Muskie - Fishing the Collins River Fall Transition

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Instructor: Dwayne Hickey

Collins River Musky fishing is a healthy, skinny water environment with deep holes, weed beds, rock beds, and wood. Dwayne Hickey, the Godfather of the Collins, shares his simplified approach to musky fishing, focusing on shallow stretches, deep holes, rock beds, and wood. His knowledge and experience can be applied to any small river system, making musky fishing more effective.

Description / Review / Instructor


    Location: Collins River, Section Dwayne Hickey frequents.
    Features: Skinny river, deep holes, high banks, rocks, wood, grass beds, rock beds, and feeder creeks.
    Ecosystem: Vibrant with baitfish, minimal human interference.
    Musky Sightings: Abundant due to rich biodiversity.
    Expert Insight: Dwayne Hickey, known as the Godfather of the Collins.
    Seasonal Behavior: Fall season sees increased fish aggressiveness due to changes in light and temperature.
    Fishing Tips: Fall transition is ideal for musky fishing. Emphasis on working with wood and understanding the river's transitions.
    Lures: Dwayne uses around 6 lures for comprehensive coverage.
    Learning Resource: In The Spread video featuring Dwayne's insights.

Collins River Musky Fishing

In the section where Dwayne Hickey spends most of his time, the Collins River is a fisherman's sanctuary. This river is characterized by:

  • Skinny stretches with deep holes
  • High banks
  • Rocks and abundant wood
  • Grass beds, rock beds, and feeder creeks

It's a rare occasion to encounter another boat or angler here. The river's ecosystem is vibrant, teeming with baitfish. Indeed, the Collins River stands out as one of the best musky fishing stretches of water in the southeast.

Having fished this river several times, I'm always astounded by the sheer number of musky visible in the water. The river's rich biodiversity, combined with ample cover and access to deep water, supports a thriving musky population. On any given trip, expecting a minimum of half a dozen follows is reasonable. However, getting bites is the real challenge. It demands diligence and a methodical approach to working every bit of water. With so much cover, muskies could be anywhere.

Learning from the Best: Dwayne Hickey

Having access to a river rat like Dwayne Hickey is invaluable. While most musky fishermen might bring a plethora of lures on a trip, Dwayne opts for a select few. His intimate knowledge of the Collins River is unparalleled. He's often referred to as the Godfather of the Collins, a testament to his vast experience. Observing him work from bank to bank, slowly drifting down the river, one can't help but admire his expertise.

Seasonal Behavior of Musky

As fall approaches, there's a noticeable increase in fish aggressiveness. Factors like changes in light and temperature play a significant role in influencing musky behavior. The decreasing daylight and shorter days signal the onset of winter. As the apex freshwater predator, muskies' tendencies are closely tied to weather and climate dynamics. With winter reducing forage food availability, muskies feed more frequently, attempting to bulk up.

The fall transition is an opportune time to fish the Collins River for musky. And who better to consult than Dwayne Hickey? In an upcoming video, Dwayne will delve into his straightforward approach to Collins River musky fishing, offering insights into the river's dynamics.

One striking feature of the river is its diverse range of habitats: from shallow water weed beds to deep holes, wood, long depressions, and more. It's a dense ecosystem packed into just a few miles. Without constant vigilance and evaluation, it's easy to overlook potential catches. Dwayne's primary advice? Focus on the wood. Work it slowly and meticulously. Given the abundance of food available to muskies, they might not rush to your lure, even as winter approaches.

In the video, Dwayne will also discuss his curated set of about 6 lures ideal for this season. His lifetime of experience on the Collins River makes him an authority on the subject. For those keen on understanding the river's intricacies and mastering its fishing techniques, this short In The Spread video is a treasure trove of information. Dwayne's concise and effective tips can set you on a path to regular musky catches on the Collins River.


Why is the Collins River special for musky fishing?
The Collins River is a unique ecosystem teeming with baitfish and offers a diverse environment for musky. Its rich biodiversity, combined with minimal human interference, makes it a prime location for musky fishing.

How often can one expect to see musky in the Collins River?
It's common to witness a minimum of half a dozen musky follows per trip, thanks to the river's rich biodiversity.

Who is Dwayne Hickey?
Dwayne Hickey is a seasoned fisherman, often referred to as the Godfather of the Collins. He possesses deep knowledge of the river and is an expert in musky fishing.

How do seasonal changes affect musky behavior?
As fall approaches, musky become more aggressive. The decreasing light and temperature changes trigger metabolic shifts in the fish. With winter approaching, musky feed more frequently to prepare for reduced food availability.

What are Dwayne's tips for fishing in the Collins River?
Dwayne emphasizes the importance of understanding the river's transitions and working with wood. He suggests fishing slowly and methodically, especially during the fall transition.

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User Reviews

Christopher Ray 11.11.2020


Dwayne Hickey

Dwayne Hickey, a passionate outdoorsman from McMinnville, Tennessee, is a renowned musky fishing guide. He primarily conducts expeditions in Center Hill Lake and Great Falls Reservoir, renowned for its natural bounty. Hickey's expertise extends beyond the Collins River to the Rocky River, Collins River, Caney Fork River, and Calfkiller River on Great Falls Lake. His encyclopedic knowledge of the river ecosystem and his renowned instructional videos reflect his dedication to fostering a deeper understanding of the river ecosystem.

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