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Musky fishing

3981 Views 24 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  sal_jr
I have never fished for musky before but would like to start, to pass time while waiting for the cats to bite. I fish below a dam on the allegheny river. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
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Big lures fast motion, jerk it- let it ride, then jerk again.

If you are trolling, troll fast, paint your prop red and white and keep your lure no more than 15 feet from your prop.

Fast is the key- this is a freshwater barracuda- remember that- they are really of the same family and have many of the same tendencies. This is the time of year to go for them. HOT AUGUST DAYS 8-15 FOW, steep drops, rock outcrops, or edges off weedlines.

You can get them up to 25 feet deep, tho I have heard of them biting at the surface in 40FOW before.


PM me if you have any other questions.
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bullfrogs? any good i seen a guy just sending them out but i did stay to see if he caught anything
bigpapa15206 said:
bullfrogs? any good i seen a guy just sending them out but i did stay to see if he caught anything

Heck- anything thats big that moves fast can do it- Every year a couple of small toy poodles or chihuahuas go undr in lake st clair.... try them LMAO
lost a nice one last night :cursing: he hit a 6"chub under a bobber about 7 feet.of course he hit the lightest line i had out!never heard a bobber "pop" like that!i had him to the surface once before he shredded the 12# cajun red line.
worst part was i just topped off that reel to get more distance,under that was 50# spider stealth!that was one rockin fish while i had him on though!
Eric B
p.s. sal must've been hiding in the bushes cause he describes the location perfectly!
what are some good lures? i fish below a dam with decent current, how should i fish live bait, shad,bream,wipers?
what are some good lures? i fish below a dam with decent current, how should i fish live bait, shad,bream,wipers?
Good lures:

Mepps Musky Killer, Mepps Agilia with Bucktail trailer
Rapalas - Anything over 8 inches, Super Shad Raps are cheap and great for throwing and trolling.
Musky Spinners (they look like reg spinnerbaits but twice the size)
Creek Chubs- Big jointed ones made by Heddon, I believe
1 1/2 - 4 oz jigs tipped with any 7+inch baitfish, or a 9" slug-go, or with no bait and a bucktail
1 1/2 to 3 or more oz daredevile spoons (aka husky devle)
Suick Thrillers- theyre bout 9 inches long


That should getcha started.
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A Muskie is a cross between a Northen pike and a Walleye(think its walleye maybe some other fish)
They get active in the fall when the water temps cool down and are usually found along weed beds.Just a couple things i remember reading about them.
Does anyone here fish for them regularly and could possibly give some more info on how and where to go after them?

Believer makes a good musky lure,i use it mostly for stripers but is designed for muskies,big 10-15 inch lure.Need a big lure like that to catch a 4 foot musky,and they are the ones i'm out to get!
I'd let out about a good 50-75 yards out for trolling and keep it at about 5-7MPH.
A downrigger would be almost a necessity for musky fishing i would think you'd want the lure at a certain depth all the time to stay in the strike zone.Two would probly be best that way you can have em at two different depths and save ya some gas(especially with the way prices are now) trying to figure out where they are holdin.
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Why red and white on the prop?
I would of thought ya want the lure away from the boat and not nowheres near 15 foot of it.
Could you explain why ya want it that close?
(goin through them books again learn myself about em again before goin after em)LOL
I'm gonna use these same tactics for big stripers that i know are out there and whereabouts they are,so any info would be good.
A Muskie is a cross between a Northen pike and a Walleye(think its walleye maybe some other fish).... Sorry bro but that isnt right.

That is not a musky- what you describe is a "chain pickerel" and it looks way different, doesnt get to be nearly half as big, and totally has a different habitat, nor can it spawn on its own.

A muskellunge (musky) is available in two species, the muskellunge and the tiger musky. The tiger musky is a hybrid between a pike and a muskellunge and is also sterile.

the true musky is a sleek relative of the barracuda, moreso than even the northern pike.

