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llee873

Using Suckers in the summer for Muskies?

11 posts in this topic

I was just wondering if anybody has tried using suckers in the warmer summer months for muskies and had any success? Thanks for your responses.

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Absolutely. Make sure you use a single hook and when your bobber goes down let them run with it. When they stop, wait about 30 seconds and then SLAM the rod home. Good luck.......

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If you are going to do it I wouldn't use a single hook and wait 30 seconds. Pick up some quick strike rigs, and set the hook instantly once you see your bobber go down or feel a strike. If you do choose to run a single hook look into getting some large circle hooks same as catfisherman use( the bigger the better as you have less chance of gut hooking a fish) and don't let them take it for any amount of time.

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yeah. if you let them sit and eat it. even if you cut the line and the fish swims off fine a lot of the fish have a delayed mortality. there was an article in an old musky hunter about a test they did on captive muskies . not a bioligist by any means just sharing what i read.

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joey, you must be from wisconsin smile

here's a tidbit from the WI DNR

Effects of a Single-hook Live Bait Angling Technique on Muskellunge Survival

Terry L. Margenau

Use of live bait is a popular method to fish muskellunge during fall months. However, muskellunge anglers have expressed concern that certain live bait techniques may cause muskellunge mortality to be unacceptably high. This study monitored the survival of adult muskellunge (31.5 to 42.3 in) for a period up to one year after being angled using a single-hook live bait rig where muskellunge were allowed to swallow the bait prior to hook set. Over a two-year period a total of 40 muskellunge (20 fish/year) were field transferred into a 1-acre lined hatchery pond in early September. After allowing muskellunge several weeks to acclimate to the hatchery pond, angling was initiated using live suckers (approximately 12 in) with a 10/0 single hook attached to the suckers snout and suspended from a bobber. A total of 22 muskellunge were hooked with the single-hook rig. Hooked fish were landed as quickly as possible, inspected for hooking location and injury, and released after cutting the leader. Average time from a strike until hook set averaged 17 minutes. Play-time (hook set to landing) averaged less than one minute, and handling time averaged approximately 5 minutes. Immediate mortality (first 24 h after hooking) of muskellunge was zero. Short-term delayed mortality (24 h until ice formation; approximately 45 d) was 22%. Cumulative mortality (hooking until one year) was 83%. Results from this study have several implications for management agencies and anglers. First, all fish hooked appeared healthy after being caught and released, thus leading an angler to believe that the release was successful. Second, delayed and long-term mortality appeared related to the extent of internal damage suffered from the hook. Finally, while mortality to one year is unacceptable for fisheries that rely upon successful release, not all fish perished. Those fish surviving to one year maintained good relative weight values and appeared externally healthy.

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you'll notice time from strike to hookset avgs 17 minutes. it stands to reason that using smaller suckers, as you would buy in MN, would cause a fish to swallow it much quicker, thus producing the same result.

i'm not holier than thou, i just like big muskies. not sure about the rest of you guys but it's the predatory thing that gets me with them, why fish for them if you can't watch them come in and eat at your feet?

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yeah, good luck keeping the suckers alive. That is if you are using the bigguns'

Put ice in the live well... wink

Please please please please please read above and use a quick strike, NOT a single hook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe's sporting goods has some bucher quick strikes as well that are pretty good.

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Quick Strike Rigs are definetly the way to go.

I noticed you live in Apple Valley, Fleet Farm in Lakeville has Muskie sized QS rigs. Or Infisherman's HSOforum has an article about making your own, they also have articles about using them. Search "quick strike rig" on their HSOforum.

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I'm definitely going to use QS rigs. That's a given! The water temps at the cabin in northern WI have barely hit 70 so I was thinking maybe the sucker idea might work. I will be taking a friend who has never caught a musky yet and just wanted to see what other musky anglers think about using suckers in the summer. Thank you guys for your responses.

Just another quick question. Should I use BIG suckers or maybe medium size? They will be used on a smaller 150+ acre lake or maybe even the Chippewa Flowage. Thanks.

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I'm trying to figure out where this idea that suckers don't work in the summer comes from, it's not the first time i've heard it...Are there not suckers in the lakes during the rest of the year, is someone stocking them in the fall and they all get eaten until the next year?

winkgrinlaugh

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Hard to find the really big suckers right now and they are harder to keep alive right now. You will be messing around with pike with suckers you can buy from the bait store. I hate live bait, but that's just me. Artificial works better IMO. I'd rather fool them than feed them.

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