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Tjames09

Musky Lures? (bit of a tall fish tale as well)

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Ill start with my tall fish tale. I was fishing Lake Sturgeon for opening bass this past weekend. Fishing the river section and going through the weeds. I hit a bite and set the hook. The second after I set the hook it feels like i've caught a log, did I snag? nope its still reeling in but its heavy whatever it is. I thought I caught a monster bass (was using T-rig senko). I keep reeling and get it near the boat, the second I can see what Ive caught my heart explodes. Its a musky on the line. My first thought, why one earth did a musky eat my senko, and secondly how has it not broken my line yet. Well I keep fighting the fish and try and tire it out because Im fishing bass so no net and no way to really get this musky in the boat. I fish it out for a bit, and get it right beside the boat and staring right at it, its big, and I have no idea how Im getting it out of the water. It releases at the side of the boat and my heart sighs, I've lost the musky. But my rod is still bent.....there's a bass on the line! I've caught a large mouth bass which got eaten by a musky on the reel in!. The large mouth is chewed up, but still alive. I let it go and it swims away.

 

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I guess part two of my thread is I've never fished for musky before, and seeing one was a massive thrill. I wouldnt mind trying my hand at fishing for some, but I have no idea where to start with lures. I was hoping the minds of OFC could lead some advice for musky lures in the kawarthas. Ive seen a few threads here with massive muskies caught. Im looking for some basic starting points for musky lures. Swimbaits? Spinnerig?

 

Cheers.

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A heavy action rod and reel specifically designed for musky is essential so that you can get them to the boat as quickly as possible.

Proper release tools, long handle pliers, hook cutters, and a very large net so that you can keep them in the water while unpinning them. Someone posted a good link in here a while back.

Knowledge on how to properly handle the fish. This is a good link: http://www.muskiescanada.ca/articles/catch_and_release_tips.php

Another good tip is to hold your breath when you take the fish out of the water.

 

Having said that I would recommend that you stick to bass fishing. Once you start buying musky lures it's hard to stop.

For the kawartha's black orange bucktails are awesome.

Black orange rubber baits are also good.

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only decide to fish musky if you are ready to make the investment...unfortunately i made the investment last year and then moved to BC and now i dont fish musky anymore...

 

its not cheap. Heavy rods and big reels are a must...you are looking at around 300 bucks for the rod and reel.

 

Then you need a proper net...bolt cutters or good side cutters and jaw spreaders. Baits start at 15 a piece and up.

 

Spool of 80lb+ braid and a 100lb fluro leader.

 

Thats your shopping list, dont even bother starting until you have all of the above.

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I made the jump this year and let me tell you it is NOT cheap to target those toothy buggers!! New rod $350+ , New reel $400+, 12 lures $20 average each .... still missing bolt cutters, terminal tackle ( barrel swivels, swivel snaps, etc) It's worth it once you catch a few thou... Good luck

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Ouch expensive list, my bass rod seemed to handle the musky okay, but that might have been a one off. The bass rod is heavy action 6'6" with 60lb braid already, its meant for flipping heavy cover and pulling fishing out.

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Ouch expensive list, my bass rod seemed to handle the musky okay, but that might have been a one off. The bass rod is heavy action 6'6" with 60lb braid already, its meant for flipping heavy cover and pulling fishing out.

it is but IMO worth it

 

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ya it will handle the fish somewhat, but any serious fight with a 40+ inch musky on that rod is putting you at serious risk of killing the fish.

 

Trust me, the last musky i caught took half an hour to revive after a fight with all the right gear. dont half ass it, even if you think you can get by, ya sure you will catch some but you will kill too many.

Edited by AKRISONER

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ya it will handle the fish somewhat, but any serious fight with a 40+ inch musky on that rod is putting you at serious risk of killing the fish.

 

Trust me, the last musky i caught took half an hour to revive after a fight with all the right gear. dont half ass it, even if you think you can get by, ya sure you will catch some but you will kill too many.

 

Could you explain how the rod would kill a fish? I imagine if you caught a larger fish by accident you could adjust drag to accommodate for the larger fish and not break line. I'm not sure how the rod size or stiffness could impact a fishes life?

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Muskie have a hard time recovering from a lengthy fight, you want to land and release as quickly as possible. That bass was on the small size for muskie bait!

