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More Muskie Fishing -> Muskie Biology -> Late fall fatties
 
Message Subject: Late fall fatties
Sudszee
Posted 11/13/2017 11:15 AM (#884189)
Subject: Late fall fatties




Posts: 3


Do muskies actually consume more fish before ice up and that's why they are so fat( besides eggs in females). Or is it due to slower metabolism with lower water temps?
MTJ
Posted 11/13/2017 2:56 PM (#884209 - in reply to #884189)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties




Posts: 47


in my unscientific opinion, a lot of the fat fall muskies we catch are fat all year long but live most of the season in places where they don't run into anglers or baits very often. i never bought the theory that skinny or normal girthed muskies suddenly start eating all the time in the fall and that's why they put on weight. lots of the fattest fish we catch in the fall are also some of the cleanest fish of the year. obviously they feed heavier in the fall but a fish putting on a bunch of weight in the span of 4-6 weeks with cooling water temps just doesn't make that much sense.
14ledo81
Posted 11/13/2017 3:04 PM (#884213 - in reply to #884189)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Posts: 1280


Location: Ashland WI
I had actually thought they fed more in the summer when their metabolism was faster.
Sudszee
Posted 11/13/2017 4:09 PM (#884218 - in reply to #884213)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties




Posts: 3


Do males put on girth as well?
14ledo81
Posted 11/13/2017 5:40 PM (#884224 - in reply to #884218)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Posts: 1280


Location: Ashland WI
Sudszee - 11/13/2017 4:09 PM

Do males put on girth as well?


I'll leave this one for todd.....
tcbetka
Posted 11/14/2017 10:01 AM (#884276 - in reply to #884224)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties




Posts: 2197


Location: Green Bay, WI
I think they probably feed whenever they can, but they clearly capitalize on the spawning behavior(s) of the prey species they feed on--like Shad, Ciscoes (Lake Herring) and Whitefish. If those fish are congregated to spawn, experience has shown us that the muskies aren't far away. So yes, I do think they tend to feed a lot in the fall as winter approaches because, well, they can.

That said, I think they gain more weight in the fall because they're eating high-calorie prey at a time when their own metabolism has slowed. Simply put, they're eating more than they're using so they gain weight. And that's not a bad thing given that they need to devote (caloric) energy into gamete production. But again, since they're poikilothermic and their body temperature is within a degree or so of the water they're swimming in, their metabolism can't help but slow.

So essentially they're sitting on the couch in a cold room, watching television, eating little smokies and potato chips and not working out. You'd get fat too!



TB
Kirby Budrow
Posted 11/14/2017 3:51 PM (#884305 - in reply to #884276)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Posts: 1198


Location: Chisholm, MN
If they bite more in the fall, why are they so freaking hard to catch?
horsehunter
Posted 11/14/2017 4:10 PM (#884309 - in reply to #884189)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties




Posts: 1974


Location: Eastern Ontario
Give me Sept 12 months of the year and I'm a happy man. In Nov and Dec its a lot of of fruitless hours hoping we encounter a monster that has spent the summer out in Lake Ontario feeding on Lake Trout and other deep water forage. Or as I call it fishing for Unicorns
tcbetka
Posted 11/15/2017 7:02 AM (#884413 - in reply to #884305)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties




Posts: 2197


Location: Green Bay, WI
Kirby Budrow - 11/14/2017 3:51 PM

If they bite more in the fall, why are they so freaking hard to catch?


I didn't say they bit more in the fall, only that they *ate* more...
esoxaddict
Posted 11/15/2017 11:43 AM (#884432 - in reply to #884189)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Posts: 6881


Egg mass is a factor. Slow metabolism is a factor. Also much of their food is also fatter and full of eggs in the fall, so they're getting a lot more out of a meal. They have to eat more often in warmer temperatures, but they are likely exerting a lot more effort to eat food that's not as substantial.
Will Schultz
Posted 11/16/2017 1:21 PM (#884489 - in reply to #884432)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Without going and digging up past articles,etc. (meaning I'm not going to cite a source other than memory). I believe that most of the super fish harvested in October, November, December have relatively empty stomachs and lots of eggs. That leads me to believe that any actual "fat" is accumulated in late August and September as water temps drop. It appears very little feeding is happening late in the year.
ToddM
Posted 11/16/2017 2:07 PM (#884499 - in reply to #884189)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Posts: 14350


Location: oswego, il
Based on most of the late fall and winter fish that crap all over my boat, i think they either do eat alot or digestion slows down more than what they have ate making them like most musky fisherman full of #*#*.

Males put on girth during the spawn if you know what i mean.

