Muskie Fishing Tips & Articles

Musky fishing tips articles, video tips and muskie fishing techniques in helping you catch more Muskies:

Muskis fishing tips & articles
Artwork provided by Rodd Umlauff

Instructional Muskie Videos and Tackle Tips


How to Properly Handle a Muskie By Rob Manthei & Ken Jackson
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Much has been written about Catch Photo and Release of Muskies which is great. But we feel live from the water video on how to properly hold and release a Muskie would greatly benefit and educate Muskie anglers young and old. We asked Rob Manthei and Ken Jackson of St. Germain Wisconsin to film a short video of the importance of having the correct release tools and proper techniques of handling a Muskie.

Muskie Fishing Tips By Tom Dietz
(CLICK HERE to View Video)Tom Dietz with the Ohio Division of Wildlife last fall at Caesar Creek Lake!

Rigging a Sucker By: Todd Forcier
(CLICK HERE to View Video)Todd Forcier provided this educational video on to rig a sucker along with some tips and tricks on bobber/floats & planner boards in modifying your sucker presentations.

Underwater Video of Muskies By Ken Jackson
(CLICK HERE to View Video)Here is some special underwater video shot in November of 2006 by Ken Jackson. Late season muskie and walleye location can be very close together. No Audio

Little St. Germain Lake Muskie Study By Ken Jackson
(CLICK HERE to View Video)In the spring of 2007, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources began survey work on the muskie population of Little St. Germain Lake. The purpose of this is to determine the overall population of the lake and the size structure of the muskies that inhabit the lake. The initial portion of this project will take place over a 2 year period. A combination of methods will be used to determine muskie numbers, including netting, and angler reporting.hile the initial project will reveal some interesting and intriguing results, more will be gathered with tags placed in the muskies. This was not budgeted for within the survey work, but a contribution from Ken Jackson Outdoors and data collection courtesy of Ray‘s Landing in St. Germain made this addition to the study possible. Run Time 15:49

Musky Hunter TV Tackle & Trick Tips By Jim Saric
(CLICK HERE to View Video)Musky Hunter Editor Jim Saric provides a series of Tips & Tricks videos for fishing Musky.

“Just In”….. Muskie Articles Recently Received

How to Rig Suckers Fishing for Muskies By: John Bette
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Once the weather starts to change and water temps begin to drop, it is time to start thinking about fall fishing and live sucker baits. Live bait/Sucker fishing can be one of the most effective methods for catching Muskies during the fall season. It can make the difference between having a great day on the water or a bad day. I have experienced many days in the fall where we had no action or follows from artificial lures, yet wound up with multiple fish days when we had suckers out.

SLOP BUZZIN’ By Joe Bucher
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A Key Tactic For Hot Weather Summer Muskies

Spinnerbait Tricks for Muskies By Joe Bucher
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Spinnerbaits can be particularly good during this time period when weed growth peaks and muskies move shallow before the water gets real cold.Don’t hesitate to try any one of these tactics on your next outing.At the very least, never leave the dock with out a few spinnerbaits in your box.

DRAG SETTING 101 By Joe Bucher
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No drag system out there today on any reel whether it’s baitcasting, spinning or any other style of big game reel can efficiently react to all the variables that present themselves on any given fishing outing. The perfect drag simply does not exist. Reel manufacturers do a great job overall of providing a very durable little machine that we call “the baitcasting reel”. For the price, they cast, retrieve and function with amazing durability. Yet, drag systems on even the best baitcasters have a long way to go before they could ever be considered perfect.

Muskie Articles & Tips:

Know the Difference
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Muskies are a part of the Pike Family and can often be confused to be a Northern Pike by an untrained eye. It is important to know the difference…..

Casting 101 By Tom Dietz
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This article discusses the importance of proper casting techniques and strategies to be more consistent on the water.

Casting Angles By Rob Manthei
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With today’s wealth of information available via the internet, T.V., magazine articles, or just plain sharing information with fishing buddies, musky fishermen have more short cuts than ever before. Hot spots are marked all over maps, GPS waypoints are shared, and nothing seems secret anymore. There is only one thing, none of this information does you any good unless you understand the locations and attack them from the proper angles.