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Muskies, despite being large toothy beasts are wusses when it comes to long, drawn out fights. Especially in warmer water. The fight takes so much out of them that they can and do die. The heavy rod, reel and line is designed to cast and retrieve huge baits properly, but just as importantly shortens the battle. Having proper muskie gear also gives you a fighting chance to land that fish of a lifetime when she decides to chomp your bait. The huge nets are are for the same reason - to keep the fish in the water for the unhooking process. They are a low population density predator - and treating them with care is important for the future of the fishery. The Kawarthas are an exception to most muskie fisheries in that there is a pretty healthy population in there, but still - treat them with care and they will grow up to be giants. Cutting the hooks is yet another way to expedite the release process - and not tear the fishes jaws up.

 

At a bare minimum - I would say these are the essentials : long pliers (11"+), hook/bolt cutters (look up Knipex, expensive but there is no better) and a large net. Large means large - not bass fishing large! Keep that fish in the net for the unhooking, and if the fish looks stressed at all keep it in the water until it has regained it's strength before any photos.

 

As for lures in the Kawarthas - that you can cast on your current setup - try these lures before going nuts and spending a fortune... a Mepps #5 inline spinner tipped with a 3 or 4" twister tail, a Rapala Super Shad Rap in perch (although this lure would push the limits of your setup) and a Rapala J-13 in your favourite colour. Also have a Northland Reed Runner spinnerbait in some sort of bright colour. You don't always have to catch giant baits to catch big fish! Let us know how it goes!

 

Pete

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I saw a guy at Pointe Au Baril one time with a 19-20 inch largemouth a muskie grabbed, it was ripped from it's gill plates back. He didn't get a hook in it and when he got it near the boat it let go and swam away, he said it was huge, I believed him!

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You don't necessarily need to spend a ton of money to get into musky fishing. You can probably pick up a new heavy action rod in the $100 range. Get a good reel. No matter what! Buying a new reel will eat up a lot of cash... But there's good deals to be had on quality used gear. Guys are always upgrading. Keep that in mind if you plan on fishing musky as a way to mix things up. You can always add to and upgrade your arsenal as you go. I would suggest having some kind of a plan for how you will net, unhook and release a giant if you manage to get one on the line. I don't target musky because I'm not equipped and I would feel awful if I killed one because I wasn't prepared. Your gentle release of the injured bass tells me you feel the same way.

Edited by sauce

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Muskies, despite being large toothy beasts are wusses when it comes to long, drawn out fights. Especially in warmer water. The fight takes so much out of them that they can and do die. The heavy rod, reel and line is designed to cast and retrieve huge baits properly, but just as importantly shortens the battle. Having proper muskie gear also gives you a fighting chance to land that fish of a lifetime when she decides to chomp your bait. The huge nets are are for the same reason - to keep the fish in the water for the unhooking process. They are a low population density predator - and treating them with care is important for the future of the fishery. The Kawarthas are an exception to most muskie fisheries in that there is a pretty healthy population in there, but still - treat them with care and they will grow up to be giants. Cutting the hooks is yet another way to expedite the release process - and not tear the fishes jaws up.

 

At a bare minimum - I would say these are the essentials : long pliers (11"+), hook/bolt cutters (look up Knipex, expensive but there is no better) and a large net. Large means large - not bass fishing large! Keep that fish in the net for the unhooking, and if the fish looks stressed at all keep it in the water until it has regained it's strength before any photos.

 

As for lures in the Kawarthas - that you can cast on your current setup - try these lures before going nuts and spending a fortune... a Mepps #5 inline spinner tipped with a 3 or 4" twister tail, a Rapala Super Shad Rap in perch (although this lure would push the limits of your setup) and a Rapala J-13 in your favourite colour. Also have a Northland Reed Runner spinnerbait in some sort of bright colour. You don't always have to catch giant baits to catch big fish! Let us know how it goes!

 

Pete

 

 

Thanks for the tips, all look like great options. I have most of what you listed already other than the hook cutters.

 

Are musky predominately a shallow water fish? the one I found was only in 4' of water on the outside of a weed bed, is that a normal hideout?

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They will hang out in shallower water at times, more than pike for sure, but I would say the best spot to find numbers of Kawarthas skis would be deeper weed edges and beds in the 8-14' range.

