Downsizing your lure selection when muskie fishing will result in more action than fishing a large bait.
Throwing a heavy wooden jerkbait or No. 10 double Cowgirl all day may eventually lure in a muskie of dreams, but it is hard work. Muskie guides are supposed to wear a red and black plaid flannel shirt, a tattered hat and have a fillet knife strapped to their belt, according to tradition, but most don’t.
I caught my first legal muskie, a 38-incher, more than 50 years ago on a small Rapala. This fish was released into grease, which is what was done with most muskies too small for the taxidermist back then.
My dad laughed when he netted my trophy, noting, “You can catch a big fish on a little hook, but you can’t catch a little fish on a big hook.”
That homespun wisdom and other homilies like “The surest way to get two rods tangled is to get them within 10 feet of each other” come to mind often on the 200 days I spend on the water in an average year.
Downsizing your lure selection when muskie fishing will result in more action than fishing a large bait — and a 50-incher has no trouble garwoofling a small No. 5 Mepps bucktail, Cisco Kid Topper, or 6-inch Jake stickbait.
On heavily pressured waters, adding a 3-inch, multicolored plastic Kalin grub can make a small lure irresistible to a big fish. Don’t forget to tie on a quality steel leader above the lure. —Ted Peck