Muskie Release Tips By Tony Grant
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Releasing muskies will only improve our current fisheries, transforming them into trophy status. Kentucky has the shortest legal length of almost any state concerning muskellunge. Here are some tips to ensure the release of healthier fish that will survive to fight another day and create a true trophy lake.

Three Must-Have Rods For Muskies By Joe Bucher
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Many of you Musky Hunter readers are old enough to remember the days when one all-purpose musky rod was the norm. A short, stiff, 5 1/2- to 6-foot pool-cue action was the musky standard, and nearly all of us had that one single rod. In most cases, this was the only rod that was offered in stores. While that same sport shop would offer a wide variety of lengths and actions in spinning or fly casting tackle, the “musky rod” was just that — one single rod.

Proven Season Starters for Muskies By Tony Grant
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The first lures out of my box, north to south”

Pre-Spawn Muskies By Tony Grant
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Long before the northern lakes start the thawing progress many southern and visiting northern musky anglers alike have already spent many days on the water pursuing their passion for muskie fishing down south. Southern reservoirs offer a unique season for muskies that few fisheries have to offer, pre-spawn musky fishing. With minimum reproduction stocking programs have become the stronghold for the southern range muskies future, these waters face NO closed seasons. States like Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky all offer this exceptional early season for the King of Freshwater on many different man-made reservoirs.

Early Spring Muskies By Chad Cain
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Believe it or not, the muskie season is right around the corner. In the southern range of the muskie world, once mid-February rolls around it is time to grab your gear and head out to the lake. Any brief ice period is over, and muskies are on the prowl and starting to feed. Just a couple of years ago I boated a 32 pound 47 incher on about the tenth cast of the year starting in February.

MUSKIES: An Early Season Formula For Success By Steve Heiting
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Eight muskies in a day, a couple of times. Certainly several sevens. And lots of 6-and 5-fish days. A check of my fishing records for the past few years reveals a striking pattern of multiple musky days early in the season, so much so that I can say with full conviction that if you want to catch a musky, spring is the time to do it.

Consider Small Changes for Muskies By Tony Grant
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“Top 5 times to downsize baits”

Rattle Your Way To Spring Success By Tony Grant
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With musky fever hot on your brain, you contemplate your next spring trip to Southern musky water.

About Lakes, Weeds and Muskies By Craig Engebretson
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Craig Engebretson writes about his many years experiences with muskies in weeds.

Become A Crank Bait “Wizard” By Howie Meyer
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Want to raise your your musky catching skills to the next level? Then become a crank bait “wizard”. Musky pros like Joe Bucher, who wrote the book on these versatile baits will tell you that with a little imagination these seemingly straight-forward baits can literally create magic in the water.

March Muskie Madness By Tony Grant & Greg Thomas
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With as much excitement as the NCAA tournament brings to college basketball enthusiast, a madness of another type takes place in the coves and hollows of Kentucky’s Cave Run and Green River Lakes. Muskies in the “Bluegrass State” are in their prime by tournament time and in full swing by the Final Four. Even though this March Madness may appear in other southern reservoirs it seems Kentucky is always the most thrilling host site.

Summer Stratification for Muskies By Chad Cain
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Understanding thermal stratification of water during the summer months can give us an idea of where to search for muskies. Many theories are out there concerning muskies and their behavior, but really the only facts that we know is muskies, as well as other fish species, need oxygen to breathe and food to survive. By getting an education of thermal stratification, we can learn how lakes develop several layers in them, where the oxygen is, how much oxygen is present depending on fertility of the lake, and how to use this information in our search for the elusive muskie.

Early Season Night Strategies By Jim Saric
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It was mid-afternoon and I was starting to feel really warm. The morning had been cool and the day before I had worn every sweatshirt and jacket I had. Early summer often experiences crazy swings in temperature, and the good news was the forecast called for a warming trend.

Six Steps To A First Musky By Dave Dorazio
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As a long-time musky guide, I’ve shared my boat with anglers of all proficiency levels. I’ve fished with musky hunters who have caught literally hundreds of muskies, including some huge fish. I’ve also fished with anglers who are complete novices who have never even fished for muskies.

