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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to get prepared for the coming Muskie season, and in order of improving my luck this year, was wondering if anyone wouldn't mind evaluating my strategies. I wouldn't mind a few suggestions either!

I'll start by explaining how bad I need it! Although I had fun trying, out of approximately 15-20 trips trolling for Muskies last year, I only caught three! One was about 15 inches, one was about 8 lbs, and the last was about 12-15 lbs. If you can imagine, this was quite discouraging to say the least. Most days, after several hours of trolling, I would end up walleye fishing out of pure frustration of not catching anything. Then I would go home, check out the forum, and read report after report of people catching up to 10 Muskies a day, up to 35 or so lbs! (grrr....) That combined with the constant reminder in my head telling me how Lake St. Clair is tagged as the "best Muskie fishing lake in the world!," really got me upset, but in a good way cause it usually motivated me to try harder, which still didn't really get me anywhere. So this year I figure I'll first try to battle what I'm doing wrong.

There are several things that I probably do different due to lack of, or different equipment, but nothing that had me believing I couldn't catch a few fish a day, maybe even a 30 lber. Evidently I was wrong. My rod holders only extend at a 90 degree angle, so from these I only fished long rods. Also, I don't have planer boards (a worthwhile investment? I'm starting to think so...what do you all think?), but I do have downriggers, and often tried fishing with those (never got one fish on the 'riggers...). With the long rods I fished 20 lbs main line mono, and then rigged the leaders pretty much like this - http://www.muskie-lures.com/rocketman/leader.jpg - except I used a ball sinker, and fished a variety of lures, with the sinker and distance away from the boat varying. On the downriggers I also tried a bunch of different methods, from fishing the lures high to low, close and far from the boat. These were all fished from 3 - 6 mph.

VERY open to suggestions on the above!

A few questions of my own - any specific lures that are a MUST-own? Could my leader have an effect? I'm not sure how spooky muskie are - is it worth it to switch to fluoro? How heavy? Thank you very much for any help! I just hope to improve my trips to fish ratio this year!
 

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Cast for them. Around weed beds. Hire Muskiebobsr. you won't ever regret that big time.

h2o<---there lies your answer.
 

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Flip, I don't know if this will help you much but it works for me. I too don't have all the right equipment to get musky, but I generall do ok. I haved fished for them for about 6 years now and have only been shut out once all the times I fish for them. I usually fish for them 5 to 7 times per year.

I have had my best success on bow rods(?). Basically I mount 1 rod on each side of my bow. My reels are spooled with 30 lb. fireline. I run this to a real have duty snap-swivel. At the snap I put on a 2 or 4 oz. sinker (better luck with 2 oz.). Then I hook a 4 ft steel leader to the snap. On the end of the leader I run various musky lures, from Terminators to big bombers and rapalas. I would rather use the Terminators as they are more heavy duty, but occasionally I will use the wimpier stuff. I set the lure about between 5 and 9 feet behind the back of the boat. I troll at 4 to 5.5 mph. I also set out rods with the same setup off the back of my boat, this time about 12 to 16 feet behind the boat.

Honestly, 80% of my fish come off the bow rods, not the rods in the back. I have found the rougher the conditions are the better it is for this setup. I prefer days with a good chop (10-20 mph winds) and some cloud cover. I also prefer the water to be somewhat dirty, not chocolate milk, but not so clear that I can see the zebra mussels smiling at me either from the bottom in 10 feet of water. Sunny calm days with light wind don't produce much for me.

Generally I like to fish very early in the season, before all the floating weeds appear, making it constant battle to clean weeds off lures. I like to fish in Anchor Bay (Between Selfridge and Brandenburg Park) in 6 to 9 feet of water. I will also fish between 10 Mile and Metro towards July when it warms up and there is some deeper water. But in the early season I stay in Anchor Bay, I have had my most luck there.

My best colors seem to be Carp, Perch, Black and Silver Rapala knock off color and something called pukebait. This lure is basically yellow with small green spots/stripes on it. Pukebait gets 33-50% of my early season fish.

I do have planer boards and have used them when it is calm, but I find it more convenient not to use them.

I usually have 4 rods going, even when I can put more out I don't. I usually only fish for 3 or 4 hours. Best times for me seem to be between 9 and 1. I have caught a few, but not many later in the day, between 4 and 8 p.m.

I can honestly say we get atleast 1 fish 80% of the time out. Many times we get 3 to 5 strikes. Most of these fish are of decent size. The biggest we have caught while targeting these fish is 48" somewhere between 25 and 30 lbs. Generally they are between 40 and 46 inches. Also fishing tight to the boat, and not using boards, tends to give a much better hook up rate. Rarely do I get rips on these lures and not land the fish.

No one will confuse me with MuskieBob, but I have had really good success (I think) using the methods described above. I won't win any tournaments, but I do have some good memories. See pictures below. Both fish were caught in Anchor Bay on cold crappy June days.

Again, I am not an expert but I do catch them. Hope this helps.
 

