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ZEEK1223

this will be my first muskie season!!! looking for a few pointers.....

16 posts in this topic

I have fished my whole life, just never for muskie. I have caught a lot of big fish in my day, but never a muskie. When I told my dad I was taking the plunge he said, dont even start, you cant afford it. Just wait till I die, then you can have all my muskie stuff. He was only kidding, but I can see what he means. I went to thorne bros and bought 6 baits for $90. This was before I even had a rod to throw them with. Now I have one rod, and im ready for the season!!!!! I have a few lakes in the metro that I plan on targeting. Just looking for some basics such as: time of year related to certain structure,some go to baits for the metro, what net should I buy, ect.... basically just looking for as much info as I can get......any would be appreciated.....thanks!!!!!!

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i started 2 years ago. it's a steep learning curve, my advice is find someone (like your dad?) that knows the ropes and go out with them.

read this forum and anything you can get your hands on. then go out a lot smile

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On opening day weekend just find the cabbage and burn bucktails over them and you are sure to get a follow.I have always found muskies relating to the cabbage on the lakes I fish. It can be easy for a beginner to get overwhelm with all the musky products out there and I won't get into certain brands. Get a rod no shorter than 8 feet( 9 feet is what I use the most often except for jerkbaits). If you decide to throw the big bladed bucktails, get a reel with a power handle ( less fatiged in reeling in those big blades). Get the biggest net you can afford and all the other necesary C&R tools(hookcutter,jawspreader,hook pic) and you should be set.Good luck.

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Release Tools! A good pair of Knipex cutters should be on your list, if you don't own a pair now, as well a pliers, hook-out,jaw spreaders, and

of coarse a good net.

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Release Tools! A good pair of Knipex cutters should be on your list, if you don't own a pair now, as well a pliers, hook-out,jaw spreaders, and

of coarse a good net.

BIG +1. Lots of good info on here, worth searching for stuff. What size rod/reel/baits did you get? That will affect how you want to approach the water.

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Go to the Muskie Expo next weekend. Sit in on as many seminars as possible. Rob Kimm will be talking about early season/spring tactics. Others will speak on other topics and strategies. Talk to as many people as possible. Consider hiring a guide and help shorten your learning curve. Read magazines, read books, watch dvd's, do it all, but mainly get out there and try some stuff! Welcome to the addiction smile

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You can spend all kinds of money but there are ways to cut costs. I'm sure many people will argue with me on some of these points but I will share anyways. I began muskie fishing when I was broke in college so I made due with the funds I had. I bought a muskie sized Frabill net at Sports Authority for $50. It doesn't extend as easily as one you could buy for $120 but it has landed me plenty of muskies, northerns, and giant carp over the past few years. I have also been using a bolt cutters from sears that I bought for $14 rather than the $60 for a knipex. It has cut lots of hooks and still works great. I have several muskie rods, most of which have Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reels ($60-75) on them. I bought an Abu 7000i ($115) last season and love it but it's not a requirement for muskie fishing. My rods are either Lightning rods or Gander Guide series rods ($50-80 range). I have lengths from 6'0"-7'6" and have caught muskies on all of them. I also caught my first muskie (45") 10 years ago on a 5'9" pool cue rod. I do like the longer rods, but again it's not required.

Lures can get expensive but my 5 most productive lures over the past 10 years have been resonably priced:

Harasser Inline Bucktail ($8)

Depthraider Crankbait ($10)

Bomber Long A Crankbait ($7)

Grandma Crankbait ($12)

Muskie Bucktail Reed Runner Spinnerbait ($10)

Many people will talk you into buying $20-30 lures like the DCG's and Pounder Bulldogs but unless you have the proper reel and rod combo you will get frustrated and tired throwing these baits. I have also caught muskies in the metro on DT-10 bass cranks and many people catch them on Bass spinnerbaits as well. You do not need giant lures to put fish in the boat.

Good luck this season!

