Outdoor Life - - FISHING - Mike Sperry Chau­tauqua Reel Out­doors Lake Chau­tauqua, New York

▶ Sperry says that for him to get revved up about throw­ing top­wa­ters in sum­mer, both the moon and the sun have to align. “I’m most often fish­ing top­wa­ters based on moon phases, and I look for the hottest pos­si­ble weather,” he says. Ac­cord­ing to Sperry, the days im­me­di­ately pre­ced­ing or fol­low­ing a new or full moon will find muskies look­ing up. Although some an­glers are turned off by a full moon, Sperry says those bright nights are just as good as the pitch black of a new moon. Sperry also wants the kind of hot spells that bring high hu­mid­ity. He prefers fish­ing from early evening through sun­set, be­cause he knows muskies will come into the skinny wa­ter to hunt then. “Those big fish will be up shal­low, and the only rea­son is to eat.” He’ll throw over the top and down the edge of weed patches in wa­ter rang­ing from 5 to 12 feet deep, and he says noth­ing calls them up like a walk-the-dog-style bait. Most of the time he casts a Poe’s Gi­ant Jack­pot.

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