In lakes where there is a lot of fishing pressure, musky have learned that when they see a propeller then folks will soon have an injured fish near the boat so they come and lurk near boats. When a boat moves it triggers the fish's aggression... it equatesmovement to running away or weakness and the strikefactor takes over.

They also have learned to chase baitfish that are swept in the votices of the propeller and rendereduseless... and thats why your lure needs to be in the wash of the prop- to get to the ones that target this activity. The red and white prop triggers the same reaction- it catches their eye.

I have been on charters where we had 25 on and boated 11, where we have had 13 on and boated 5. On her 1st trip ever, my wife got a 40 incher not 5 feet from the back of the boat, jusrt as I said! I have gone out solo on days when I landed one and other trips with my wife, my buddies or my grandfather where many more were landed. I know the tricks to a point.. and so I am sharing all I know on em in the hopes that a BOC bro will have as much fun as I do.

believer is a great lure, so is the suick. Lately I have really been pushing the super shad raps for their ease and durability as well as general all-around greeat luck, cheap replacement cost by comparison, and varied color schemes.

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Tiger Musky is the one i was thinkin of.knew it was part pike and some other fish.Caught one last week but it was only 16 inches.Was mixed in with a school of smallmouth feeding on fry.Still was nice to land em though.

Never knew muskies were part of the barracuda family,thats interesting and somethin i never heard before.Never seen a "suick" luere before either.
Them believers look pretty darn good in the water but they are pretty pricey.gonna look into them shad raps and follw your tips about keepin the bait close to the boat.Still not sure bout painting the prop,but if i get to landing a few i just may do that to try and increase my catches.The colors would match my boat though too....LOL

About how fast is fast trolling?
I usually will keep it at about 5MPH or 1600rpms on my boat.
troll fast this time of year... 5 mph to 7 is fine- it seems nuts but its a golden tip.

One other thing- super shad raps, not just shad raps. There is a difference, not sure if you knew, but theyre about 2 inches longer, twice as thick, and dont dive nearly as far.

I like em- theyre cheap! LOL

LOL i figured they'd be a bit bigger

I was thinkin about this some more at work today.I've read that (guess this is for casting) at the end of your retreive to make a figure eight with the lure.
This is supposed to trigger a strike.Ya have any experience with that?
I can't help but imagine to get a 4 foot muskie hooked up that close to the boat!

WHOAAAAAAAAAAAA what ya got there! :eek:
I dont do the figure 8 unless I saw one in persuit that didnt make up his mind yet- In those cases I do 5 or 6 figure 8s in the water till I know they left or they arent gonna take it. it has only actually worked for me twice, but I do it nonetheless.

I have been in situations where I've seen a head under my lure and the tail on the other side of the boat many many times On north Lake huron in Canada on Georgian Bay. It is a bit intimidating to see a 50+ inch fish staring you down like that. I've seen 50 inch pike do that too... Up in northern canada there arer a lot more monsters- they do that all the time- follow the lure to the boat then hang out 5 feet from the boat like a log under the water or a torpedo. I have seen them sit still for 5 minutes while I still cast and retrieve- and I even had one take a hammerhandle pike I had hooked on a rapala from right under my boat.


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Hey thanks for the info Sal Jr. Im heading to Northern Wisconson next month and will defenatly try your approach.
I gotta say, in the many years of intrest, I have never heard of anyone suggesting trolling so close to that prop, not even the great Babe Winkelman. LOL. Cant wait to try! Hope eveyone has a great holiday.
That is awful close....LOL

I tried a bit last night with no success.The nice thing about being that close to the prop was i was able to get close to shallow waters without getting snagged.
I would zig-zag on and off structure and then run straight in deeper water and then work my way back to shallows.

I'm wondering if this would work for tiger muskies as well?
I know for sure there are tiger muskies in the river but not positive there are actual muskies.

