Jump to content
  • GUESTS

    If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.

Recommended Posts

huntnfish

Last summer was my first foray into the Muskie world. My 7 year old and I were out bass fishing (his favorite because of the casting) when he had a Muskie follow his bait to the boat. This wasn’t our first encounter with a Muskie. We’ve seen probably 8-10 in the last 3 years with one being a giant that was following my trolling motor while fishing walleyes.  After that last encounter he wanted to give it a try. I picked up a couple cheap Muskie rods and repurposed a bass reel with decent capacity and an old round reel I bought for catfish. I also picked up a giant net that I could also use to fish 2-3 drunk adults out of a lake at a time. I spooled my sons reel with 60lb braid because of capacity and mine with 80. I then sent a text to Scoot to pick his brain and hoped he’d give me a little insight into the world of muskies. He came through and even let me borrow a few lures to get started. I had no idea what I was doing and he helped a lot and got me excited about it. 

 

Our first time out i am casting out one side of the boat and my son out the other. We are in the area of the most recent Muskie sighting our last time out. My son is pitching a top water that scoot sent with me and I’m throwing a spinner. About 45 minutes in my son yells there’s one following my lure but he stops reeling. When I turned around all I saw was a boil in the water. I asked him if he was sure it was a Muskie and I could tell by the look on his face that it was something big. He just says yeah and sits down on the bow of the boat. I tell him to get casting again and get her and he just says not yet. I’m just going to rest for a minute. We didn’t boat any muskies last summer but still had fun. It’s a nice change of pace once the water warms and walleye fishing slows. I caught a handful or northerns but they were all pretty small. It’s crazy how anything that hits your bait when you’re chucking giant lures and holding a pool cue makes your heart skip a beat. 

 

Our first time out I realized that old reel wasn’t going to cut it with the low gear ratio. It was a lot of cranking to get any blades going on the bait I was throwing but used it for the summer on the half dozen times we went out. This (kind of) spring I’ve been thinking fishing. I normally fish walleye with some bass and crappie mixed in but I keep going back to that dam Muskie! I decided I’m upgrading my reel and going to start the collecting of Muskie lures. I had seen prices of lures but quickly learned that they’re also very proud of Muskie reels. 

 

I am partial to Abu Garcia reels for some reason and picked up a Toro Beast reel to replace the old POS that I tried out last year with a 6.4-1 gear ratio. I’m thinking I’ll be a little happier with cranking this one than the old one.  

 

I dont really have any question of any sort or looking for any advice but this warmer weather has me thinking fishing. Just sitting here thinking about my now 8 year old hoisting his first Muskie and hopefully me getting my hands on one as well. Anyone else ready for some soft water? 

 

Also, I’m thinking that the hardest part about musky fishing isn’t all the casting and standing. It’s actually finding somewhere to store that dam giant net where you aren’t stepping on it or your kid is snagging it. 

Edited by huntnfish
  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Wow, ❤ 1
  • l Love It 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Wanderer

The net is the third guy! 😅

 

I’m still considering myself new to muskie fishing too even though this will be my third year intentionally targeting them.  Last year I finally surpassed catching muskies on muskie gear vs catching them on bass gear, and well, actual bass I was reeling in.

 

The best thing you did was spring for a better reel.  Yep, they’re expensive but can change the casting and reeling game from enduring it to fun.  Don’t be afraid to pick up some used rods and reels to save some dough when you’re getting started.  You’ll figure out what you like and what gaps to fill as you go, just like the sellers did.  Doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with them, just preference changes.  Most of those rigs are well taken care of but should be serviced every 1-2 years.  I found a couple more used rugs this year that filled my gaps.

 

Going to the muskie expo on the 27th and looking forward to it!  I’ve finally made the turn from having no idea what I should be looking at to already knowing what specific things to get at the show.  Still lots to learn but gaining leverage.  After the expo I’ll start rigging for my June trip and a couple rods will be set up unconventionally for the lake we’re going to based on notes from last year.  
 

Welcome to a new addiction!
 

Here’s a couple net pics to help you feel better!  It’s nice to own em and be able work with them boat side.

 

050A621D-E54C-43BD-95E9-F51AC30DD271.thumb.jpeg.83a2c284b55eaf23cd65ed464db88353.jpeg2D90AC5E-1D48-491F-ABF0-1610C3635CBD.thumb.jpeg.8cd89aa0d1b868e71cdba2a6a1ada39b.jpeg

Edited by Wanderer
  • Thumbs Up 2
  • Thanks 1
  • l Love It 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
huntnfish

Ha! I don’t think a third person would get in the way as much as that dam net.😄

 

I am excited to try out the new setup. I am sure it’s going to be an upgrade over the $40 reel I was using. 

