Chasing trophy toothy critters on legendary Lake St. Clair
As neither Ted or I have a dedicated muskie trolling rig, it’s a good thing that Fleming supplies clients with all the right gear and tackle. For rods, he uses Shakespeare Bigwater Ugly Sticks that have soft tips but still have the right amount of backbone to muscle in a muskie. For reels, he uses Penn Fathom II line counters spooled with 30 pound-test mono and a 60-pound-test fluorocarbon leader. As for baits, in the early fall, when we went, Fleming swears by handmade six-inch Ziggys (below) and carries about 500 of the wooden plugs onboard in around 225 different colours. On our trip, Fleming’s first mate, Terry Vandewauwer, would often change the baits, based on water colour and clarity and cloud cover or when the lines got tripped by weeds (which can happen a lot, depending on the day).