Seven Degrees Of Musky Location By Bob Mehsikomer and Kyle Brickson
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We have found that water temperature and its effects on the prey/predator relationship should be one of the most valuable assets in any musky hunter’s arsenal of knowledge.

Fluorocarbon Leaders for Muskies By Rob Manthei
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Musky fishing is getting more popular every year, and with gaining interest there is always more questions. What is the best reel, rod, boat, lure, line, etc? What kind of leader should I use with jerkbaits? Will a solid wire leader ruin my crankbait’s action? I hear these questions day after day while guiding the home waters of Northern Wisconsin.

A Foundation for Success: The Concept of Garages By Steve Heiting
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Fifty-two inches is a lot of musky, and by the time the last bit of its tail paddled off into the gloom, my boat had drifted to the structure from which the fish had roared out. Kevin Schmidt and I paused in the middle of our celebratory high-fives to peer over the side and gawk at the arrangement of boulders.

Musky Trolling By Bob Devine
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The art of Musky Trolling, One of the best ways to catch fish…………

Mid-Summer Musky Tactics By Tom Dietz
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It was a picture perfect June morning as I eased my boat into one of Caesar’s Creek Lake’s numerous timbered coves.Because of the time of year, I kept the boat in deeper water rather than casting the shorelines, and we keyed in on deep standing timber as our primary structural element.

Catching ‘Skies With Consistency By Steve Heiting
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Chances are very good that during the coming seminar and sport show season my response to a simple question is going to disappoint the person asking it. I’ll be asked the same question at least once a week and I’ll give the same answer. It will be an honest answer, but it won’t be what they were looking for.

What lies beneath? By Tony Grant
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“Whether a vacation, weekend getaway or competing in a tournament or club outing, we all find ourselves treading in unfamiliar waters.”

Muskies Aren’t The Bad Guy! By Tom Dietz
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The muskellunge, or musky, is a native species in Ohio and is found in both major drainage basins of the state. Historically, it was abundant in the bays and tributaries of Lake Erie and in many streams in the Ohio River drainage. Currently, it is also found in several popular fishing lakes around the state including Clear Fork, Caesar’s Creek, Salt Fork, Alum Creek, Piedmont and Leesville Lakes, among others. A common misconception amongst non-musky anglers is that this species often ruins the fishing for other targeted fish species in a given lake, such as walleyes and saugers, crappies, etc. The purpose of this article is to educate anyone who shares this belief, and eliminate many of the myths that surround this unique game fish species.

First-Timer’s Guide To Lake of the Woods By Tom Gelb
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I started hunting muskies on Lake of the Woods about 25 years ago. My first impression remains with me today — almost every spot looks good! Up to that time, my musky experiences had been almost entirely on small to medium size lakes in Wisconsin. Locating fishy spots was a challenge, particularly before sonar. But to explore a small lake and locate weeds, rocks, logs and points took a matter of hours and provided a good starting point to pinpoint musky locations. These spots were fished repeatedly and the winners eventually were evident.

Cure For The Blow-Up Blues By Jim Saric
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I was pretty keyed up as the day started, as my friend Tom Sullivan and I were filming a television segment. The excitement of filming a show is much like the anticipation of the first day of any big musky trip, or the moment before the start of a tournament. You can’t wait to get going, and your hopes are high.

1-2 Punch For Chippewa Flowage Muskies By Dave Dorazio
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When I think about it nowadays, I had what most musky hunters would consider an interesting childhood. I grew up on my family’s fishing resort located on northern Wisconsin’s Chippewa Flowage. Muskies and musky fishing were a part of daily life in this environment, and this likely gave me a head start to becoming a musky angler.

Find Baitfish, Find Muskies By Steve Heiting
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When it comes to rock bars, this one has it all — boulders, a gradual slope before a sudden drop-off to a main lake basin, and located on an island that already is a must-fish spot. This rock bar is a veritable “spot on the spot.” Yet I had never caught a musky there. Musky Hunter’s Editor, Jim Saric , laughed at me once when I told him about my lack of success there, and proceeded to tell me about all the big muskies that he had caught from the rock bar. Of course, that only increased my frustration.

Refined Live Bait Tactics By Steve Herbeck
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Steve Herbeck has turned livebait fishing into an artform. Here, he takes it a step further!