 

Where is this musky is expo? I was warned that this musky thing was not something to get into but I’ve never been real good about following instructions. I’ve never been someone who chased big fish of any species but the thought of having something over four feet long on the end of my line is intriguing. 

 

I do do like the idea of that deep net. The pike we caught were easier to handle with that net. Unhook and you could dump them out. Or in some cases, they’d just swim through the webbing. 

 

 

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • I Like it 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
huntnfish

Also, and tips on the extra items carried for musky would be appreciated. I Have several long nosed pliers and also a side cutter for cutting hooks. Are there any other tools I should have in the boat?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wanderer

05086B56-57E3-4A43-8028-1D626E193403.thumb.png.4e5fa90378094262643dc60b4495e5f4.png

 

Tools?  Not only long nosed, but long handled will help.  The pliers and side cutters are necessities.  A pair of bent nosed pliers can be helpful.  File for hooks (a regular flat file works best), knife, rubber coated gloves are all handy for us.

 

Other things to consider: a large folding bump board, miscellaneous tools for working on tackle and extra tackle components like buck tail wire, extra blades, hooks, heavy duty split rings, shrink tubing, weights, swivels and cross locks.  Those are the things I’m working on building up stock of.  Making repairs or customizing for conditions on the spot can make or break the day.

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
gimruis

I've been muskie fishing for exactly 20 years.  When I first started I used lower end tackle because it was all I could afford.  Muskie rods, reels, and lures are all significantly more expensive than other species-specific gear.  Just try to accumulate it slowly over time and when you can afford to upgrade your stuff, do it.  Until you can, you'll just have to make due with what you have.

 

The net does cause issue in my boat too because of its abnormally large size.  But I've learned over the years that it is a MUST when you do finally land a large fish.   Heck, a muskie net is even useful for a fish that's only 30 inches if you ask me because you have the ability to keep it in the net and water while you remove hooks.  I sometimes fish by myself and if I had not had a large muskie net I can say that I likely would not have landed several fish.

 

I will fully admit that I went through a very long drought in which I did not land a muskie.  It was many years.  At times I seriously considered selling my gear and giving up on it.  You will get impatient and frustrated with it, guaranteed.  Frankly, I would not try to get too young of a kid involved in it because of the patience, time, and physical toll it can take.  I'm still pretty young,  in relatively good shape, and I have top of the line gear and even I can only do it for about 4 hours.  I don't know how guys in tournaments can do it for 8 hours straight, multiple days in a row.  They must have bionic shoulders.  The most important factor that I would advise to anyone that wants to start doing it is to fish at peak feeding times or when you get ideal conditions.  Clouds, wind, moon phases, major/minor feeding times all need to be taken into consideration and will increase your odds.

 

Lastly, I don't know where you live but there are 11 lakes in the greater metro area stocked with hybrid (tiger) muskies and they are supposedly a little easier to catch than pure strains (because they are half pike).  They don't grow as big but they will usually attack smaller lures so you can really just target them with oversized bass gear.  I've done this for a few seasons now and have landed 12 of them the past three seasons.  It might be worth considering if you live nearby a lake that is stocked with them.

 

 

July tiger.jpg

  • Thumbs Up 2
  • Thanks 1
  • l Love It 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
huntnfish

Lots of good stuff. Thanks guys. 

 

I do like the net and the fact that you can leave the fish in the water. It made removing the hooks from the small pike easier. The side cutter I have in the boat is just a regular one. I will look into a higher quality tool for cutting hooks. 

 

I have picked up some lures here and there when they’ve been on sale and have a decent selection of bucktails. 

 

I live in the western part part of the state and am fortunate that the lake cabin we spend the summer at is on a lake with a decent musky population. This allows for fishing when I feel like it and not feeling like we have to spend a full day out casting. A few times last summer we would go out in the morning after muskies and when my son would get tired I would move in a little closer to the reeds and he would cast for bass while I chucked out deeper. I was worried about him chucking the big baits at his age but there is an almost zero chance of me going out in the boat without him. All he ever wants to do is fish and will drop everything he’s doing to go out. 

 

 I hadn’t thought about checking the peak times but will definitely do that this year. 