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Looks like you got bit by the Muskie bug once you catch a few you won't be fishing for bait fish anymore :good:I sent you are Pm Sturgeon is one of my favorite lakes for Muskie

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Don't do it. Save yourself a ton of money and time lol.

 

Get the proper gear before you go. Maybe some members here will offer to take you out, show you the ropes.

 

A list of must haves:

-proper musky rod

-proper musky reel

-musky net

-long handled pliers of some sort

-hook cutters, knipex are about $50 and worth every penny

-80lb+ braid

-100lb+ flouro leaders

-polarized sunglasses, see those follows

-spare hooks for the ones you cut

-hook sharpener

 

As for baits, black is a staple, combined with orange is classic and should work anywhere. Get yourself a buck tail, a large bass style spinnerbait, a jerkbait (suick or sledge), crankbait, big soft plastic and a top water and that should cover pretty much all bases. Don't go crazy buying baits, most will rarely see the water anyway. You'll end up with 4-5 you use 90% of the time while the rest just sit there.

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I saw a guy at Pointe Au Baril one time with a 19-20 inch largemouth a muskie grabbed, it was ripped from it's gill plates back. He didn't get a hook in it and when he got it near the boat it let go and swam away, he said it was huge, I believed him!

 

when you see a fish swimming by your dock thats easily 4 and a half feet long and as wide as a person, in Pointe au Baril...i believe this 100%.

 

These fish eat the 5lb fish I catch, i guarantee it.

 

 

TJAMES I very very very highly recommend you PM fisherpete...he will guide you for a musky day in the kawarthas at a fantastic price. He will show you all of the ropes, he will put you on big fish and hes one of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life to boot so spending a day in the boat with him is a great time.

 

I couldn't provide you with a higher recommendation.

Edited by AKRISONER

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I have a muskie fanatic friend who won't fish for them during the summer, because of the threat that the fight will kill a fish. As mentioned, they don't revive well after a long battle (tire the fish out approach). I have spent numerous times reviving a muskie for 1/2 hour before it was able to swim away (that's on proper tackle). Never a good feeling to see such a magnificent fish struggle. They don't do well in warmer water.

That being said, start with a Mepps Muskie Killer in silver blade and black bucktail on a heavy rod and reel combo. You can probably find a used rod and reel combo for a decent price. Avoid investing in too many baits that look good, they will empty your pocket quickly and sometimes sit idle in your tackle box.

Good luck with your next muskie encounter!

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I have a muskie fanatic friend who won't fish for them during the summer, because of the threat that the fight will kill a fish. As mentioned, they don't revive well after a long battle (tire the fish out approach). I have spent numerous times reviving a muskie for 1/2 hour before it was able to swim away (that's on proper tackle). Never a good feeling to see such a magnificent fish struggle. They don't do well in warmer water.

That being said, start with a Mepps Muskie Killer in silver blade and black bucktail on a heavy rod and reel combo. You can probably find a used rod and reel combo for a decent price. Avoid investing in too many baits that look good, they will empty your pocket quickly and sometimes sit idle in your tackle box.

Good luck with your next muskie encounter!

 

Thanks for the advice. The water is quite warm in the shallows right now too, boat said it was 24*c in the 4 foot range. I wonder why Musky fishing opens in June if the summer is the hardest on them.

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They will hang out in shallower water at times, more than pike for sure, but I would say the best spot to find numbers of Kawarthas skis would be deeper weed edges and beds in the 8-14' range.

 

They also occasionally chase Senko's in shallow water.

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Thanks for the advice. The water is quite warm in the shallows right now too, boat said it was 24*c in the 4 foot range. I wonder why Musky fishing opens in June if the summer is the hardest on them.

Spawning season is over, nice to see them reproduce and continue the musky stories and catches?

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They also occasionally chase Senko's in shallow water.

Hahaha yes they do! Jaws snapping in mid air!

 

That fish was a maniac. Was cool to catch him on the follow up cast with the spinnerbait!

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Hahaha yes they do! Jaws snapping in mid air!

 

That fish was a maniac. Was cool to catch him on the follow up cast with the spinnerbait!

 

The one's that you remember are funny. I'm sure that I will never forget that fish.

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