Fishing Muskies during Cold Fronts By Rob Manthei
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Cold fronts, just mentioning these two words make most fishermen shiver. Not just because the weather is going to get cooler, but because of the effects from these ever popular weather anomalies pose on the targeted fish of choice. Being a guide, I have to fish with clients rain or shine, hot or cold, and cold front or not. Learning how to deal with these changes in weather wasn’t easy, but there are definitely ways around the brutal cold fronts.

Crankbaits 101 By Joe Bucher
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It wasn’t that long ago when crankbaits were not a widely accepted part of the musky arsenal. This was especially true in the Midwestern region where casting was and still is the predominant presentation.

Tiger Time By Tony Grant
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“A surefire yet unusual summer pattern for Giant Hybrid Tiger Muskies”

Find Wisconsin’s Hidden Musky Gems By Steve Heiting
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Musky fishermen on the lookout for big fish have long followed the “fishbowl theory” — that is, the bigger the bowl, the bigger the fish inside them grow. Applied to muskie fishing, that means the bigger the water, the better the chance at a trophy.

Superfish! By MHM Staff
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Do they exist? Of course. But are the numbers of 55 inches and 50 pounds being thrown around too much lately?

Goin’ Fast for Muskies By Tony Grant
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Goin’ Fast for Muskies “When things seem slow”

Color Technology & Muskies By Steve Heiting
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One of the most interesting artifacts in the main lodge of Monument Bay Lodge on Lake of the Woods’ Northwest Angle involves a huge, ancient, mounted musky. While the musky is certainly a giant, it’s not the fish mount that I find so interesting but the lure hanging in its mouth — a silver-bladed black bucktail of uncertain manufacture that looks as old as the mount. It’s probably the one that tricked the musky.

Dead, Flat Calm By Jim Bortz
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The intensity of the August sun begins to fade as it nears the western horizon and colors of orange and purple bleed across the cloudless sky. While the heat reduction is a welcomed change, the humidity feels like a weight on my chest and the still air sticks to my sunburned skin. The distant hum of a small outboard motor creeps into my consciousness as I deliberately make my way around the shallow, weed-covered point. All sounds seem to be amplified by the unruffled surface of the water. The occasional bluegill slashing at a caddis fly trumps the whir of my electric motor. The gurgling plops of my surface bait almost seem too much as it leaves a noticeable trail of bubbles on the otherwise motionless water. I consider switching to something a bit more subtle, but then I hear the water erupt.

Three Years, Three Eagle Lake Monsters By Spence Petros
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A short diary of three exceptional fish on three different trips!

Heat, Cover, Baitfish By Joe Bucher
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Early season musky fishing is something that all musky nuts can’t wait to start doing, yet few are truly successful at catching fish during this period of time. You’ve heard all the excuses that “It’s too early,” “They’re still spawning, “The water’s too cold,” “We need some nice weather to get ’em going”. The list goes on and on, but for the most part none of it should hinder your ability to catch muskies in the early season. What you do need to know is where the muskies are, and what conditions and lures are going to trigger them to strike.

Three Hot Summer Tactics By Gregg Thomas
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Summer fishing can be defined in different ways depending on who you ask and what areas you fish. Traditionally, summer fishing has been defined as casting your favorite bucktail in shallow weeds on your lake of choice. To some this is true, but to the rest of the musky world, well, we know better. With muskies ranging from Alabama to northern Ontario, summer tactics are as different as ants and alligators.

LOTW with Bill Sandy
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One of Lake of the Woods’ premier guides reveals his summer magic.

MSI: Muskie Scene Investigations By Tony Grant
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“Scope out a few tips on how to examine, analyze and evaluate the evidence to establish patterns to prime muskie territory and forage”

Magic Moments By Steve Heiting
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If I Had To Pick One Time Of Day To Fish, It Would Be The Last Hour Of Daylight

Carve Trophy Waters Down To Size By Jim Saric
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We all dream of trophy muskies. For some of us the pursuit of giant muskies goes beyond a passion and becomes a borderline obsession. How else can you explain our colorful discussions about fish handling, size limits, photographs, tournaments, etc. The bottom line is we all care about muskies and want to protect our waters and our fisheries so that they can continue to produce trophy fish into the future. As musky hunters grow in numbers we naturally increase the amount of pressure on the existing waters. That simply means more fish are going to get caught. With muskies reaching 25 to 30 years of age in some northern waters, chances are that fish will get caught several times throughout its life. So, taking all the steps necessary to protect these fish so we can catch them again is pretty important.

