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LaBonte207

Muskies

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Hey all,

So this coming season i've decided to try and take a stab at a trip up north to catch some Muskies. I have been doing my research and have the basics down, but I wanted to hear from someone whose done it before. Here is my plan:

Go up in June and fish Le Beau for a day and Glazier for a day. I'm going to use an 8wt and bring two set ups, one with floating line and one with intermediate line. I'll have 40 lbs knottable wire tippet. Use big pike flies in chartreuse, white, fire tiger colors. Plan on hitting shallow weed beds and structure, areas like that. Probably fish from a canoe with a trolling motor.

Any tips or tricks that I should be aware of? Any help would be appreciated and any company is welcome! 

 

GL

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I'd start out with 30 pound flouro (even mono) instead of 40 pound wire.

Believe it or not muskie can be line shy and if you can get away with even 25 or 20 I'd go down. Longer shank hooks will keep the leader away from the teeth, hopefully... maybe not... depending on bite... but, I'd start out lighter rather than heavier. If I was getting bit off I'd go up to higher pound test leader rather than not get any bites at all with tuna gear.......actually if I were getting bit off initially I'd up the hook size first, before going up in leader....just sayin'...

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when I went I fished the st John and hit any spot that was slower moving and we had 6 follows and Jax caught a 40", I used notable leader material and a big orange fly

we went at the end of May

DSC00836.jpg

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If it were me, I'd use the wire leader for sure. I've always done this sort of thing with a full sinking line, twenty pound breakaway section, eighty pound test leader that's about three and a half to five feet long with about a ten to twelve inch section of thirty pound wire at the end. If you break one of these fish off, first, they'll probably have a large and obtrusive fly stuck in their mouth and they need that thing to be free of obstruction in order to continue eating prey at the size that they generally do, I'd think. And if you break a musky off, I'd be willing to bet that it will make the last 1,000 trout you've missed feel like a papercut in comparison to that stab. You don't get many chances with these fish, so you really want to minimize your room for error. I also apply a small drop of super glue to all of my leader and line knots as well; the twenty pound breakaway section will save your fly line and break if you find yourself in a jam.

Also, if you're not throwing a few figure eights into the end of each cast, well, you're going to really decrease your chances of hooking up. Musky are a total apex predator and will follow your flies/their prey far longer than we might think. Musky also have a very eerie way of just appearing out of nowhere, so those figure eights give you a serious advantage.

Now onto flies, pseudo bulk is key. You want to throw flies at least eight inches and often double that; remember, a fifty inch musky can eat a thirty-six inch fish. Also, musky are very often a lateral line feeder, so having a fly that pushes water is a very good idea. Creating bulk without having to cast bulk can be a difficult feat at the vise without increasing weight, and Bob Popovics's idea of large amounts of bulk at the head is a great technique to add movement. My question is, are you going to be tying your own flies for this venture? I could provide further advice if so. Another point that I'll make is to debarb your hooks. While I'm sure a lot of people may argue that, my experience is that musky have very bony mouths that can be difficult to penetrate. If you're using a 7/0 hook or so, that barb is going to be pretty massive, so in leaving it on, you're sort of adding an additional hurdle with your strip set. Keep your line tight throughout the fight, and that barbless hook will be your best friend. I also prefer heavier diameter hooks so that they can be sharpened when needed and last longer and also so that they keel the fly correctly.

Musky fishing on the fly really boils down to dedication, understanding the fish, their behavior--where they live, and what they eat, and also doing everything that you can to remove any room for error long before you make your first cast.

Let me know if you need other info or anything like that. Like I said, if you're going to tie your own flies, feel free to ask questions about that or even PM me directly. I've been whipping up those monstrosities for years now.

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