I'm a lil surprised that figure 8 doesn't land more fish! Most of the articles I've read mention that alot and say many strikes come at the end of the retreive while doing the figure 8.
Something about they like to stalk the prey(like you was mentioning about them staring ya down) and then strike at the figure 8 cause the fish is in a or looke to be in a prone situation.

I'mma gonna keep tryin til i land one of these behemoths!
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This is what i've found on the NJ fish n wildlife about em,
Says they are in the river!!!

General Facts
The muskellunge is the largest member of the pike family, a highly prized sportfish and a true trophy. This elusive fish is seldom abundant, and in lakes one adult fish per acre is considered a good fishery. Known as the fish of 10,000 casts, muskellunge in New Jersey do not stick by that standard and are routinely caught with less effort. They are growing to true trophy proportions (50+ inches) that rival many of the best waters in the country. Muskellunge are generally a shallow-water fish, preferring areas of weeds, logs, and other cover in both lake and stream environments. However, the hot temperatures of mid-summer usually force the larger fish into deeper water where there may be less cover.

The most productive muskie waters have been the Delaware River, Greenwood Lake, Monksville Reservoir and Echo Lake Reservoir. However, more recently established fisheries in Lake Hopatcong, Mercer Lake and Mountain Lake are coming on strong. Areas near structure and cover are ideal habitat for muskies. Shallow weedy areas of lakes warm up first in the spring and are a good bet for early season. Weed beds are consistent areas throughout the summer. Other productive areas are rocky points, ledges, outcroppings, and fallen and standing timber. Fish deeper water and drop-offs associated with these structures in mid-summer as the fish move to cooler water. These same areas are also productive during the fall.

Muskellunge can be caught throughout the year, even through the ice - in fact, the current state record was caught just that way. Fishing is relatively consistent from late spring to mid-fall, with September and October considered two of the best months. The majority of muskie fishing takes place during daylight hours, with the afternoon considered the most productive time of day. However, night fishing can also be productive.

Typical muskellunge fishing techniques involve casting or trolling a variety of large lures in and around available cover and structures. One key to muskie fishing is the retrieve. Although there is no hard and fast rule, the veteran muskie angler frequently employs a fast retrieve. Similarly, in trolling, so called "speed trolling" can be productive. Frequently muskies follow the lure to the boat but don't strike. One productive method to entice a strike is to swirl the lure around in the water in a figure eight along side the boat at the end of the retrieve.

The most popular types of lures are bucktails, crankbaits and jerkbaits. Some favorites are the Harasser, Grandma and the Reef Hawg respectively. Trolling bucktail spinners just below the surface along the top of submerged vegetation, a short distance beyond the prop wash, is an effective method for covering large areas and triggering aggressive fish. Deep trolling the cooler waters near points and drop-offs in late summer and early fall is also productive.

Much of this Sal already covered as far as the tequniques to catching them but i'm glad to see they are in the deleware and not just tiger muskies! :grin-big:
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Big Pappa you should try a large black bucktail a lot of the veteran muskie fisherman say if they had a bait to fall back on that would be it.

Good luck
A big black bucktail is a good thing to have. If you take the largest Daredeviles and replace that treble with a bucktail, it becomes a deadly musky lure too.

Thanks for the kudos and trust me on the short-follow method- It's a tip that is truly invaluable for the breed.

I was fishing a 9 inch rapala one day and caught a musky not much longer than his intended meal- he bit so hard he swallowed the lure all the way to the 2nd treble hook. Thats the sort of attitude even the lil ones take to the dinner table. hahhahaa... they really are unreal.

Tigers fight and act just about the same as the regular musky. They do not fight as much as their close relative... about halfway between a pike and a musky as their hybrid status would suggest, but all in all thats still a fantastic battle.

My brother landed a big pike this week- 49 inches. The bugger called me from his boat and I could hear it flopping. lol Gotta love lake superior.

keep it fun, fellas.... and as for fun- keep that strictly business. :D

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