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It sounds like you want to troll for muskies, if so than everything that you read on rocketmans website holds true. you probably just need to make a few adjustments to what you are already doing. oh yeah, planers are worth the money!

#1 : "location " troll where the fish are, start off the season in anchor bay and around the spillway, then as the lake warms up work your way south in 10 to 15 ft of water,
metro beach to 9mile and back (around july), then in late july & augast the south shore (canada) gets real good!
(and very few floating weeds)
look for other muskie boats
(they will group up in the hot areas...just don't get too close, 1/4 mile or so)

#2 : use the right lures (wileys,masons,terminators, nils master...)

#3 : go on a charter with a good captain. I think that helped me more than anything in building confidence in
what I was doing while fishing this lake.

#4 : keep your lures up high in the water (muskies look up)

only three more sats to go! good luck
 

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Hey Junkie what i have found,,,,, now i am no pro but i have learned from many error's.......1 . Use florocarbon leader 6 foot long 50# use the barrel swivels like the rocket man site........2 . use at least 80# mono for your spool 3. zig zag your boat while you troll, this gives your lures a action they speed and slow when you zig and you zag,,, this has worked for me a few times.... Early in the year work about 10- 12 feet of water and move deeper as the year go's on. stay focused.........Leave your Walleye rigs at home.......and tough it out..........o and use boards in shallow water a must as to not to spook them with the boat........when in deeper water boards are NOT a must........... Good luck
 

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Sorry Ripping. Barrel swivels is not the way to go. Use Ball Bearing swivels such as Sampo's. They are the best quality. Barrel swivels do not turn well and if you pull a spoon or buck tails you will soon have line twist you won't believe. Bob
 

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ok Bob with out sounding like i was corrected that is what i meant, but thanks for the heads up, it was my fault i did not make it clear to a guy who was asking a question........and you are right the line twist can be awfull..............
good luck to all and a reminder Musky starts June 5,,,,, i will be on the water no latter than 5:30 Am ( Making the run and having the fun.)
 

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I am interested in going out with a muskie guide on the lake this year to learn. How do I contact Muskie Bob or any other good muskie guide. I would like to find someone that fishes out of the Jefferson Beach area if possible.
 

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Two of the best trolling guides on the lake are Captain Don Miller I believe he works out of Miller Marine South of 10 Mile. The other is Captain Steve Jones on Jefferson below 16 mile He store is just below Crocker. I can't tell you who the best Casting Guide is on the lake. You will have to find that out from someone else
Bob
 

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The best casting guide on the lake is Rusty Nob.... no no no its Musty Rob.... no thats not it. Must be Crusty Cob.
OOOOOH I know. Its the guy with the Brooner Scooner.... or the Brunner Runner or something like that.


Does anyone know what the heck I am talking about?
 

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Thanks Mad
 

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I think you're talking about the Legend - Mr. Brunner!

But your way was funnier...
 

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I'll tell you the very best guide for muskie, is muskiebobsr. hands down he's about to be inducted into the freshwater hall of fame. He's easy to get ahold of. He's right here on this board. Click on his name and send him a e-mail. Its the best fishing cheese you'll ever spend. Just do it.

h2o<---thank me after your trip with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow guys, thank you very much for all of the advice you've shared. Do you guys think that engine sound scares the fish at all? I don't have a fishing boat, but rather a 24 foot Four Winns with an inboard Volvo motor, so its not like a quiet trolling motor. Anyway, thanks a lot again. Maybe this is my break-out year! I'll get a hold of it yet, and I'll let you guys know when!
 

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Muskies aren't afraid of anything...

One attacked my trolling motor prop 3 or 4 years ago out there... Scary!
 

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NO i dont think the sound spooks them they hear it all day long,,, i have been on some rumblers before and caught 4 muskys in the prop wash not even 4 feet back, some say it might even trigger them into striking, not because of hunger but out of aggresion....... early in the year troll slow say about 2.3-3.3 and use boards in shallow water ( spread em out ) latter in the year go deeper and up your speed a little..................it works for me.
 

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I caught my biggest musky so far last September on the edge of the shipping channel in about 20 feet of water on a 5" St. Clair goby tube I was casting down the edge. I catch them by bass fishing. It was a thick 50 incher. It made a huge jump clean of the water right next to a freighter.

I landed 4 in the low 40 inch to 50 inch range on that same tube and lost one other one that would have been a double since my fishing partner was already fighting one at the time.

I had another really big one on at the head of Seaway Island out of the deep current on another 5" tube. I think some move up the channels later in the year just like the bass. Years back, I actually saw a school of them swimming by the Lambton power plant and caught one of them.
 

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Hey Dan; Isn't that an awesome sight? I had two guys out a couple of years ago and they where casting out the same side of the boat. It was the first week of the Muskie season but these two females where still spawning and they brought 9 of their boyfriends with them. What a sight 11 Muskie comung to the boat at the same time. WOW. Bob
 
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