumors of larger fish persist) and the sight of even a much smaller fish thrashing around at boat side unforgettable.

Because of their rarity and the stress these fish undergo when captured, they are particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure. Pollution, habitat alteration and the introduction of exotic species into their waters are among the other more serious threats to muskie populations. Fortunately, while the popularity of muskie fishing is increasing, so is the catch and release ethic that may ultimately be the salvation of this majestic species.

Reference: Crossman, E.J. 1986. The Noble Muskellunge: A Review. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 15: 1-13.

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MY FIRST SCUGOG MUSKIE

We moved to a lakeside property on Lake Scugog in September of '95, it was a life long dream of my wife and myself as we both had childhood memories of enjoyable experiences in and around water. I had been an avid fisherman since my teens, but raising a family and long hours at a demanding job had my fishing equipement unused for the past ten years. I was slowly reintroducing myself to a favorite pastime by drifting the many weedbeds of the lake and picking up the odd walleye. On one of the first weekends after our move to the lake my brother-in-law was up visiting and while he was out fishing for walleye he hooked and landed a nice 39" muskie on a 1/4oz. Big O perch lure! I knew that there was muskie in Scugog but for whatever reason did not bother fishing for them. Well seeing this fish changed my mind on what I was going to spend my spare time fishing for on my one week vacation coming up soon. I spent the first morning of my holidays digging out an old trolling rod and reel and spolling it with some 30 lb. mono that I had left over from salmon fishing days on Lake Ontario in the mid 70's. By noon I was ready to try my luck at muskie fishing. Pushing off from the dock with a 5/8 ounce Red and White Daredevil attached to a wire leader I was ready to go Muskie fishing. The sunny September day with a light southwest breeze blowing made for a pleasant day. Not quite knowing where I should be trolling, I started spooling out some line as soon as I was clear from the dock and turned the speed up on my little 5h.p. motor. Heading into the slight waves I was about one hundred yards off shore when my trolling rod was just about yanked out of my hand. I turned around to look behind the boat just in time to see a huge fish come flying out of the water putting on a top water dance that was just amazing and left me staring with my mouth open. The lunge then went under and disappeared. Not remembering if I had set the hook, I reeled in the slack and gave the rod a hefty jerk. He was still on and responded by clearing the surface again. What a show! Within a couple of minutes I had him beside the boat and was totally in awe of what was finning itself within arms length of my 14 foot boat. Not quite sure what to do next, I kind of half netted and wresled him into the boat. The breeze had pretty well pushed me back to within a few yards of my dock by this time and wanting to get a picture and measure and weigh him, I pulled up to shore and ran for the camera. After taking several pictures and measuring him out to 45" my thoughts finally turned to getting him back into the water. Because of my lack of experience on proper handling of these beautiful fish, I ended up wading in the shallows with him for ten minutes before luckly he slowly swam away. I watched as he disappeared into deeper water, although I was extremely excited about my catch I couldn't help feeling sorrow and hoped that he would survive the ordeal. I sat on the end of the dock looking into the water for a long time hoping not to see him. After about a half hour I gave up the vigil and prayed that he would be okay. Since that day I have become a musky "hunter" and have taken the time to learn proper catch and release tecniques. Whenever fishing , I make sure that all the necessary tools are available and my catch seldom leaves the water before being released. Instead of just fishing Scugog, I muskie fish. I am beginning to develop a trolling tecnique for this weedy, shallow lake and have certain patterns that I fish regularly. To this day my first Scugog muskie has been my largest. I have matched the 45" length once "testing" a new jerkbait off the end of my dock but that's another story for another time.

HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE SCUGOG DISCUSSION GROUP ON THIS PAGE !!!


MUSKIE MANIA'S FAVORITE LINKS

MUSKIES CANADA:
FRIENDS OF THE TRENT/SEVERN WATERWAY:
INTERNATIONAL MUSKIE HOMEPAGE:
WHATS BITING IN THE TORONTO AREA:
FIGURE 8: KAWARTHA MUSKIE PAGE
HOTMAIL:
LAKE SCUGOG AREA WEATHER:
CANOE: Newspaper links
KAWARTHA FISHERIES ASSOCIATION: Excellent lake info
STRIKE ZONE MUSKIE CHARTERS: Steve Wickens - The Scugog Muskie Master

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Al Leggo

alleggo@hotmail.com
R.R. 1
Little Britain, Ontario K0M2C0
Canada

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