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MNMUSKIE50

Jigging Deep

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Wondering if anyone ever jigs deep for Muskies? I'm going to give it a try & wondering the best jigs you've tried & any tips or techniques you've learned.

Thanks!

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I WISH I would have had a big jigging spoon or a bondy some years ago.. whitefish were staging to spawn on a lake in Canada at the bottom of an 80 ft deep bay and we were marking large fish 40 feet down.

I have vertical jigged for muskies and pike since, but without success. Basically I've used large jigging spoons meant for fishing in the salt water and jigged them while drifting.

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drop down to the bottom, Put your rod tip at waters level and rip upward only as far as your waste line so you still have room to set the hook, the let fall on tight line. Key is to never let your line go slack and down high-stick each rip of the lure.

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Hiya -

I've done it with some success over the years...

Good electronics are really a key to me. I mark a lot of the fish I catch doing it, and sometimes what you really end up doing is driving around looking for fish along steep main lake basin breaks then dropping on them when you see one. Jig for a few minutes and they either bite or they don't.

About the only bait I ever use jigging deep is a Shumway Fuzzy Duzzit. It's basically a giant blade bait, and it just plain works. I've never done well on the Bondy bait, although I know some that have. The only other bait I've had some success on is a big Red October tube.

RawHog described the technique very well. It's just a steady lift/drop. Not really a rip, but just a steady, firm lift so you can feel the Duzzit thumping. Then follow it down on a tight or nearly tight line. Hits usually come on the drop and can be amazingly subtle. The fish is just there when you go to lift again sometimes. (There are exceptions. I filmed a TV show with The Next Bite deep jigging muskies several years ago, and had a fish smoke it half way up on a lift and just about take the rod out of my hands...)

This is a great technique to combine with heavily-weighted suckers fished vertically too. Sometimes the jig seems to call fish in to the suckers and the meat gets all the bites. Other times, they ignore the suckers and grab Fuzzy. Depends on the day...

As to where - main lake points, the edges of humps, and especially inside turns. Like I said, it involves a lot of looking with electronics (I actually had a guy fall asleep on me while I was graphing spots). Look especially at the steepest-breaking parts of a point or hump. Keep checking spots until you see 'life' on the screen - baitfish or big arcs.

One word of caution on how deep 'deep' is: Personally I won't fish deeper than about 25 feet. In my experience bringing fish up from deeper than that can cause barotrauma (swim bladders over expand and fish can't swim back down or stay upright, capillaries burst due to the pressure change, etc. ) that makes safe, live release very questionable.

I know people try 'fizzing' fish with a needle, but I talked about it once with a guy with a Ph. D. in fish physiology who has spent his career studying muskies, and he said even with his knowledge of their anatomy he wouldn't try it for fear of being 1/4" off and killing them. He said you might as well stick them with a filet knife because your odds of not killing them were about the same. That was enough for me. If they're deeper than 25' or so, leave them be...

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Great Tips Guys. Last time out on a Metro MN lake, I was seeing large marks around bait balls deep. I'm going to give the Shumway Fuzzy Duzzit a try.

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