 

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • I Like it 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Wanderer
6 hours ago, huntnfish said:

I hadn’t thought about checking the peak times but will definitely do that this year. 

 

 Yep, some good advice above.  Fishing the peak times by moon phase is probably the single best way to tip the odds in your favor.

 

On our trip last year we saw muskies at all times of the day but caught only 1 outside the peak times for all 7 days.  The other 16 were in the window.  Pretty telling, we thought.

 

The more you throw the more conditioned you get.  My very first morning of a 5 day trip I thought I was in trouble and would never make the effort I knew I needed to.  Last year was 12-13 hrs per day in the boat for 7 days showed me I could do it.  Take a break every once in a while and have a lighter option to throw here and there, or a top water.  Even if you don’t think it’ll produce, if it keeps you casting you’re still in the game and have a chance of raising a fish.

  • Thumbs Up 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
gimruis
13 hours ago, Wanderer said:

On our trip last year we saw muskies at all times of the day but caught only 1 outside the peak times for all 7 days.  The other 16 were in the window.  Pretty telling, we thought.

 

They're either on the bite or they aren't.  Its pretty much on or off when it comes to muskies and the lights are off for 90% of the time.  In a tournament, virtually all of the muskies are caught in less than a 60 minute window almost every single time.  Its not like targeting another species of fish where even when there's a poor bite you can probably get bit.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
dutchboy II

I'm a bit late to this party but...........

 

Just because you have a big net and some pliers doesn't mean you need to be in a big hurry to get in that net. Green fish that are still amped from the ride to the boat with a mouthful of trebles is not a good combination. Let the fish relax and settle a bit before getting in there to pop the hook.

 

If you have never been pinned to a Muskie or Pike with a treble in one hand an a treble in the fish you don't know what you are missing. 

 

Let the fish settle down and pay attention when going in to pop those hooks.

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
huntnfish

Spotted the first Muskie of the year last weekend I think. I can’t say for sure but it acted like others I’ve seen.  My 8 year old was fishing off the dock and came running past as I was relaxing and comes running back with his bass rod with a spinnerbait on it. As he’s flying past I ask what’s up and he says there’s a big fish off the end of the dock that I’m going to catch. I didn’t think much of it because there’s been some decent bass roaming out there. He’s casting away so I walk out to see what he’s up to. After a dozen or so casts I walk out to see what he’s casting at. There’s a maybe 35” fish laying out from the dock 30 feet. When I got there I said it looks like it could be a Muskie and he stops and says seriously? Then grabs his small rod and goes back to trying to catch sunnies or whatever else wants to bite. I told him on the walleye opener that Muskie doesn’t open until June. Maybe he does listen once in a while. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Yayyyy 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Similar Content

    • simonmichel
      By simonmichel
      Hi, I already use squarebill cranking and am looking for a good normal Crankbait. What is the best one?
    • AlexKempston
      By AlexKempston
      Has anyone caught any muskie/musky on any of the Horseshoe/Sauk River Chain of Lakes this year? 
    • Wanderer
      By Wanderer
      Opener 2020 tomorrow - anyone here going out?  Heck with the full moon tonight this weekend should be really good.  If I get to spend some time out it’ll be in central MN.  The river maybe, or Alexander.  Shamineau is on my list this year as I’ve never fished it at all.  Plenty of lakes to try.  
       
      I’d like to see what you guys are pulling in this year!  Hear some stories or good advice!  I hope to have some to share.
    • Squirrelhawke
      By Squirrelhawke
      I've had an old rapala cd-18 since I was a little guy and the wife has hung it on the wall and won't let me fish with it anymore. Just wondering if anybody knows a store i can go find this at. I've been to the Cabela's in Rogers and owatanna both, sportsman's Warehouse in coon rapids and about every Walmart bait shop and gas station I've stopped at with no luck. Really miss using this lure as it is the most productive thing I've used outside a 3 inch red and white spoon.
    • huntnfish
      By huntnfish
      Very interesting article regarding diets of muskies and other game fish. I was surprised that the percentage of walleye eaten by musky was as low as it was. 
       
      https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/sports/outdoors/5040992-What-are-muskies-eating-in-Miltona-Local-lake-part-of-Minnesota-diet-study-on-four-major-game-fish
    • huntnfish
      By huntnfish
      I am starting to collect more and more Muskie lures. What is everyone’s go to colors for fishing muskies in MN? 
    • dutchboy II
      By dutchboy II
      .
       
      What is your personal best Minnesota Pike? Were you targeting Pike when you caught it?
       
