Muskie is one of the most addictive fish to catch for most anglers. Tiger muskies are aggressive, and the thrill that comes with catching these species is unexplainable. As a beginner angler, you need patience and determination to catch these elusive fish.
This article takes you through the tips and tricks for muskie fishing, the best season for muskie fishing, lakes where you can find them, and the equipment you need to make your work easier and more fruitful. Please stick with us to the end.
What Is The Best Bait For Tiger Muskie?
There are various crankbaits, swimbaits, and jigs that muskie anglers can use, and they are available in different shapes, sizes, and actions. For best results, always ensure you have different types of lures when targetting muskies. You will need jig baits, paddle tail baits, bucktails, and glide baits.
1. Soft plastic baits- When targetting muskies, ensure your bait has a realistic look and great action. Baits made of soft plastic are the best since they can be retrieved in various fashions and muskies see them as easy food. Muskies are known to eat any fish that come their way since they don’t like working too hard for their food. Soft baits retrieved using the rise and fall action attract muskies because they mimic dying baitfish. No matter the time of the year, soft plastic baits with great action have proven to catch tiger muskies best.
2. Glide baits- for glide baits, you need to learn and master the skill before using them, but there’s no going back once you do. These baits work exceptionally well with muskies all year round. The best part about glide baits is that they can be retrieved in both slow and fast action. All you need is to find a few of these baits, learn how to work with them, and you are good to go. You are assured of catching lots of muskies with them.
3. Bucktail- bucktail baits are the most popular baits used for muskie fishing. They have great action, which produces strong vibrations in the water that muskies feel in their lateral line. These vibrations attract the muskie to the bait, thus guaranteeing a catch. The best part about these baits is that they can be retrieved at any speed, depending on the conditions. You can get the perfect bucktail baits from either of these companies: Spanky Baits, Musky Mayhem, or Babson Blade Baits.
4. Extra-large spoons and spinners- a tiger muskies diet mostly comprises pike, minnow, and suckers; thus, minnow- imitation lures work best for this species. Extra-large lures measuring anywhere between 8-12 inches are the most effective with tiger muskies. Always choose a lure that mimics the native fish of the lake you are fishing in. if you are not sure, go for white or silver since they imitate a wider range of baitfish. You can also enquire from the tackle shop where you are fishing about the baitfish found there. Most tackle shops know what baits work best with which species.
How To Catch Tiger Muskie
Tiger muskies are often referred to as the ish of ten thousand casts, and it takes time, patience, and determination to catch them. In this section, we take you through some fire tips that will make your casts worth it and guarantee a catch. let’s dive right in
1. Finding Them
Before you start casting, you need to ensure that the lake you are fishing in actually has tiger muskies. Choosing an ideal location will make your experience worthwhile and save you lots of time. Muskies love cool waters and prefer waters with hiding cover. Since they are ambush feeders, they often hide under fallen trees or logs then rush to catch and ambush their prey. The preferred habitat for muskies is backwaters, shallow bays, or deeper water in large lakes. They mostly hide along the edges of weed beds and at the top of submerged weeds; you can also find them under rocky covers such as underwater shelves and steep drop-offs. When targeting muskies, these are the areas to look at and increase your chances of making a catch.
2. Chose The Right Fishing Season
Muskies’ movements vary depending on the season, but they follow certain trends. Monitoring these trends makes it easy to contact fish and even increases the chances of catching them. Here are some fishing seasons and the best baits and tips for using for each season:
a) Ice out– immediately after winter when the sun comes out, and the ice starts to melt. Muskies move up to the shallow flats adjacent to their spawning sites as they wait for the water to get warm enough for them to start spawning. You can catch muskies at this time just near their spawning sites. The best baits to use during this season are crankbaits, swimbaits, vertical jigs, and soft plastics. You can look at where the baitfish are concentrated to decide whether to fish in the open water or drop-offs.
b) Pre-spawn and post-spawn– during pre-spawn, female muskies eat a lot to get enough nutrients ad energy to lay eggs. You will mostly find them on the surface, and you can catch them using weed flats or shallow sands using soft plastics, crankbaits, swimbaits, and glide baits. During post-spawn, the fish are exhausted, and they only focus on eating, making it easy for you to catch them. During this time, the best baits resemble their prey, eg softplasicks, bucktails, and topwaters.
c) Spawning– muskies are known to spawn when water temperatures are between 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit. During this season, it is almost impossible to catch muskies, but you can have some luck with those that are yet to spawn since they all don’t spawn at the same time.
d) Summer– muskie fishing in summer can be one of the most rewarding and also disappointing depending on where you fish. Our best tip for muskie fishing in the summer is to fish early in the morning and late evening when the waters are not busy with boats. The best lures for muskie fishing in the summer are bucktails, topwaters, and soft plastics. Target rock piles, weed edges, and weed flats.
e) Fall– during fall, as the waters continue to cool, muskies metabolism slows down in preparation for winter. During this season, the fish are not interested in fast-moving prey, and you can make great catches without much effort. The best baits for muskie fishing in fall are big jigs and soft plastics that are slow and easy.
3. Choose The Best Equipment
When buying equipment for muskie fishing, it is better to make a one-time investment than buy the cheaper options you will have to replace now and then. In most lakes, musky fishing is only allowed on a catch-and-release basis; this helps keep the sport alive. For catch and release, you will need quality gear that will not hurt or kill the fish. Below is a list of equipment that you need for catch and release muskie fishing
|Hook cutters or high leverage bolts||To remove hooks from the fish mouth without injuring it|
|Needle nose pliers||Getting the line out of the hook|
|Musky sized jaw opener||Open the jaw without stressing fish|
|Musky release glove||Protecting your hands from injury by the fish|
|9 inches or longer rods||they are strong enough to throw rubber baits and soft enough for glide and topwater|
|reels||To pull the fish in line towards the rod|
|100-150 pound test braided line||A strong line that will not snap when retrieving your catch|
4. Consider The Tackle By The Muskie
Getting a muskie to your boat after hooking it is a struggle that most anglers face. Muskies have great endurance and sharp teeth that enable them to break the line before they are reeled in. for higher chances of success, ensure you use a strong rod and a strong line. A 100-pound braided line is ideal fr this. You can use a steel leader between the lure and line to keep muskies from cutting the line with their teeth.
4. Be Open-Minded
You have to put on your best attitude when going muskie fishing since it guarantees that you will make a catch. Always stay positive and open to the idea of going home without a catch to avoid disappointment. This hobby gets better with patience and determination.
Tiger muskies are fun to catch because of the thrill that comes with them. They are an elusive species, and if you are not determined, it’s easy to get disappointed. Ensure you follow these tips for a better experience next time you go muskie fishing, and tell us what worked for you. We wish you the best of luck!