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Do you want muskie fishing tips for beginners? Do you want to learn how to catch more 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.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Catch Muskie
- 2 Muskie Fishing Tackle
- 3 Muskie Fishing Tips For Beginners
- 4 How To Catch Muskie From Shore
- 5 How To Catch Muskie In Summer
- 6 How To Catch Muskie In A River
- 7 How To Catch Muskie In Winter
- 8 How To Catch Muskie Ice Fishing
- 9 How To Catch Muskie On Lake St. Clair
- 10 Muskie Fishing Gear
- 11 Musky Fishing Baits
- 12 The Bottom Line
How To Catch Muskie
Casting is the most popular fishing method for catching muskies. Most anglers cast for muskies from a boat using artificial lures. Casting from a slow-moving boat can be effective for anglers as it lets the angler cover a lot of water in a short period of time.
Trolling can also be used to fish for muskies. Crankbaits are one of the lures used by anglers to fish for muskies when trolling from a boat. When trolling, the angler can move over reefs, rocky points, and weed lines.
Muskie Fishing Tackle
Heavy tackle is the preferred choice for the fishing tackle when fishing for muskies. A 7- to 9-foot rod with a bait-casting reel and a heavy braided line of 50-pound test.
Muskie Fishing Tips For Beginners
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. This is one of the best muskie fishing tips for beginners.
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. It may seem weird to connect the phases of the moon with fishing, but it’s true that the phases of the moon have an effect on fish and other animals. Remember this muskie fishing tip for beginners, implement it, and observe your fishing results.
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. As you learn to catch muskies, this is one of the best muskie fishing tips for beginners to remember.
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. The hooks you use when fishing plays an important role is being successful in fishing. This is one of the muskie fishing tips for beginners that is very important.
13. Only use a net if you intend to keep the fish. If you will use a net and 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.
How To Catch Muskie From Shore
When fishing for muskie from the shore, the first thing is to lightly walk to the shore. Try to not take heavy steps and avoid making a lot of noise. Fish can feel the vibrations and hear the noise. If they are close to the shore and pick up the vibrations and noise, they wll leave for cover.
Before casting from the shore, spend some time studying the water, looking for signs of life, and observing if any baitfish is nibbling at the surface of the water. Look for any structures that may be coming out of the water. Broken piers, docks, wrecks, fallen trees, logs, and poles are possible areas where fish may be hanging out.
Additionally, look for areas with shade from trees or other structures that may serve as places fish may congregate to avoid the sun.
You can divide the body of water into three parts and work them. If you don’t get action in one-third, move to the next third. By moving, you will locate muskies. Cast baits or lures into the water and retrieve them.
Casting upriver for the lures to move with the current can yield good results. Fish will face into the current to catch baitfish coming that way and in their direction. When you work against the current, you will catch fish. Topwater lures work well when fishing from the shore.
Do this repeatedly until you get a bite. When there is a bite, set the hook in and retrieve it fast. Night fishing from the shore can also be done and sometimes it can be more productive than fishing during the day.
How To Catch Muskie In Summer
When fishing for muskies during the summer, look for structures and target those areas. Muskies will be found close to structures. Rocks, weed beds, and sand are some of the structures to target. Use baits that will go deeper into the water column
When you fish for muskies and don’t get action in one area, move to another area. One tactic is to divide the river, lake, or pond into three parts and fish them.
When fishing during the summer, pay attention to the wind. Wind can create currents that will set up muskies for feeding. keep your eyes open for current lines on the surface of the water. Fish will spread out when the water is calm but will congregate when it is windy, they will congregate in certain locations which will be ideal for fishing them.
Additionally, topwater lures work well in the summer. You can use them over very thick weeds and shallow rock cover and never spook the fish or disturb the zone. if the conditions become flat and the bite is slow, a jigging bait can be used. Cast it and jig it back. Night fishing during the summer is also very rewarding. Fish slowly and methodically at night using bucktails.
How To Catch Muskie In A River
When fishing for muskie in a river, you can cast bait and lures. Casting lures upriver allows the lures to move with the current. Fish like to face into the current as this position allows them to receive a lot of baitfish and other marine life that the current brings in that direction. Topwater lures work well during the summer.
Muskies migrate during spring and fall. They go into side channels and backwaters or remain on the downstream shoreline where there is not much current. This knowledge of their behavior can help you plan how you fish for them.
Cast your lures and baits in the side channels and backwater during spring and fall. Depending on the size of the river, you can also use trolling, jigging, drift fishing, and bottom fishing for muskies.
How To Catch Muskie In Winter
Winter is the time for vertical jigging. Vertical jigging can be very productive during the winter as muskies will go deep into the water column. When vertical jigging, you drop the line with the bait deep in the water column, closer to the bottom where you can fish muskies.
Then you pull the line vertically so the lure or bait appears to make a vertical motion. This gets the attention of fish and might entice them to bite.
During the winter, fishing for muskies is methodical and subtle as bites are not very violent. When jigging, you will be getting your bait into the faces of muskies and tempting them to bite. Trolling, bottom fishing, and baitcasting are other fishing methods that are used to catch muskies during the winter.
How To Catch Muskie Ice Fishing
Locating muskies is the first hurdle to overcome when ice fishing for them. Most of the time, muskies will be found in the same areas they were found during the fall. They will be close to the bottom in weed lines, channel breaks, points, shoreline bars, and inside turns.
Muskies move around in search of food so drilling many holes will improve your chances of locating them. Patience is required when fishing for muskies in the winter.
Jigging is one of the popular fishing methods anglers use when ice fishing for muskies. A jigging rod works well when jigging for muskie through the ice.
The other fishing method is a baited tip-up. For the tip-up fishing technique, use a live sucker minnow on a quick strike rig. A minnow about 6 inches in length will get the attention of a muskie under the ice.
How To Catch Muskie On Lake St. Clair
When fishing for muskies on St. Clair Lake, you need to find muskies. Trolling the lake with multiple lines will increase your chances of finding them. Casting, jigging, or trolling are the three fishing methods used by anglers when fishing for muskies on Lake St. Clair.
Muskie Fishing Gear
1. Fishing Line
5. Heavy Tackle
Musky Fishing Baits
1. “Figure 8”
“Figure 8” is a fishing technique used by anglers to catch muskies. It is effective is popular with many anglers.
2. Soft Plastics
Soft plastics work well when fishing for muskies.
Bucktails allow you to cast very far away into the wind. They also help you keep the lure deeper when you retrieved it fast in rough waters.
4. Glide Baits
When nothing else works, glide baits are the choice anglers resort to as they move muskies. They work well as bait for muskies. When learning how to catch muskies, this is one of the best muskie fishing tips for beginners to remember.
Topwaters are a great lure for fishing for muskies as it is one of the lures that muskies are comfortable with.
Target large muskies with crankbaits to successfully catch them.
Swimbaits work well to lure and catch muskies.
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 catch muskies by sharing muskie fishing tips for beginners.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced muskie fisherman, we hope you will learn how to catch more muskies from the muskie fishing tips shared. If you want to catch more fly fish, this article about fly fishing tips will be a good read. You can also read bluegill fishing tips, pike fishing tips, and redfish fishing tips.