Muskie Fishing Tackle & Equipment
Due to the large average size of lures and presentations and the hundreds of times a day you will cast, proper equipment is required for correct presentation, ease of use, lessening of fatigue, and for fighting and quickly subduing large fish. There are many lengths and actions to go along with the many styles and sizes of baits, but our all-around first choice for one, all season outfit, would be an 8’6” heavy fast action rod like the St Croix Premier, Mojo, Legend Tournament or Elite. A 50 or 60 series reel like the Abu NACL or Abu Beast, Shimano Calcutta B, D, or Conquest. They should have a power handle and filled to the top of the spool with 80# Seagur Threadlock braid or Berkley’s Fireline braid and a 100-130# 18” Stealth Tackle floro carbon leader. For earlier in the season and when using smaller baits, a medium-heavy with 65# might be a better option. For burning big blades, like #10-13, pitching the biggest rubber, and jerking big minnow baits, a 9’ xxh with 100# is used by many. For trolling and live bait, specialized action and line counter reels can be used. However, our recommendations will work consistently for most fishermen.
For bait selection from the season’s opener through early September, blades are tough to beat. There is an assortment of sizes from #8-!0, in both double and single blade configurations, in silver, black, chrome, chart, and org. Choose those with dark tails and matching highlights in gold, copper with gold, brown, or yellow. Top water choices are many, but a zig zag topwater like the Doc or One Eye and a tail spinner like the Pacemaker or Top Raider will do the trick. For jerkbaits, it’s tough to beat a 10” Suick in firetiger, walleye, or black paired with a Phantom Soft Tail in hot perch. For crankbaits, a jointed perch Depth Raider, walleye colored Triple D, and Gramas or Jakes in tenn shad, gold foil or hot perch is an excellent choice. Minnow baits in 7-8” like Slammers and Big Game in natural perch, sucker, and walleye patterns will be effective. Rubber baits like the Bull Dawg, Big Joe, and Medussa in black, cisco, and walleye are also good choices. For fall, trolling Jakes, Gramas, Musky Train MX, Headlocks, Depth Raiders, Believers, and Legends are great options. Generally, hues of white, perch, brown, yellow, or gold baitfish should be your staples. There are countless options and colors to choose from when it comes to musky baits, but following these recommendations will give you the tools you need to fish different structures, depths, and seasons efficiently. If there are baits you have been successful with elsewhere and you have confidence in them, bring them along! Angler confidence is key. If you can’t get any action using one of those, you probably aren’t going to. Now, all you need to do is put them in front of a hungry musky! This is ultimately the most important thing; that and taking good pictures of course!