Edited by ToddM 11/16/2017 2:09 PM
esoxaddict
Posted 11/16/2017 2:14 PM (#884501 - in reply to #884489)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Posts: 6881


Will Schultz - 11/16/2017 1:21 PM

Without going and digging up past articles,etc. (meaning I'm not going to cite a source other than memory). I believe that most of the super fish harvested in October, November, December have relatively empty stomachs and lots of eggs. That leads me to believe that any actual "fat" is accumulated in late August and September as water temps drop. It appears very little feeding is happening late in the year.


I don't necessarily disagree with you, Will. But catching a fish with little or nothing in its belly might just be an indication that those fish were hungry and attempting to feed when caught.
Mark Hoerich
Posted 11/16/2017 5:58 PM (#884534 - in reply to #884501)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Posts: 515


Location: Already Gone
esoxaddict - 11/16/2017 2:14 PM

Will Schultz - 11/16/2017 1:21 PM

Without going and digging up past articles,etc. (meaning I'm not going to cite a source other than memory). I believe that most of the super fish harvested in October, November, December have relatively empty stomachs and lots of eggs. That leads me to believe that any actual "fat" is accumulated in late August and September as water temps drop. It appears very little feeding is happening late in the year.


I don't necessarily disagree with you, Will. But catching a fish with little or nothing in its belly might just be an indication that those fish were hungry and attempting to feed when caught.


Yes. I have to agree with Jeff. The ones that I am lucky to boat in mid to later November were feeding on spawning ciscoes. I know this, because I was puposely live bait fishing for them...with ciscoes. In popular spawning areas. Along with Bondy baits, imitating spawning/struggling ciscoes. Along with several other guys, doing the same. It's kind of a known tactic, and if you can stand the weather, it's semi-productive if done right.
I have to assume that they were hungry. What else would they be doing attacking my bait presentation.?
tcbetka
Posted 11/16/2017 6:16 PM (#884536 - in reply to #884489)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties




Posts: 2197


Location: Green Bay, WI
Will Schultz - 11/16/2017 1:21 PM

Without going and digging up past articles,etc. (meaning I'm not going to cite a source other than memory). I believe that most of the super fish harvested in October, November, December have relatively empty stomachs and lots of eggs. That leads me to believe that any actual "fat" is accumulated in late August and September as water temps drop. It appears very little feeding is happening late in the year.


Most of the big fish I've caught in Green Bay in October/November are crapping all over the place in the boat, lol. So that certainly means they've been feeding--hard to have fish poop on an empty stomach. That being said, if their metabolism is slower due to cooler water temperatures, it must not be *that* much slower if there's no food in their stomach. I've never seen anything in the literature that quantifies the degree to which their metabolism slows, but I would have to think that it doesn't slow all that much if 1) they're pooping all over the boat, with 2) an empty stomach.

So I think they are basically converting forage into biomass just as quickly in the fall as they are in the summer, for the most part. But in the warmer water of summer it takes more of those calories just to keep the lights on...and therefore they don't put on the weight during those months.
Mark Hoerich
Posted 11/17/2017 8:43 AM (#884565 - in reply to #884536)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties





Posts: 515


Location: Already Gone
tcbetka - 11/16/2017 6:16 PM

Will Schultz - 11/16/2017 1:21 PM

Without going and digging up past articles,etc. (meaning I'm not going to cite a source other than memory). I believe that most of the super fish harvested in October, November, December have relatively empty stomachs and lots of eggs. That leads me to believe that any actual "fat" is accumulated in late August and September as water temps drop. It appears very little feeding is happening late in the year.


Most of the big fish I've caught in Green Bay in October/November are crapping all over the place in the boat, lol. So that certainly means they've been feeding--hard to have fish poop on an empty stomach. That being said, if their metabolism is slower due to cooler water temperatures, it must not be *that* much slower if there's no food in their stomach. I've never seen anything in the literature that quantifies the degree to which their metabolism slows, but I would have to think that it doesn't slow all that much if 1) they're pooping all over the boat, with 2) an empty stomach.



So I think they are basically converting forage into biomass just as quickly in the fall as they are in the summer, for the most part. But in the warmer water of summer it takes more of those calories just to keep the lights on...and therefore they don't put on the weight during those months.


I like this explanation. it's an interesting discussion.
I also want to say that I enjoy your posts Tom...I for one, am glad to see you back on here again.

Thanks.
Mark
tcbetka
Posted 11/17/2017 2:25 PM (#884574 - in reply to #884565)
Subject: Re: Late fall fatties




Posts: 2197


Location: Green Bay, WI
Mark Hoerich - 11/17/2017 8:43 AM

I like this explanation. it's an interesting discussion.
I also want to say that I enjoy your posts Tom...I for one, am glad to see you back on here again.

Thanks.
Mark


You're welcome Mark--and thanks for the comment! It's nice to be back on the board again, now that my "home remodeling & construction" season is finally coming to an end. There's only so much of that a guy can take, and I reached my limit well over a month ago...

TB
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