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Being able to afford good quality equipment can be tough, but worth it in the long run. Reeds, Bluewater Bait, and Thorne Bros. will have alot of good sales at the Expo. I started fishing muskies back in 1972 and now more than a couple thousand lures, 2 dozen plus rods and reels it still excites me when the fish come to play. I fish Shimano Compres with Garcia reels. I normally only take out about 3 dozen lures a few of each kind, crank, topwater, spin, buzzers, bulldawgs, mepps, jerk-baits, and mayhems. I use Cortland Spectron in 50# for bucktails and 80# for jerk-baits. I have a Frabill musky net with rubberized netting. Tools include bolt cutters, 16 inch needle nose pliers, needle nose vise grips, and a larger jaw grabber tool. Summer 2008 I released all the 33 muskies boated. 53 1/2 was the largest. Not my best year, but satisfying none the less.

If you go this coming weekend to the Muskie Expo you will find everything you need and more. The seminars are great. I have been to every show since it started.

Good luck. Throw small early and big later. Cast A Way

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Thanks for the great info guys!!! I just have a 6'3" rod, with a 6600 garcia on it. I have 6 bucktails, 2 big spinner baits, and one depth raider. I am looking to add a few top water baits before the season start, I am also looking for a longer rod.

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ZEEK iv been fishin them for three years and was lucky to boat 45 in my first time out and im hooked for life. alot of good info here. it can get frustrating dont give up and good luck. were you plan on goin for opener.

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Zeek,

This is a 45 plus under a boat lift at our campground. Just thought you would like to see.

Cast A Way

dockmusky.jpg

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one hint i might add is that you're going to get frustrated - set the rod down and do something else, or target another fish species for a sec to recharge your batteries. You can get burned out when you start, nothing worse than a bad attidude or lackidaisical fishing for skis - you just won't do well if that is the case!

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Release tools +2. If you're planning on releasing fish (which I hope you are) then you MUST have a good net, pliers and hook cutters. Otherwise to be honest with you you'll probably find it hard for people to give you a hand learning the sport. It's counter productive to give information to someone who doesn't have what it takes to maintain the fishery. As far as brand, either Beckman, Stowmaster or Frabill are all good nets. I personally prefer Beckman as they float handle up for a time and the net isn't so deep that I have to jump in to get the fish (I fish out of a bass boat).

A number of quality leaders and extra snaps are just as important. I can't believe how many people have $1000's in tackle and cheap out on leaders and snaps. That's the direct line to the fish you're spending $1000's to catch and should have a strong connection.

As far as getting equipped, check out the swap on Sat night of the expo. You can get pretty much anything under the sun in the $5-$10 range. They'll be fliers at the expo with the info.

To be perfectly honest you really don't need that much tackle. You're money ahead to have a couple higher end rods/reels and quality release tools. Most everyone here will tell you that they fish the same 20 baits.

You can also contact me if you'd like. I've got a garage full of stuff that hasn't seen the water in ages I'd sell for a good deal. shawn@muskietreat.com

Joining Muskies Inc also will reduce your learning curve. the meetings are free to go to and there's plenty of people, trips and activities that can get you on the fast track. Just don't be afraid to approach people and participate. The ones who do that generally have better experiences then those that just sit there waiting for something to happen (that's a good rule for life in general too).

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I would of course be releasing the fish. I have handled a few big northerns, but I can only image the power a 45in muskie would have. I could see those sharp hooks getting you pretty quick. One thing I will have to get is a hook cutter. Thanks agian for all the info. I will most likely be attending the expo!!!!

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I tell interested people start backwards kind of, get all of your necessary releasing tools/net etc. stuff first so when you get into 1 you can have the 2nd satisfaction, releasing a healthy properly handled fish. Don't expect things to go perfectly, time on the water is critical, you'll learn all the tricks and nuances in time. Sounds like you are off to a good start, don't get too caught up in baits, I used only 3 baits last season and a few various colors of them and boated 17 fish in 24 outings, not bad for fishing June,July and the first week in August them I'm done for the season mainly because of job and hunting. Time to go get your feet wet.

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Actually a good thing to think about would be to hire a guide. Those few hours in the boat can really reduce your learning curve in your first year. The guide can also go over proper handling techniques and show you some of the tricks to a successful release. If you google the Twin Cities Chapter of Muskies Inc you can can get some info on a few guides in the area that also donate their time back to the resource. I don't think I'm allowed to post names or web addresses here.

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