We are making sure that all of the wood work in our boats is in tip-top shape for the 2022 season. While people may think that some magic fairy comes and gets everything ready for us for the season, that’s not the case. It involves many hours of work to bring back the wood work and keep it in perfect shape. You can see the finished product in the video below!
Author: Kevin Backus
Canadian Waters Restrictions
The last few years have posed a serious challenge on fisherman as Canada had restrictions in place to not allow any outside people in their waters. This would include any recreational boaters or watercraft going into their waters or making landfall. This coincided with the COVID outbreak in 2020. They started this whole process with giving out warnings and telling fisherman in the Detroit River that they weren’t allowed in Canadian waters and to return to U.S. waters. It then escalated into chasing down U.S. boats on the river as well as stopping fisherman on Lake St. Clair throughout the remainder of the 2020 season. They went as far as ticketing boaters and bringing them into Canadian ports to question and ticket them or give strict written warnings. This continued through last August 2021 where Canada finally lifted the restriction.
Why is this a problem one might wonder? It is because of many factors. The Detroit River and Lake St. Clair are both split between The American shore and Canada. However, this split is not as even as one would think. The Detroit River holds many spots on both sides for Walleye to come up the river and spawn. The Canadian side however has many shallow areas which are the ideal spot for the Walleye to spawn and therefore they hold or stack up in those spots, which makes it that much harder on the Michigan side until the water warms up and the droves of Walleye keep their migration moving upstream.
When it comes to Lake St. Clair the divide isn’t ideal as we own all of Anchor Bay, which is great fishing in the early Spring and late Fall, however during the summer months the weeds have grown up tall and are near the surface. It is also filled with boats, jet skis, etc. traveling around enjoying the water but that disturbs the fish and makes it near impossible to troll with a fleet of gear out. The same holds true for the main portion of LSC. The Michigan shoreline is full of boat traffic and floating weeds that are coming down the St. Clair River system and into the lake, which the currents push them toward our shoreline. The deeper waters and better fishing because of the reasons listed make the Canadian side a much better fishing grounds. They have more open water, with far less boat traffic which makes fishing more enjoyable and productive!
Last August, we were finally able to enter and fish in Canadian waters. However, there are still restrictions for landing in Canada. In order to fish in Canadian waters all that is needed is a valid Ontario fishing license and state ID. If you plan on making landfall or anchoring in their waters at any point you will need to follow their protocols. This would include calling into the CBSA whether from your boat or as soon as you make landfall.
We are certainly happy that the borders are open and getting back to fishing our normal spots in the Detroit River and throughout LCS. Last year we saw an immediate difference in the fishing. We could fish where the weather permitted allowing a much larger area with many more options for ideal fishing conditions. The number of fish that we started catching was well over double of what our numbers of fish caught when the restrictions were in place. While we worked as hard as possible to make our clients have fun and productive experiences, we were so happy to return to a normal state of fishing and reaping the rewards of all the hard work that is put in every trip!
What do charter captains do in the off season?
While some people think that charter captains sit back and count stacks of $100 bills in the winter, the reality is much different. We do the exact opposite, we invest those stacks of $100 bills back into our business which equates to tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance, equipment, and training. We end each season with a punch list of things that need to be repaired, and upgraded on all 3 of our boats, and we start on those the day the season ends. This year we upgraded the power in one of our boats which involved removing the engines, transmissions, shafts, props, etc. That however just opened up another can of worms, which it usually does! We cleaned, sanded, and repainted the bilges, we rubbed out and waxed all of the boats and varnished all the woodwork. We also updated our septic & freshwater system. The list continues to go on and on.
While we were busy with all these repairs and upgrades, we also have to make the time to go through all our tackle, and respool all of our rods for all species with new line and leaders.
I wish the rumors were true that charter captains make money hand over fist enjoying their winters on a sandy beach spending their not so hard earned money on frozen drinks and entertainment.
We thought we would shed some light for those that feel this is the case. We pride ourselves on having the top charter service through and through, from our crew to our boats, to the equipment that is used by our clients. We feel that the hard work and effort we put in shows and makes a world of difference for us and our clients!
We look forward to the 2022 season with all of you!
Mr. Muskie Charters turned 20!
2021 was a big year for Mr. Muskie Charters as we celebrated 20 years in business!
We could not have done that without the support from all of our loyal clients who have turned into friends, & our fans from all over who interact and support us through social media! It was a great year and a great season, and we can’t wait to see where the next 20 years will take us.
Our 2022 books are open and we can’t wait to see all of you April 1st when we kick off Walleye season.
Keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube so you never miss out!
Slammin the smallies on Lake St. Clair
|We’ve wrapped up the 2021 Walleye season, which had it’s challenges and successes. Through the days of tough fishing emerged the successful fun filled days for our clients. They were able to enjoy catching the Walleye as well as eating them at Sinbads Restaurant. Thank you to all those who joined us this Walleye season. For all those who missed out make sure to join us next year.
