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Fall boating is a combination of my two favorite things—cooler weather and adventure activities! Many people think of going to the woods or mountains this time of year, but getting out on the water might be just the thrill you need for your family outing […]
Are you ready to buy your first boat and start living the nautical lifestyle? If so, think about taking a hands-on safe boating for beginners training course. When learning the boating rules of the road or safe boating basics, it’s important to spend time on […]
Modern sports stores feature aisle after aisle of fishing lures and the abundance can be intimidating.
This is particularly true for those getting into muskellunge fishing. Muskellunge lures come in many different sizes, styles and colors, and the most popular lures often cost more than $25. As a result, it is easy to spend $100 and have but three or four lures to show for it.
So, what lures should you buy if you want to start muskellunge fishing?
My suggestion is to keep it simple. Do this by selecting a single lure from each of four popular lure categories. This is an economical way to fill your tackle box with a variety of lures. As you add to your collection make sure to have both medium and large lures and bright and natural colors. Don’t miss our ‘should know’ on Muskie fishing in Minnesota.
A large spinnerbait is a great lure because it creates flash and vibration that attract prey-seeking muskellunge. A spinnerbait features shiny metal blades that spin like a propeller when the lure is reeled through the water. Spinnerbaits come in two main types: “in-line” and “safety pin,” the former because of its linear look and the latter due to its safety pin shape. A spinnerbait is easy to cast and can be trolled too. A safety pin spinnerbait with a single up-turned hook is ideal for casting over and into weedbeds because it is almost weedless. Many muskellunge anglers still fish with the classic bucktail spinner while others prefer those with marabou or tinsel skirting.
A topwater bait is a surface lure. It attracts fish by creating a commotion on the surface. Some lures have propellers. Some have tail sections that rotate and splash. Some are designed to replicate a dying or injured fish when jerked or popped through the water. The three main types of topwater lures are walk-the-dog baits, prop baits, and creeper baits. Topwater lures are fun to fish, in part, because strikes at the surface are a blast to behold. They are particularly fun to fish in calm shallow water.
Crankbaits are another go-to choice for muskellunge anglers because they mimic large baitfish. Crankbaits come in many shapes and sizes but are basically a hard-bodied lure – with or without a diving lip – that wobbles in a natural-looking way when retrieved. Crankbaits are good choice for fishing over rocky structure or along weed edges. Crankbaits can be trolled, too, making them a good option when you want to cover a lot of water in a short time.
Rubber baits and soft plastic baits are increasingly popular for fishing deep water. These sinking lures, some of which weigh up to three-quarters of a pound, often feature long serpentine tails. Rubberbaits can be fished in a variety of ways. Some anglers prefer a straight retrieve. Some reel-in with a pull-pause-pull technique, which mimics a dying baitfish as it rises and falls. Others like to vertical jig these big lures. As with other lures, experiment with your retrieves and determine what works for you and the fish.
These days many muskellunge anglers have dozens upon dozens of lures. Still, you can do well with far fewer. If you own one or two of each of these types of baits you are likely in good shape for most muskellunge waters. They are prefect companions to a stout rod with a bait-casting reel, heavy braided line of 50-pound test or more and a foot-long steel or fluorocarbon leader between your line and your lure. You will need a leader because muskellunge have razor sharp teeth that can easily slice through your line.
If you fish long enough, eventually you may be curious how to make fishing lures. Some anglers jump into this as an attempt at cost saving, hoping to make cheap fishing lures. Others like yours truly, enjoy experimenting because they believe in the discovery of […]
Spending time in beautiful outdoor places, the calming sound of the waves lapping against a shoreline, the feelings of accomplishment when you reel in personal best catch — there are probably more reasons to go fishing than you ever realized. Fishing newcomers and experienced anglers […]
It’s pitch black outside, almost as if there was no moon at all. No twinkling of stars or street lights to cast out what waits in the shadows. You’re all alone, wandering in the darkness, when something odd catches your eye. You pause to take a harder look; in the distance, a soft glow permeates the black nothingness. You move closer, intrigued, but a little spooked quite frankly. The soft light begins to get brighter.
You cautiously scan the perimeter, but proceed anyways for reasons unbeknownst to your conscious logic. The glow is within reach, nearly blinding, it’s so bright. You get the strange feeling that you’re not alone… but it’s too late. You enter the light and realize there are others just like you. They’re hardly moving, just lingering there with a zombie-like stare.
All of a sudden, a disturbance overhead. Everyone looks up to see a dark object, but before you can process the situation, they rush towards it and attack! One of the guys seizes the unidentified object with his mouth, wrangling it like a coyote taking down its prey. Suddenly, an unseen force from overhead pulls him up into the darkness.
Poof! And just like that—he’s gone.
Your mind reels in astonishment, What the heck just happened?! Why did I come here?? Is this some sort of zombie black magic? But before you can formulate any answers, he comes gliding back into the glow with a look of satisfaction on his face.
You’re shocked at what you just witnessed, so you swim up to the guy to demand an explanation. He looks at you and chuckles, “Hey fish, calm down, dude. I remember my first time at the dock light. A free snack, a short ride; it’s an out-of-water experience, but totally worth it.”
Happy Halloween, ghouls and gals!
In many states boaters are required to complete a boating safety course in order to operate a motorized vessel. At the end of the course you take and pass an exam, get a certificate (a/k/a “license”), and have proof that you’re qualified to operate a […]
What’s the Best Bait for Bass in a Pond? It could be a spinnerbait, might be a crankbait, sometimes is a chatterbait, frequently is a jerkbait, seldom is a buzz bait, and often is a topwater bait or a plastic worm. Sooooo, the answer is: […]
Freshwater fly fishing reels are unlike any other type of freshwater reel in that the line is not pulled off by the lure and the force of the cast. If you are learning how to fly fish, the casting distance is limited to line that has already been stripped off the reel and now lies in a loose coil. The efficiency of the false casting motion then propels this line forward.
Beginning fly anglers usually start by targeting small fish such as trout or bluegill so, at least initially, even the best freshwater fly fishing reels may mostly be used as a spool to hold, store line. Eventually, you and your freshwater reel may start connecting with larger fish which are capable of pulling line off the reel. When this occurs, you’ll be glad you didn’t skimp on your fishing gear and purchase one with a cheaper, possibly more unreliable drag system.
The difference between saltwater and freshwater fly fishing reels mostly has to do with the potentially greater size (for example, tarpon) and speed ( for example, bonefish) of the fish and thus greater need for a good, tough, reliable drag system. The best fly fishing reels also are selected because they match with the fly rod, line size, and line quantity anticipated for the targeted species.
Ultimately, the best freshwater fly fishing reels will be the ones that will be used. That means it is affordable, has a sturdy enough drag system, and is durable, perhaps with a good warranty. Talk to fly anglers and ask for their input on the subject. Also before purchasing, be sure to read reviews online; there just may be a factor that ends up being more important to your fishing needs. Then, when you pick up your fishing license, check the booklet of regulations; it may contain locations to give your new fly fishing reels a try.
October is considered National Fishing Month, an effort intended to encourage more people to get involved with fishing. This is important not only for the benefits of enjoying the outdoors, such as health and happiness, but also for sparking a passion to protect what you […]