Last updated on March 7th, 2023 at 11:01 pm
In this, our inaugural edition of Ask The Pros, we asked some of the top musky guides from around the country,
“What is your #1 tip that you would give to a first-time muskie angler?”
Here are their answers.
Todd Young, Muddy Creek Fishing Guides, New Castle, PA
“I get the opportunity to take many people out every year that are just getting started in the sport of musky hunting. Often times my clients have already invested in their first rod and reel combo. There are lots of great products out there and tons of info can be found thru the Internet to help people make decisions about which combo fits them best. The number one issue I see with the people showing up is a sub par leader. Spend some time researching the different types of leaders out there and don’t cheap out on this important part of your set up. Your combo is only as strong as your weakest link and don’t let it be your leader.”
Darrin J. Engstrom, Muskyhunt Guide Service, Chippewa Falls, WI
“Learn the difference between casting the lure and throwing the lure. Endurance is key in musky fishing because of the work you’re putting your body through with the large tackle being used. You can “fish” much longer by first setting up your equipment correctly, including making adjustments to the reel to match the lure of choice. Secondly, keep your arms close to your body and use your elbows as a pivot. If your are arms are fully extended, your feet come off the floor of the boat and you grunt when you cast you are throwing the bait. Next thing you know you are sitting down taking a break while your partner keeps fishing!”
Capt. Matt Raley, Hideaway Hollow Outfitters, LLC, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin
“When I have new musky anglers in the boat the most useful information I usually try and get across besides all the proper technique would be to always be prepared. When you least expect getting bit is usually when it seems to happen. Bites take place in the blink of an eye and if you are not prepared during that instance than you have a lot higher chance of missing or messing it up. It sounds weird but I try and visualize getting bit on every cast I make so the cast that finally connects I’m ready for it. I have had a guy get a fish on his first cast and another on a called last cast of the day this year so you just never know when it’s going to happen. That means you must be focused at all times. Can have the rod in your hands good and proper, retrieve going, but then if your head is off in lala land or looking at the scenery you can mess that bite up. Many locations around the country putting up large numbers on a daily basis is not realistic so capitalizing on every bite is crucial. After many times people missing fish and then tell me they were not prepared for the bite I have to ask them when they thought they were going to get bit. A 2nd chance at that fish can be a rarity so getting it right the first time is crucial.”
Captain Mike Koepp, Mike’s Extreme Guide Service, Pewaukee, WI
“The best advise for a first time muskie angler is to get as much experience with a seasoned angler or guide on the body of water your going to fish. I can’t count all the new muskie anglers I have helped in my years of guiding. Learning the seasonal movements of the Muskies and proven patterns takes years of fishing and countless hours of experimentation. Hire a guide to teach you this and mark up a map. This will shorten the learning curve so you can spend quality time on the water doing the rite things that will get you the best results for your time on the water. Better results = positive attitudes and confidence.
Most guides want to teach and have their clients succeed on the water. Nothing better than getting a picture from past clients with their personal best or most muskies in a day.”
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