Fishing for big muskies isn’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 “need a bigger boat,” as suggested in “Jaws,” 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 Minnesota’s Vermilion Lake, listed the “must-have” items for pursuing big fish:
• A 7- to 8-foot baitcasting rod, rated medium-heavy, like the St. Croix Mojo Musky or Legends line.
• A powerful bait-casting reel, like the Avid AC300A by St. Croix.
• A superbraid fishing line, rated at 60-80 pounds. “You can use cheaper backing line to save money,” he noted. “And you don’t need more than 150-200 yards. Most guys put too much on their reels.” He likes Berkley’s Fireline Braid and PowerPro’s braided lines.
• Several 60- to 80-pound fluorocarbon leaders, 12 inches long. “Buy the more expensive ones; they’re worth it.”
• A deep net with a very strong yoke system (“that’s where they usually break”). Beckman’s “Fin-Saver” net is a favorite.
• Fishing gloves that protect both you and the fish, such as Lindy’s Fish-Handler gloves.
• Long-handled side cutters, for cutting off hooks on deep-hooked fish with lots of teeth
• A cloth tape measure for quickly determining the length and girth of a fish.
Actually, a bigger boat may not be a bad idea.…