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Do you want muskie fishing tips for beginners? Do you want to catch muskies? Muskies are one of the most elusive and sought-after fishes. Called the fish of 10,000 casts, it is not the easiest of fish to catch. In this article, we muskie fishing tips that beginners, as well as experienced fishermen, can use to take home that trophy muskie.
Muskies Fishing Tips
1. Find the bait, find the muskies. Muskies are said to be concerned about only two things: spawning and eating. If you can find their bait, you will locate muskies.
2. Visit the Division of Natural Resources website of the state you plan to fish in. You will find lakes, rivers, and creeks that may have muskies. This site will inform you if muskies are in the bodies of water in that state.
3. Fish the shallow sand or weed flats with glide baits, crankbaits, swimbaits, and soft plastics when the weather is mild or there is a warming trend. When the temperature drops, use the same baits to fish for muskies.
4. Fishing for muskies during a full moon gives you an advantage. For daytime fishing, choose a day with a new or full moon. Similarly, for nighttime fishing, fish a night with a full moon also.
5. Use a heavy, braided line with a pound test between 80 and 100. The higher a line’s “pound test” is, the stronger it will be. Connect the line to the lure with a steel or heavy fluorocarbon leader since muskies have sharp teeth.
6. Don’t think that the bait is too large for muskies. Lures that are 8 to 12 inches are well with the reason for catching muskies. Muskies eat almost every other freshwater fish, perch, suckers, minnows, shad, cisco, carp, fatty fish, ducks, muskrats, mice, other muskies, rodents, and frogs.
7. Use small baits like rattle traps, glide baits, jerk baits, jib baits, and crankbaits in colder water to draw more strikes as fish are more sluggish. For warmer temperatures, use larger and fast-moving baits such as rubbers, bucktails, spinnerbaits, topwaters, and swimbaits as fish are more active.
8. In clear waters, use natural colors and patterns. You can also “match the hatch”. If there are perch in there, use perch imitations. Similarly, if there are shads located there, use shad imitations to lure the muskies. When the visibility is low, use bright colors like orange, white, or chartreuse. You can also choose dark colors like black to provide contrast in dirty water.
9. How you retrieve a lure depends on the water conditions and the activity levels of the fish. If the fish are active, use a rapid retrieve. For cold and warmer waters, use slower retrieves.
10. When you get a positive response from the fish by following your bait or biting it, repeat that retrieval pattern throughout the day and when you encounter the same scenario.
11. Perform one figure-eight maneuver boat side at the end of each retrieval as muskies are known for stalking baits before striking. With the figure-eight maneuver, the change in direction usually triggers the reluctant fish and it buys time for the angler to notice a fish closing in on the bait.
12. Always use sharp hooks. Take with you a sharpening tool for large hooks since large hooks out of the package are usually dull.
13. Only use a net if you intend to keep the fish. If you will use a net and you plan to release the fish, the net should have rubber-coated bags to reduce the fish’s mucus loss. A deep net that is about 52 inches with an opening between 34 and 44 inches will work. Always net the muskie head first.
14. You will often find muskies around stumps, drop-offs, sand bars, weed edges, rock bars, rocky ledges, shady areas along the shorelines, and vegetation. They lurk around those structures waiting for their prey.
15. Muskies take both artificial and live bait.
16. If you want to catch trophy muskies, Fall is the best time for them with September and October being the peak months.
17. Locate panfish and you will have determined the food source of muskies. Another clever way to figure this out is to watch out for panfish anglers. They will be in areas where panfish are in abundance. And that area with the abundance of panfish is the food source for muskies!
18. Don’t remain fixed on one lure presentation. Change lures often. Experiment with other presentations until you find the winner.
Muskie Fishing Gear
1. Fishing Line
5. Heavy Tackle
Musky Fishing Baits
1. The “Figure 8”
2. Soft Plastics
4. Glide Baits
The Bottom Line
Muskies are one of the sought-after fish by anglers. They pose a challenge for anglers as they are elusive and big. In this article, we discuss how to fish muskies by sharing muskie fishing tips for beginners.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced muskie fisherman, we hope you will find some tips to help you be a better muskie angler. If you want to catch more fly fish, this article about fly fishing tips will be a good read.