Musky Fishing Baits & Techniques

Musky Fishing Baits & TechniquesThe muskellunge, better known as the muskie, is the biggest member of the pike family of fish. Most muskies exceed 80 pounds. Some anglers many spend hours stalking through shallow and weedy areas of lakes and rivers to catch one of these big fish.

Bait Harnessing

The muskie is a fish that may actually break through the surface of the water to grab at a bird perched on a low-lying limb. The best approach for this tough customer is with a technique that harnesses large baitfish onto a casting or trolling line. Be prepared for the muskie to lightly munch on the bait for several minutes. Avoid pulling too soon, causing you to pull the bait right out of its mouth.


Best Time

If you are not looking to catch a record trophy muskie, the best time to fish for them is during the hottest part of the end of summer. Get up early to hit the river or lake by dawn or sleep late and get there for the dusk feeding. Overcast days are best, and you should use a depth gauge to locate an area between 6 feet and 15 feet deep with a weed bed.

Heavy Tackle, Lively Lures

Bring heavy tackle if you plan on going after this ferocious fish. Muskies are attracted to heavy lures, such as large spoons, buck-tail spinners and surface lures. Look for such vibrantly attractive colors as black, yellow, red, brown, gold and purple. Muskies may bite the lure anywhere along the line of your retrieval. Don't be surprised if it runs its long, snouty mouth into the side of your boat going for the lure at the last second.

Live Bait

The appetite of the average muskie is perfect for the low-maintenance angler. A muskie will eat just about anything it can catch. Longtime popular baitfish for muskies include perch, sucker fish, chubs and frogs. If those don't work, take a chance on more exotic enticements, such as snakes, mice or even ducklings.

Figure Eights

A good technique to keep in mind when fishing for muskie is that the fish often chooses not to bite at the lure when it approaches the boat. Instead, it will teasingly turn away at the last second. Don't give up because the fish will likely repeat this odd behavior several more times. React by dipping the tip of the rod into the water and weaving the lure in a figure eight motion to entice the fish to quit messing around and take a bite.

Article Written By Timothy Sexton

Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

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