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slabchaser

Give me some direction

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I love fishing and have often thought about starting to muskie fish so here are my questions.

How much do I need to invest to be able to fish for these giants? I have some larger spinning rods for pike.

What are some basic lures I will need?

Im guessing not but is there a decent bite throughout the summer or would i be wasting my time during certain times of the day and month?

Do you guys ever catch other species of fish? Ive often wondered because there are some monster walleyes and hungry pike around?

Thanks for the info guys I appreciate it

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You can spend as much or little as you want, I have $5-$6K in rods, reels and baits and I have a small collection. Get the right rela=ease tools, nipex, muskie sized net, long needle nose ect. Those spinning rods will work but a quality baitcasting set up will be much more enjoyable.

Bait choices vary from area to area and even lake to lake but a few good ones are Hellhounds, Triple D's Bulldawgs, Cowgirls and other bucktailed spinners. I know I left out topwaters and spinnerbaits but in my area thats wasted money.

Lots of choices out there and once you start the addiction sucks you in and theres no going back.

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I'm new to it as well - tried it last fall and now I am ALL-IN. Had the whole winter to spend a small fortune on a bunch of gear, lures, etc.

From my personal experience & infor from multiple posts on this & other sites, I would suggest the following if you just want to try it:

Cheapest - go with someone that has all the stuff and is willing to take you out to give it a try. You could use your pike setup - depending on how big your spool size & rod lure rating. See thread on spinning rods in this forum. If you want to get by with your pike setup - buy musky lures that weigh in the range of your rod rating. Likely smaller bucktails/spinner/buzz baits, big lipless crankbaits, small musky crankbaits, small topwater prop baits. You could spend $100 on this real quick.

Alternative if you plan to use larger baits, and get all your own gear - shop around on one of the classified sites/sale forums for gear:

(1)Used rod(7-8ft)/reel baitcasting combo ($100-$150 likely cheapest), you'll likely want to upgrade if you want to get more into it. Some like beefy spinning rod setups - might be a cheaper option. Most recommend 80#+ superlines, could get away with 65# if using a reel with a little smaller reel.

(2) Release tools - jaw spreaders, long needle nose pliers, wire/bolt cutter for hooks can be picked up fairly cheap. New musky sized nets new can be pretty spendy $120+, you might find one cheap used (around $50-80).

(3) Lures - Tons of lure sold in bundles on the classified sites. Best bang for the buck for starting out - you'll find many lures you pick-up are in like new or new condition. Sometimes will come with the tackle box. Get a variety: Large/small bucktail, spinner bait (more weedless), bull dawg (plastic), prop topwater, shallow & deep crankbait. And don't forget steal/floro leaders.

For all the above I would guess you will spend minimum $200 if you find some really good deals, more like $300+++

Read throught the various post here for a lot of good info. There are also some good instructional DVD's on muskies from Linder & Gregg Thomas. Also, consider going to the musky show this weekend and Concordia College, there is also an equipment swap, I think on Sat at O'Gara's.

Good Luck!

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Esox_mag do you fish Spirit lake/okoboji? I have family near there, just wondering?

Yep most my fish have came off those waters, incuding the one on my avatar.

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so why are topwater and spinnerbaits wasted money in your area? those are like meat and potatoes up here!

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They don't eat topwater here, some on spinnerbaits but theres better lures to use here. I have fished hard for them the last 4 years here and know a few with lots of hours throwing topwaters with no hits and seen 1 caught on a Topraider. Your welcome to come show us how its done. Again different area different forage base means different tactics. I can't explain why they won't eat topwaters and neither can any of the rest of the guys that fish our area hard.

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Fish eat topwaters EVERYWHERE!

I second the good net and release tools. That's the most important part of your equipment. If you don't release the fish right there won't be any to catch making all the rest of your equipment worthless (ok maybe I'm being a little dramatic but you get my point).

There's the muskie expo next weekend where you can get a good deal on pretty much everything you need. There's also going to be a swap on Sat night where lots of people bring their "white elephants". You can get some amazing deals here! There should be some fliers at the expo at the Twin Cities MI both.

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Quote:
I love fishing

that's really all you need IMO. everything else falls into place because of it. you'll learn how to properly release a muskie because you care. and as mentioned that's the most important thing about muskie fishing. no holds barred. at least for me. the rush, the fight, the happy guy feel, all of it would be tanked if i killed a muskie because i was careless. my favorite part has always been watching them swim out of sight.

you need to invest whatever you can now and then more later. talk to Pat at thorne bros. let him hand you what a begginner ''needs'', and get half now and half slowly before opener, then fill in even slower over the year/years. one hand bolt cutters work nice enough, like stated.

lures? lol, twenty years ago that was easy, i'd say "just go buy all ten of them". now it's really hard with the amount there is. i'm still old school mostly... but... believer/swim whiz, mepps' muskie killers (hate that name) in marabou and deertail, slopmaster spinnerbaits, a couple prop-baits ( handmade custom just for you smile ), a couple rapala slashers and you have your "start" .

muskie eat all year. they have to.

personally i catch other fish while fishing for muskie all the time. smallies and northern mostly with a piggy eye once in a while. even got a nice cat once. and i think i've snagged everything at least a few times. grin

yer gonna love this newbie. cool

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I got the Beckman Fin saver muskie net, and man, you could net a German sheppard in it if you need to. Any nice net will do, but if you want a net to take pride in this is the one. I liked it so much I got a smaller one too for other fish, but cattin and muskies require a big one for sure. I have been fishing Ski's for a couple years and have not got one yet, so be prepared for some dissappointment, but like Don said you will catch other fish so don't give up........

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Quote:
have a feelin' this is your year smeese!

i predict it's on a topwater, orange/yellow/black with a deer-tail. wink ...or black and a deep, deep, dull chrome red. probably on a river, near shore in an eddy, on the point/up-river end, that has some heavy thickets, or an out building within say, 100 feet of the shoreline. or a bucktail with some decent contrast. that's my feeling smile

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I agree, Muskies will hit a topwater everywhere. I also find it hard to believe that a spinnerbait won't get bit in Iowa. If you have weeds or wood

you can catch Muskies throwing spinnerbaits, even in Iowa.

"Ace"

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Not for lack of trying but its hard to throw a bait that might get bit vers a bait you know will get bit. As for topwater I'll take anyone out that thinks they can get one to eat a topwater here. I'm also speaking of certain lakes not all of them here.

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The folks here gave you a good rundown on equipment. I'll list a few "must haves" in my box. Full size Eagletail in black/nickel, Double Cowgirl in rainbow/nickel, SilGirl in black-silver/smoke,Llungen Inline in red/chartreuse, Shumway Flasher in brown/copper. Rad Dog, MG, and Cyco Spinners.

8 and 10 inch Jakes in perch and sucker patterns, Jointed Shallowraider in night shiner, Depth Raiders and Ernies in the same patterns, dark and bright colored Top Raiders, Tallywackers, and Pacemakers. Reef Hawgs, Suicks, and Big Dawgs.

I can't stress enough the importance of good release equipment. I have a Frabill Big Kahuna Net with a knotless, rubberized basket. It's so big that two labrador retrievers like to lay in it on platform! It's great because it acts as a holding pen for the fish, and the size keeps 'em from going too ballistic.

Too many folks will spend thousands on rods, reels, baits, etc, and then skimp on the net. A glorified walleye net isn't the answer!

A good pair of Knipex cutters is of paramount importance as well.

Make sure you use good quality leaders. I've been seeing a lot of bad leaders lately...I like titanium Terminators for casting, and 48 inch Thorne Rock Crushers for trolling minnowbaits.

Paul.

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