When summertime draws to an end, the water temperatures start to drop and the lake becomes littered with colorful fallen leaves. This is the time of year that avid Muskie anglers, “muskie maniacs” as they are affectionately called, get their heavy tackle out and begin the pursuit for the mythical monster muskie. These mammoth majestical beasts are the legends of freshwater folklore and tantalizing tall tales are told of the giants that roam the depths of cottage country lakes. During the autumn months muskie begin their quest to fatten up for the long winter months, foraging and gorging on almost anything that swims. There are even stories, although rare in occurrence, of these huge fish mistakenly attacking human appendages for their prey.
Known as the fish of a thousand casts, Muskie are the apex predators and can be notoriously difficult to catch; it takes plenty of patience and persistence in order to be successful. There are many different techniques that can be used when targeting Muskie.
Here are some of my favorites.
1) Trolling 12-14” crank baits on deep weed lines or channels adjacent to deep water at speeds up to 5mph. They are known to chase down fast-moving baits and long trolls can be very productive. Some anglers even troll a line in the prop wash of the boat to get them to bite.
2) Casting shallow rock points or shoals with in-line buck tail spinners or spinnerbaits. At the end of each cast remember to do a figure 8 when your bait gets near the boat. This technique consists of sticking your rod tip in the water and moving your bait in a figure 8 motion as muskies are known to frequently follow baits to the boat and will strike using this method.
3) Casting big jerk baits such as Suicks over deep water humps. This tactic can be tiresome but is highly effective.
4) Casting top water baits such as the top raider for enticing exciting top water explosions.
The key to all of these is having deep water nearby.
Any way you choose to approach fishing for these giants be sure to have the right equipment onboard. An extra heavy Muskie rod and reel combo is an absolute must. Spool this up with heavy braid 50-80lb and be sure to tie a heavy-duty leader on to avoid the heartbreak of having your line cut by their teeth or gill plates. Extra care should be taken when handling Muskie as they have a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth and can easily cut your hand or fingers – gloves are a good idea. A good muskie cradle or a big rubber coated net is key to landing these fish. A large pair of pliers and jaw spreaders is necessary for getting fish unhooked. Also, a pair of hook cutters is also a great idea in case you have to cut hooks in order to get the fish back in the water in a timely matter. Take a quick picture, measurement, weight and remember to take the time to revive these monsters with care before releasing this precious resource back to the lakes for others to enjoy.
If you are lucky to entice a strike and hook one of these powerful monsters up, hang on for the fight of your life, a fish of a lifetime and a memory that will last forever.
Good Luck, Tight lines and Happy Fishing!
Williams Outfitters Guide Service