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Brad0383

Muskie rigs

5 posts in this topic

OK, I have recently started fishing for muskies after I hooked into a 40 inch tiger muskie while fishing for walleyes. I am seeing a lot of controversy over a single hook sucker rig. I agree that this is not a good situation to have a hook swallowed first and then setting the hook. I understand that the "quick strike rigs" are the solution, however isn't it illegal to have more then one hook on a live bait rig in Minnesota? If so, this law needs to change for this exact reason.

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Hi Brad,

You are right on, the quick strike rig is the solution. In Minnesota you have to have a spinner blade on the quick strike rig within 2 inches of the hook to make it legal. Yes, it's a silly law and it's being worked on as we speak.

The use of the quick strike rig is strongly encouraged. Far better for the fish and a greater hookup percentage for the angler. It's really a win/win situation. Thorne Bros in Fridley carries them, they'll set you up.

Good luck!

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yeah that spinner makes the rig considered a "lure".

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This is a very controversal question.. and I am not trying to start a controversy.

Yes, single hooks are prone to being swallowed if the fish is allowed to take the bait too long... its heavily determined on how the fisherman goes about setting the hook after a strike.. If you let them run for a minute, that hook is going to be deep.

On the other hand, quick strike rigs have a lot of hooks and they do tend to tear the mouth of the fish up, and anything near the mouth(gill plates, eyes, etc).. so its a trade off. Its also harder to remove a quick strike rig than it is a single hook most of the time.

I used to fish live bait for muskies regularly for about 5 years. I had many several fish days(especially this time of year). I dont think I have had more than 3 fish swallow the hook, and one of them was a walleye swallowing a decoy(go figure). If you set the hook early and miss the fish, most of the time it was a small fish.

Single hooks are humain to use for live bait presentations. Its up to the fishermen to set the hook before the fish swallows the bait. If you are using a large sucker.. set the hook, those fish have big mouths. If your using a decoy.. anything more than 10 seconds is longer than nessessary. Hook placement in your bait will be an important factor. If you hook the bait under the dorsal, or in the tail section, it will take a long time for the fish to get the minnow too deep(decoy size minnows).

Another option is circle hooks. I have had good results with them under a bobber. Its still not impossible for fish to swallow them if you let a fish take the bait too long. But, a circle hook will always be in the corner of the mouth if its not swallowed making for very easy hook removal, and minimal damage to the fish.

Think of it this way with any type of fish.. what tears fish up more, a rapala, or a plain hook? I guarantee after a couple fish with the rapala, your going to have some issues with excessively hooked fish.

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I had read an article about using a single circle hook in the mouth of the sucker for marchetty about a year or so ago. The results were mixed. The article did say that several of the fish were hooked deep, but the vast majority were hooked in the corner of the mouth and were released without any harm.

The fact is that a quick strike rig or any other hook style has the potential to damage fish. Utiliizing the quick strike or circle hooks at least demonstrates that a fisherman has put some thought into the healthy release of a fish. I think that is all we can ask of fisherman. The goal is to release your fish unharmed, but unfortunately that just doesnt happen every time no matter how careful we are.

It is very similar to hunting. A hunter can only take shots that are high percentage and kill 99% of the deer quickly. However, even the best of hunters have a bullet hit a hidden twig or have a deer jump the arrow and result in a bad hit. We have to try to do our best and that is all we can hope for.

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