Timely Tips to Make Your Musky Hunt a Success"
By Justin Hoffman (c) 2001
As the trees drop their leaves and the days grow colder, in-the-know musky anglers
begin to congregate on their favourite waters to reap the rewards that the fall time
offers - BIG plentiful muskies! Fall is the best time to hook into that fish of a
lifetime, and by being prepared and having the right tools, your time on the water can be
more productive and unforgettable.
Lures and Rods
There are a ton of musky lures on the market today, however, fall fishing will simplify
the selection and take the guesswork out of what to bring. My arsenal consists of three
types of lures - jerkbaits, trolling cranks and spinnerbaits.
Jerkbaits are my "go to" lure in the fall and their action and style are just
what the musky doctor ordered. Choose a jerk between 8 and twelve inches and get ready for
some excitement. A few baits to keep on board are the Suick, the Jake and the Bobbie Bait.
Trolling cranks deserve a place in all fall tackle boxes as they are a dynamite search
lure and have the reputation of catching HUGE fish. The way to go is BIG in order to whet
the appetite of these eating machines. Choose a few lures that will cover different depths
for the water you troll. Lures such as Believers, Swim Whiz's and jumbo Rapalas or Bagleys
have worked well for me in the past. Try different colour combinations to see which one is
triggering a strike in this "sometimes picky" fish.
Spinnerbaits work great in the summer months for musky and also produce results well
into the fall. Bass-sized baits should be overlooked, as jumbo spinnerbaits are the best
to choose. White-skirted versions with oversized willow leaf blades have been the
"lure de jour" for many of the muskies I have encountered during the chilly
If there is one thing I can suggest to those anglers wishing to pursue the mighty musky
it is to invest in a good quality rod that is specifically designed for this type of fish.
My recommendation is a rod in the 6-foot to 6-and-a-half foot length with a heavy action.
This will enable you to cast and troll easily, and land fish that would undoubtedly play
havoc on gear that is any lighter.
Gear and Gadgets
There are certain items that must be in my boat each musky outing to ensure a safe and
productive day. Having a good set of pliers will make hook removal a snap, as long as they
are of a sufficient length (so you don't have to venture too close to that ferocious
mouth) and can attain a reasonable torque. A heavy-duty pair of bolt cutters is also
needed so that any hook that is irremovable can be quickly and effortlessly cut off. No
hook is worth the price of a musky, so when in doubt, your best option is to cut her free.
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