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Help me catch my first Muskie on French Lake!


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I fish french lake a couple times a year for the past 4 years or so. I have never caught a muskie. I know you have to be patient and I am. I would like to go out on top for myself to catch one before ice season. I will probably go out Sunday. I throw a joe bucher tail topwater bait with the prop on the back of it. How should I present that I experiement but nothing yet. Then I read that small baits may be better. When is the best time. I never fish real early or real late and I think I should right?

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Hi there Adam.
Help is on the way!

Any time is a good time to Musky fish! Early is good, late is good... but I have taken fish at noon too!

I like "top water" plugs... but....I have some Salmo Sliders and Salmo Whitefish cranks you might want to try (borrow from me... that is). They both work great for Musky! Salmo's Whitefish is the "King of Musky Cranks" in my book. I consider it to be my #1 go to crank for Musky.
The new Salmo Slider has a unique swimming side-to-side action that is just "KILLER". The Slider will trigger strikes when other cranks will not. It is a fairly shallow runner though. I even took a 8lb Walleye on a slider once on Mille Lacs! It looks very much like a real fish darting side to side.

Please stop by my place and I will allso loan you some of Steve Herbeck's / Catch & Release Sucker Harness Rigs. This is a Quick Set, Musky & Pike Harness that I have used with good success. The rig I like best has a Mustad single hook in the front that goes into the nose of a live 1 to 2 lb. sucker (hook goes in the mouth and out the top of the nose) and a Mustad treble that sets into the rear of the sucker (set into the tail flesh just above the lateral line). The Rig can adjust to the size of the sucker you use. I place a 1 oz. rubber core sinker about 18" above the end of the 60 lb / 7 strand wire leader. Having a spinner built into the rig makes it leagal in MN.
I drift this rig in various depths. The live suckers (which you can have Nagle's Bait - Faribault, MN get for you, ordered ahead)travel up and down pulling the sinker with as they break surface to get gulps of air. This is a great system and works for me when all artificals fail.
In deep water you can work the rig on a 45 degree angle... in shallow, you can get back to about 30 yards behind the boat. Fresh lively suckers are a must... Muskys will not hit a dead sucker.
Once you have a pick-up, do let the fish run a bit. Give about a 20 count and deliver a good strong and steady pull to set the hook (sharpen your hooks ahead). This rig should be run on braided 40 to 60 + lb line such as "Tough Line".
I have used this system on Bone Lake in WI.
On days when the fish are slow to hit artificals and all my spinners, bucktails, and cranks all fail... this system will still catch fish!
I also have a Musky net you may borrow if needed.
Dave Hoggard

Fishermen are catch-n on
Catch'n Tackle
For Bass, Walleye, Pike, Lakers, Trout, Panfish
Used by FishingMN Family

[This message has been edited by Catch'n (edited 09-04-2003).]

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