Fishing for big muskies isnâ€™t the same as chasing after walleyes, bass or hammer-handle pike. These are powerful fish that can shred normal tackle, and while you may not â€śneed a bigger boat,â€ť as suggested in â€śJaws,â€ť you are going to need some different muskie fishing gear.
One man who knows his way around trophy muskies is Billy Rosner, a veteran fourth-generation guide from the upper Midwest who has caught giants up to 53 inches, and led clients to many more. Rosner, who currently guides on Minnesotaâ€™s Vermilion Lake, listed the â€śmust-haveâ€ť items for pursuing big fish:
â€˘â€‚A 7- to 8-foot baitcasting rod, rated medium-heavy, like the St. Croix Mojo Musky or Legends line.
â€˘â€‚A powerful bait-casting reel, like the Avid AC300A by St. Croix.
â€˘â€‚A superbraid fishing line, rated at 60-80 pounds. â€śYou can use cheaper backing line to save money,â€ť he noted. â€śAnd you donâ€™t need more than 150-200 yards. Most guys put too much on their reels.â€ť He likes Berkleyâ€™s Fireline Braid and PowerProâ€™s braided lines.
â€˘â€‚Several 60- to 80-pound fluorocarbon leaders, 12 inches long. â€śBuy the more expensive ones; theyâ€™re worth it.â€ť
â€˘â€‚A deep net with a very strong yoke system (â€śthatâ€™s where they usually breakâ€ť). Beckmanâ€™s â€śFin-Saverâ€ť net is a favorite.
â€˘â€‚Fishing gloves that protect both you and the fish, such as Lindyâ€™s Fish-Handler gloves.
â€˘ Long-handled side cutters, for cutting off hooks on deep-hooked fish with lots of teeth
â€˘â€‚A cloth tape measure for quickly determining the length and girth of a fish.
Actually, a bigger boat may not be a bad idea.â€¦