      Mine is 42" from a shallow lake North of me. It was very skinny for a 42" fish. I caught it while fishing for Bass on a spinnerbait. Water was very warm and unfortunately I wasn't able to revive it. I contrast that to a 42" Pike caught in Canada trolling. That fish absolutely stopped the bait on the strike.
       
      Learned a very good lesson that day. Always have a decent size net in the boat, the fish don't know what species you are after.
    • FatFishie
      By FatFishie
      2013 Ranger 1850

      This is the cleanest 2013 multi sport fishing boat that you’ll find. Powered by a Yamaha 150 four stroke, this is a great performing boat. The interior, exterior, motor and trailer are in awesome condition. Features include:

      Ranger Custom Trailer w/spare tire.
      Yamaha 150 four stroke.
      Minn Kota 80 Terrova trolling motor w/iPilot.
      Lowrance HDS 7 & HDS 5 depth/fish finders.
      Onboard 2 bank battery charger.
      Large Livewell.
      Bait Livewell.
      12+ rod locker.
      AM/FM/CD Stereo.
      4 swivel seats.
      2 flip on seat.
      Snap in carpet.
      Ranger custom travel cover.
      Swim ladder.
      Ski pylon.
      Removable bow cushions
      Built in cooler
      Interior LED courtesy lights
      Lots of storage

      I’m sure there are things that I’ve missed in the above list of options. This is the perfect fishing boat, and can easily double as a family runabout for skiing, tubing and cruising around.

      Boat is located in Detroit Lakes MN.  Please call or text for more information. 701-371-509nine






    • Finns
      By Finns
      https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/watch-ice-fisherman-pulls-50-pound-fish-through-tiny-hole/ar-BB10DHtn?li=BBnba9I#image=4
    • Dakota Loing
      By Dakota Loing
      Hey I was curious to see if there were any active fishing clubs near whitebear lake or forest lake 
  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • bowkill78
      This is the quietest forum on the planet.  I'm going back to Clearwater for one last trip.  How has the fall fishing been?
    • muskie-mike
      Beats my banana sized walleyes on leadcore...  
    • ozzie
      Hit up the lake Friday afternoon running around we did not get anything but one 22" eye pulling a lindy with a worm.  We then pulled out of the lake and Saturday went to Winnie.  Stayed dry up there but the fishing success eluded our boats.  
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  The traditional fall jig bite for walleyes is in full swing.  There are various schools located across the south shore.  Anglers catching good numbers of walleyes just outside the Lighthouse Gap where the Rainy River enters Lake of the Woods, in front of Zippel Bay and around Long Point.  Depths of 22-28', anchored up and jigging with a fathead or frozen shiners has been successful.  Anglers going through a lot of fish, sorting through lots of smalls to ultimately get nice eaters.  A lot of action.  Some anglers still drifting spinners with a minnow or crawler with success.  Some good walleye reports also from Four Mile Bay in 10-15'. On the Rainy River...   Intermittent runs of emerald shiners have entered the river as have some walleyes.  Mixed reports by anglers, as the big run hasn't happened yet.  Typically activity increases as water cools.  Current on the river is low.  Most anglers are jigging with frozen shiners, although trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses are still effective.  Sturgeon anglers focusing on deeper holes with a sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers and shiners.  Pike showing hanging on weed edges. Up at the NW Angle...  Until the US / Canada border opens, guests can travel across the lake staying and fishing in MN waters.  There are boat shuttle / passenger services available to the Angle.  Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for options.   The foliage is beautiful and the walleye fishing is good.  Jigging with a minnow on structure in 10 - 15' and 21 - 27' effective.  Gold, orange and glow colors great choices.  Water temps in the low 60's.  A nice mixed bag of walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, pike and smallmouth.  Muskie anglers reporting nice fish as well. 
    • Muskyhunter73
      I forgot to add all our fish were on a lindy rig with a medium sized rainbow
    • Wishin4Walleyes
      Thanks for the posts all. I've been monitoring this forum for a bit and it had gotten quiet so made me worried the fall bite was off to a slow start.   Glad to hear jig and minnow bite is going as that's by far the most fun way to get em!
    • Rick
      Minnesota joins other states in sampling deer near known PFAS contamination sites Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Pleasant Lake, near Annandale in Wright County. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Some hunter walking trails may be unmowed this year; however, they still remain open for use and wind through prime habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock, wild turkey and white-tailed deer. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.