May started our Spring Bass season which has brought great success! We have seen much better numbers of Bass being caught this year along with some true quality trophy Bass. We have caught many above the 4 lb mark, and even broke 6 lbs!
We just kicked off our Muskie season and have caught some great Muskies on the Michigan side of the lake. We are hopeful and anticipating the Canadian border being opened soon so we will then have the ability to fish the entire lake. We are confident no matter what happens we will have a fun filled, exciting Muskie season.
And lucky for all of you loyal Mr. Muskie clients and fans we do still have availability throughout our Muskie season.
We have also started booking our Sturgeon season which will start in September. If you have not set up your trips yet give us a call before you miss the boat!
Capt. Kevin & Crew
Spring Update! Walleye Run & Biting Bass
We have had some challenging conditions to deal with this year… Whether it’s the weather throwing her last at us or the windy days of Spring. The border closures in Canada have limited us to the Michigan side of the river. While that really handicaps our ability to fish where we want and have had great proven success, we have adapted by going to the best spots that we are able to fish and utilizing different techniques at different times and conditions to maximize our success.
The recent weather and limitations have shown us a few tough days, but things have started to bounce back and the Walleye Run is just getting to a full swing with plenty of post spawn Walleye running the whole Detroit River system. Weather and waters are warming up daily and so should the action.
We still have some openings if you want to fish some “eye’s in the D”!
We are launching the big boats to start our Bass season and will be running trips from the start of May-Aug.
Walleye Season Fast Approaching!
The Spring Walleye run in the Lake St. Clair River systems is about to explode with over 6 million Walleye coming into the watershed for their annual spawn!
The Walleye’s head up from the western basin of Lake Erie into the Detroit River system in March to find their spawning grounds and start the breeding process. This also occurs in the St. Clair river system with the Walleye coming from Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair. While the fish are in the river systems in March we sometimes are unable to fish it due to weather conditions.
April kicks off the start of our season and the bite can be a bit slower to start as water temperatures are cold still. However, this is the time when the big hens are caught in both river systems. At this time in the season we use the technique of vertical jigging and many times entice them with live bait to trigger them to bite. As the waters warm up through the month of April the bite continues to get better and better. We will continue to vertical jig during this time frame using plastics instead of live bait.
As the waters warm and the bite increases into May, we notice much higher catch rates with Walleye that are better sized for eating rather than trophies being caught. From the middle of May onward into June, the Walleye will still be actively biting. However, sometimes we have to utilize other techniques such as trolling with bait. The Walleye will then start to disperse back out into the lakes while some remain in the river systems. Once the Walleye are in the lakes, the best way to target them is trolling crank baits.
The spring Walleye fishing is second to none and considered to be the best Walleye fishing that this country has to offer! The river systems become a feeding frenzy of fish as well as an abundance of fishermen allowing them to experience the time of their lives, creating lasting memories as well as coolers of Walleye to be enjoyed!
Let’s get back to fishing!
Tight Lines, Capt. Kevin
Amid the Covid-19 Virus…We will get through this!
We at Mr. Muskie wanted to reach out to all of our customers to let you know that during this time of crisis and uncertainty, the entire MM Crew wants all of you and your families to remain safe and healthy.
We urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to keep you and your families safe. For many of us, this results in major changes to our daily routines: working from home as well as home schooling our kids for the coming weeks.
We may be restricted from crowds, sporting events, work, etc. and having the normalcy of our daily lives changed could be looked at by some as a hassle or inconvenience.
We should look at this as a blessing and a gift to be able to have quality time with our families during times when we usually wouldn’t have this as an option.Taking time everyday to enjoy and appreciate the people we love and work so hard for in our daily grinds!
There are many ways to enjoy this opportunity and the Mr. Muskie family will be doing just that… Yes, we still have daily office work and have to finish getting the boats all cleaned, waxed and ready for another season. The point is that our lives will always be full of stuff that needs to be done.
However we are also making sure to spend time time outside playing, walking, fishing, etc. I believe that embracing this situation as a time to be closer with our families is the silver lining that shouldn’t be missed!
We wish the best for all of you and look forward to getting you out fishing this season.
It’s Peak of the Season
Getting you up to speed with the Mr. Muskie Crew…
Catch Count and Temps Moving in the Right Direction! UP!
What weather challenges?!
We have finally had some nice summer weather and that has warmed the waters a bit. The higher water levels with the colder spring and all the constant rain has shown some challenging days during the start of the season. We have had much better action with the Muskie fishing in the past few weeks. We have caught both smaller and larger Muskies, which is a good sign that the population is in good shape.
Bass and oh yeah, bonuses!…