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HugoBox

How long to figure 8?

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This has prolly been beaten to death but I'm too lazy to do a search so I'll ask like its the most interesting subject ever.

How long do you figure 8 in the following conditions?

1 - No fish sighted in clear, shallow water?

2 - No fish sighted in clear, deep water?

3 - No fish sighted in murky water?

4 - Fish follows but appears to lose interest?

5 - Fish aggressively follows but appears to spook from you or the boat (will they come back)?

Basically during the day I try to do at least half of an 8 unless its shallow and clear and PAINFULLY obvious there is no fish. At night I do a fully one every time - the rest of the time I'm inconsistant at best and know it has/will cost me fish.

thanks - erik

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Normally, under any conditions, I always do 2-3 full figure 8 (I alternate between the 8 and the O) before I take it out to cast... If theres a fish in the picture, I would try doing this n that to keep its interest growing... otherwise... once it leaves, I cast out again and hope I can interest it again...

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Hiya -

Unless it's at night or in REALLY murky water (like a bloom on LoTWS, for example), I only figure-8 if I see a fish. I do a complete L-turn after every cast, which now that I think about it, is more like the L and the first half of the first turn of an 8. The change in direction will usually turn a following fish so you can see them, and you're already into your 8 if you do have a follow. Otherwise, if there's no fish there, I think I'm better off getting the lure back out to where the fish are. The best articulation for this logic I've ever heard was from Doug Johnson. Doug said "It's like deer hunting. You don't just shoot into the woods. You wait until you actually see a deer..."

As for questions 4 and 5 - I really just try to read the fish's mood. You can really tell a lot from the fish's body language. Sometimes as soon as you see them you know there's no way on God's green earth it's going to bite... If it's a long ways back and below the bait, then sinks out of sight, or if it's following but losing ground on the bait, I'll do a turn or two and move on. If it's right on the bait (even a slow-moving bait like a slow-rolled spinnerbait) or making other aggressive movements like snaking up or popping its jaws, I'll figure-8 for quite a while. If a fish really rockets off, I take it as a good sign. Sometimes when they disappear they're circling around to line up on the bait - they come back out of nowhere and smoke it. Sometimes - especially with a bucktail - you can pop the bait out of the water on a turn and smack it on the surface, and they'll come flying back and hit. Doesn't always work, but exciting when it does...

So that's my figure-8 routine, more or less. You blow some once in a while, but I think overall I get my bait in front of more fish by NOT doing a full 8 (or more than one) after every cast. I know some that preach an 8 after every cast say it's for "the fish you don't see" and that it'll mean an extra fish or two a season. I'd counter that by saying that you don't see the fish you don't see because the overwhelming probability is that it isn't there. I can catch way more than an extra fish or two each year by getting the cast over with and making another.

Besides - fig 8s after every cast is tiring as all get out smile

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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Two things: 1) Hugo, you'll get more info if you use the search function, and 2) you'll get a better response if you don't point out that you are just being lazy by not using the search function. whistle I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, just giving you a friendly tip for how you might want to try acquire helpful info in the future.

My thinking is the exact same as RK's-- I do an L turn every cast. I turn it left or right at the boat, turn it out away from the boat, and if I don't see a fish I swing it straight up and out of the water and smoothly into the next cast. No wasted motions and gets the lure back in the water right away.

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1: L-turn that's it.

2: Several turns, had multiple fish come up 2nd or 3rd 8 out of no where and smack the bait, even last weekend when we were out that happened twice.

3: Several turns again

4: At least 8-10 rounds

5: 2-3 minutes, however varying position relative to the boat and the style of 8 i'm doing, also doing big circles etc. Only worked 1-2 times, but that's worth it!

I don't agree with doug's analogy, a deer isn't trying to eat my bullet...heck, it isn't even trying to find me or my gun/bullet. A muskie is trying to eat what i'm throwing and looking for a meal which i'm "providing".

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Now some of you know I am lazy and not a total muskie hound like my brother, but I gotta say, I love Rob's take on the figure 8 smile Makes sense, and fits sort of like how I like to troll (for walleye or muskie) - keep the lure in the productive water more and it will pass more fish's faces wink

Plus, it fits with my lazy manners, ha!

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1 - No fish sighted in clear, shallow water?

2 - No fish sighted in clear, deep water?

3 - No fish sighted in murky water?

4 - Fish follows but appears to lose interest?

5 - Fish aggressively follows but appears to spook from you or the boat (will they come back)?

1 - 1

2 - 1

3 - 1 or 2

4 - 2 or 3

5 - 4+ depending

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I agree with RK 100%

Figure 8 after every cast is a waste of time.

sharp L turn after every cast, good idea,

Look for attitude of fish.

Doug J has forgotten more about Muskie fishing than 95% of the

Muskie fisherman on this Board.

The only thing I might add is that "some lakes" seem to be better figure eight lakes

than others.

WBM

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For me, in addition to what others have said already, a lot also depends on the presentation I'm using. If I'm burning a bucktail, I'm only going to give it a L unless I see a fish right behind it because I'm looking for more aggressive fish. If I use something slower like a bulldog, then I always give it at least one full 8 if not more because its a slower presentation and I feel fish will be following slower. In addition perhaps sitting beneath it because my retrieve is slower and the bait comes back deep until boatside when I pull it up so I see most the follows after the first 8.

Of course there are exceptions but thats my take for the most part.

Zelmsdawg

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Quote:
1 - No fish sighted in clear, shallow water?

2 - No fish sighted in clear, deep water?

3 - No fish sighted in murky water?

4 - Fish follows but appears to lose interest?

5 - Fish aggressively follows but appears to spook from you or the boat (will they come back)?

1. never

2. never

3. never

4. never

5. never

most i do is a straght line or slight curve. i sometimes walk the boat around but not for awhile now. i danced the 8 for years (decades) but discontinued it after taking a chunk/strip out of a very nice pike doing it. i regret that. a muskie would be worse. besides, it'll be there next time. smile

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1 - No fish sighted in clear, shallow water?

an Oval or a 3/4 figure 8

2 - No fish sighted in clear, deep water?

same

3 - No fish sighted in murky water?

same

4 - Fish follows but appears to lose interest?

20 seconds

5 - Fish aggressively follows but appears to spook from you or the boat (will they come back)?

sometimes a minute or longer and yes they will come back

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Good point 10,000

Forgot to mention that but there have been several occasions in my boat when a fish will follow, disappear but come back after up to 5 min of 8ing (i would only go more than a few min unless its a big fish).

I also think if you're fishing with someone else its always a good idea to do an 8 because follows that they get or just didnt see will sit under the boat or in the immediate area for a little while and will come to your 8.

Hope some of this is helping

Zelmsdawg

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Bingo RK, I'll only add if you've had a hot or fairly active fish pinpointed and you come back to the exact spot roughly I'd do a few more eights than usual otherwise it's an L turn and bombs away again. In the heat of summer I'm not going to figure eight much, the mood of a few fish can tell me to load the boat and get out of dodge unless a major/minor/moon set is coming with no foreseeable weather/sun/cloud changes on the way, I'll save my energy for another day.

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