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Beginers guide to fall muskies

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I just started muskie fishing a little and will be going for a long weekend this fall, what are the basics? Type of baits, structure, depth any tips would be helpful

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It's hard to give direction in a nutshell on muskies, but here are some good rules of thumb:

Muskies relate to temperature, baitfish, weed growth and other cover. Cover doesn't need to be weeds or stumps, it can be clouds too.

As a main rule, when you locate fish, pay attention to what the fish are relating to and continue the pattern until you are really sure you are not finding fish anymore (this can take hours).

The cloudier or darker the skies, the shallower I fish. This time of year is great for finding fish in 2-4 feet of water. I always look for some healthy green weeds as a first place to fish. I like topwaters, spinners and twitching or jerking shallow lipped crankbaits.

During high sun times, I look for weed edges with faster drops and distinct weedlines. There is more room for a variety of depths of lures to use.

During late fall, I usually slow things down and look for deep green weeds. Sometimes when I'm desperate I buy suckers and use quick-strike rigs. Bulldogs and jerk baits become favorites.

In summer, I speed troll with divers on outside weedlines around 12-16 feet of water. Shallow raiders have been good to me, but any diver will do. Just try to match the color to the forage fish in that lake.

Top 5 baits for me are...

Black tallywacker (surface)

Renosky 6" Swiss Minnow (rubber fish on in-line spinner)

8" Crane Bait

Jointed Shallow Raider

Mepps Musky Killer (squirrel tail)

...they cover most depths and are effective for me.

I hope this helps and I hope you get 'em!

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realistic bait colors are always good. the jointed shallow raider is also one of my top five baits. to many people get hung up on the depth raider, throw it away as far as im concerned. the shallow raider is a grait bait and if u wanna fish deep break out the lead core or the chain weights.

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One of my all-time favorite quotes is from RK regarding topwaters in the Fall:

Q: When do you quit throwing topwaters?

A: When they bounce off the ice.

Topside is an often overlooked option in the Fall. Sometimes it's a large profile bait like a slow moving wobbler, sometimes it's a subtle inline bait.

On a nice day where the sun feels good, I figure it feels good for the fish too and will look to the topside presentation and look to warmer shallow water. Cold nasty days that I'm hunkered down in my parka, I think the fish are doing the same and will look deeper and to remaining cover like any remaining weeds for example, maybe slow rolling a spinnerbait or a bucktail.

Lures:

Bulldawgs: I do like Bulldawgs on outside weedlines in the Fall as well, it can be effective. Dive 'n' rise baits like a Suick or Bobby Bait are also an effective presentation. I like the Suicks a lot, it's a confidence deal for me, as it's worked in past years.

Believers: Casting or trolling are hard a great option using both eyelets for shallow or deeper water. I'm looking to utilize the 10" Believers this year.

Jakes: Trolled or twitched/ripped, they are a very good option as well.

Spinnerbaits: Refer to the post on slow-rolling these baits. Single bladed baits with enough weight to hit the desired depths are key.

Best advice is to keep an open mind and read the conditions, your electronics, weather forecasts, and stack these points in your favor.

Good luck to all and be safe.

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