Basic Black By Jim Bortz
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It doesn’t seem to matter where or when a discussion of lure color comes up between musky men and women. There’s always one who has to say, “Any color’s fine as long as it’s black.” It’s such a standard comment, it’s become cliché. If I had a nickel for every time I heard somebody say that … well, I guess that’s a cliché too. I’ve heard it so much, I expect to hear it.

Confessions of a Bottom Grinder By Mark Maghran
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This isn’t merely bottom bouncing. It’s flat-out, hard-core, dredge-the-bottom-for-muskies trolling.

The Plastics Revolution In Musky Fishing By Steve Heiting
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Musky fishermen can be extremely slow to change because they are seldom willing to risk time on the water to try what they perceive as an offbeat method. The soft plastic revolution that is occurring right now in their sport underscores that statement.

“Take to the Road for Muskies” Utilizing manmade structure for consistent production By Tony Grant
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What once were passageways for horse drawn machinery and motorized vehicles have now become an underwater super highway, a seasonal travel route for most all species of fish. Whether asphalt, gravel or dirt these underwater roads seem to be one of the most overlooked types of structure for most muskie anglers.

Trolling 101 By Jim Murphy
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During the off season many of the questions I am asked at sport shows and seminars pertain to trolling. The violent smash of your bait by a big fish or the follow of a fish taunting you as she approaches the boat is indescribable. However, under certain circumstances trolling may be the most effective tool we have to put more, and sometimes bigger,fish in the boat. Every year many of the largest fish caught are fooled by trolled baits. You can cover a lot of water and present large baits to fish that are difficult if not impossible to cast. It is very probable that the next world record musky will be caught by trolling, most likely on a Great Lakes system.

“Late Summer Power Buzzbaiting” By Tony Grant
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In my years of guiding I have found one of the toughest times to consistently boat muskies is during the late summer to fall transition period. With summer ending, daylight hours shorten, thus water temperatures start to drop slightly. This drop in temperature causes large schools of shad to move toward the surface creating a tremendous amount of surface activity. Lurking beneath the surface, watching this activity is the muskie. For obvious reasons, this is buzzbait time.

Bucktails for Muskies By Steve Heiting
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There’s little question why bucktails are the most popular style of musky lure. Bucktails can be fished fast or slow, in clear water or dark, shallow or deep, from season’s start to end. Their spinning blade and wiggling tail seem to hold a special fascination for muskies, and when the moment of truth comes and a musky strikes, they hook up with the efficiency of their being little more than a piece of wire and a hook.

Night Shift for Muskies By Tony Grant
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“Big Muskies After Dark”

Drawdown Muskies By Tony Grant
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“Lakes with severe water level changes, such as those experiencing a drawdown, present problems for the muskie angler. Here’s a few ways to cope with water level fluctuations anytime of the year.”

Roaming the Northwoods for Musky By Tony Grant
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Roaming the Northwoods for Musky with a “Shallow Southern Approach”

Fall Down South….. A look at Southern Reservoirs from Shore to Shore By Tony Grant
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The leaves are changing and the air is starting to cool. The days of jet skiers and sunbathers are coming to an end with the shorter days bringing the cooler water temperatures. This is the official end of summer and the beginning of fall musky fishing. This is the time of year that many musky fishermen live for.

Fall Esox By Rob Manthei
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I am often asked while guiding what my favorite time of year is to fish muskies. My reply is simple, whenever and however. A lot of musky fishermen have a built in response to this question. Fall. They figure that this is the only time to get a chance a real big fish.

Gain Experience on Fall Musky Training Grounds By Steve Heiting
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Fall is considered by musky fisherman as the time for trophy fish. Large female muskies putting on the feedbag to sustain their developing egg mass are on the prowl, hunting suckers, ciscoes and whitefish. If you hope to catch a musky that’s truly heavy for its length, fall is the time to do it.