Muskie fishing is often misunderstood for variety reasons. Some fishermen just need some simple Muskie fishing tips while others need to revamp their whole idea Muskie fishing. More often than not though even veteran and amateur anglers will both need a little information to help improve their fishing game when fishing for Muskie.
You want to get to know the Muskie itself and learn a few little tips and tricks to hopefully improving your fishing game. We have compiled a list of top muskie fishing tips that should increase your catch.
About Muskie themselves
Muskie or one a larger species of freshwater fish that are found in North America. The Muskie name itself though it’s a sin nickname for this species. Muskie are actually found the pike family and are one of largest members of the family itself. Oddly enough they are actually very uncommon. Muskie will mainly target and pray that’s 30% of its by length such as crayfish frogs ducklings muskrat, snakes and even small birds. You will find them to go for smaller pray in the spring and larger pray in the fall for the upcoming winter months.
Muskie though prefer a more cleaner, clear water that holds rocks, weeds and other structures where they can hide. With this in mind, you won’t find them in a lot of mucky or muddy areas. You won’t find muskie in deep waters such as 30 feet, they are fond of more shallow water that has a lot of weeds. In creeks or rivers, you’ll find them near rocky shorelines. Spawning wise, they tend to prefer more gravel like bottoms in six feet of water that is roughly 45-65 degrees. One of the most common ways to identify muskie is from their red fins and spotted body.
Muskie Fishing Tips: Top Tips That Will Improve Your Fishing Game
Learning to muskie fish doesn’t always come easy. You’ll need a variety of muskie fishing tips and tricks to help you through along with an open mind. Thankfully we’ve compiled a list of tips below that will help you improve your muskie fishing game and end up catching more fish overnight.
- Get the Right Set up: Steel Leaders and Line
- Know where they are lurking
- Try Catch and Release
- Spend Enough Time
- Hook sharpness Counts
- Figure 8 pattern
- Lure Color Still Matters
- Consider The Lure Size
- Variety Will Always Help
- Classic Baits Still Work
- Reeling Techniques
- Trolling Speed
- Trolling Lure Selection
- Consider the Weather
Having the right supplies to go muskie fishing is essential and you won’t end up catching a lot of muskie without it. This is bar far one of the most import muskie fishing tips that you need to keep in mind. Don’t try to go without heavy duty line etc.
With that in mind, make sure you use steel leaders all the time. There is no exceptions, you need it when muskie fishing. From our experience, its best to be using black leaders as the silver tends to produce a shine that the muskie sometimes sees and they end up biting the top of the leader which breaks the line.
If you are fishing in open water, you’ll be more than fine using a light or medium action rod and 10 to 2 pound test line. If you are fishing in weedy areas, you may want to use 12 to 15 pound test line so you can break through weeds with ease. One of the most popular lines though are the braided fishing lines which come in a 15 pound variation. The main benefit though of braided line is that it is much thinner than regular 15 pound test line.
Before you go out fishing, it’s best to know the water that you are fishing in. Thankfully, you should be able to find a map through the local bait shop or possibly available online. More often than not, these maps will include useful features such as contour lines, depth indicators and obstructions hidden in the water. With maps like these, they will vastly improve your fishing game.
If you don’t plan on keeping your fish, you may want to give barbless hooks a try. Barbless fishing brings a lot of benefits that many overlook such as: making it easier to remove the hooks thus causing less damage on the fish, and improving general safety when fishing. Sometimes anglers will claim that this will reduce hook sets but in all reality, most won’t find any difference. Along with that, you don’t need on by new hooks. Just grab several pliers and crush the Barb or file it down.
While will not, people give up on the fishing hole of area. You need make sure you spend enough time at each fish hole to the point where you know that there is no fish biting. The muskie fishermen who spends most time often reap the most rewards. We can’t stress this muskie fishing tip more! They credit this to lots of casting that cover all the possible hot spots before the move the next location. The trick is to make multiple cast and give enough time.
Before you got muskie fishing, you’ll want to sure your hooks are razor-sharp. To accomplish this, simply carry a file and sharpen the points.
One of the most tried methods in our muskie fishing tip arsenal, is the figure 8 method. Its a very simple technique that requires only moving your rod in a figure eight pattern. At the very end of every retrieve, just bring the lure within a foot of the tip and then splash the tip in the water and start moving your bait in a figure eight pattern.
You will want to always consider the right lure color and have it match your surroundings. When in doubt though, just use black as many have had great success with the color. Many don’t remember this muskie fishing tip.
Once the water shirts cooling down, you may want to consider using a smaller lure along with bait. Sometimes muskie will change their appetite during the cooler months compared to in the summer. A general rule of thumb with muskie fishing is to slowly make your bait bigger as the seasons go on. For instance, you will want to use a large lure/bait in the fall considering muskie are trying to bulk up before the winter hits.
If you are fishing in a very weedy area, you most likely should use a smaller type of lure. These include: 6 or 7 inch Floating Rapalas (the original skinny ones) and sometimes Thundersticks work well too. One of our friends had great success using J-11 (jointed) Rapalas along with the classic spinner baits.
When your muskie fishing you’ll want to have at least five or more fishing poles to choose from. These allow different sets of lures to be used. You’ll often find that many muskie fishermen using 20 to 25 pound mind along with wire leaders that range from 75 to even 100 pound test. Muskie fishing requires the right equipment to catch these monster fish.
You don’t need to go out and buy some expensive bait that you’ve never heard of. The classic baits are still very popular for muskie fishing. More often than not, you will barely catch a decent size muskie using my bait. You recommend though they use your large minerals that range from 4 inches to 8 inches or just juvenile frogs. These two baits are most commonly found in a muskies diet.
This is bar far one of the biggest mistakes all fisherman face when retrieving a fish when they are following your hook. Common sense says that you should slow down reeling so that the fish can catch up, but in reality; the fish will be spooked out and stop following. Keep a steady pace when reeling in.
If you really want to determine if this is a helpful hint, just try to use both techniques and compare how much you muskie you end up catching by constantly reeling in compared to slowing down. More often than not, you will end up getting a steady improvement.
If you happen to be trolling, you need to make sure you are going the right speed. Trolling is often the easiest way to fish for muskie and will usually be successful. We’ve found that a prime muskie speed to be roughly 4-6 miles per hour out on the lake. You will find that the bigger muskie hitting fast at your bait. More often than not, the faster the bait; the bigger your muskie will be. If you are just looking to catch of any size, just troll at roughly 2-6 miles per hour.
Most anglers don’t think about the conditions on when you should use a lure when trolling for muskie. In the general open waters, you will want to use bigger lures. These include: Willy Lures, Swim Wizzes, Spinners, Shallow Running Rapalas and Ziggy Lures.
We’ve found that the perch-color and tiger-fire to be found out on the lake during the day and the reds seem to only want to come out at the evening/night. Everyone generally has their favorite color combo and it will vary from lake to lake.
You’ll quickly find that if its raining or if its sunny, it doesn’t really matter when muskie fishing. Most fish will change their feeding cycles only when atmospheric pressure changes. Muskie in particular though tend to just like it when the pressure and weather are constant. So if its miserable out there, don’t worry! You still have a decent shot at landing some muskie.
There you have it! Our top muskie fishing tips that should improve your catch in a few short tips. Its best to try to get all of these tips a try as muskie fishing varies from lake to lake. So quit reading and get out there and try a few of these muskie fishing tips!