Musky America Magazine

Slop Musky On Plastics "A Bass Technique For Spring 'Lunge" Early season Musky success is often measured by the number of fish following lures 6-8 feet behind. With short hits common and cold water temps still keeping fish lethargic, fishing can be fruitless without a system. On my daily occupational drive there is plenty of time to review mental notes of the prior weekend's fishing experiences. For example, recently I recalled a strange early season incident on a lake I had guided on for seven years. While fishing a favorite spring bay I heard and then saw frequent large swirls and surface turbulence along the shoreline. The commotion was coming from several Muskies devouring frogs in 1-3 foot depths. Motoring further along this shoreline revealed more "frog feeding" Musky. A plastic 4" frog seemed to be an ideal selection. Mister Twister's Hawg Frawg has an accompanying "keeper hook" with three barbs along its shank held the plastic frog body in place perfectly. The frog body had a recessed linear cavity in the belly permitting easy access to the hook. I soon discovered that even light Musky tackle is a poor casting choice. Since these fish were spooked easily it was critical to utilize tackle that could make long casts keeping the angler and boat away from wary fish. I like to compare it to deer hunting in an open area with no cover. A rifle capable of making a long shot is needed to remain undetected. Making these lengthy casts requires a long rod, and as a Musky nut and guide, I have been an advocate of them. Rods recommended for steel-head seem to be the best choice. One example is an 8' 6" medium action bait casting St. Croix Imperial XL rod. A bass sized bait casting reel with 12# line is an ideal match. This combination is perfect for casting the medium weight plastics, along with big plastic worms and lizards. The other is a spinning steelhead/walleye model. The 9' 6" St. Croix, Legend is one example. This rod has a unique cam-lock graphite spinning rings which allow widespread placement of the reel on its 24 inch handle. It's surprising back bone when fighting heavy fish is its foremost feature. A medium spinning reel with an in-spool drag and 12# line is a good choice. Both of the rods are specially designed for catching steelhead trout in rivers. These fish can reach up to 20, even 30 pounds, and produce a fight in a river's

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