1. Location This is important in catching your first muskie. If just catching one is your goal an action lake is your best bet. An action lake is a lake that has many fish, but because of their numbers the fish are generally smaller.
2. Right equipment: Have equipment that can handle a muskie. A light bass rod and reel is not going to cut it. Do research. See what's the best set up for your price range. Lures are also very important. Good lures to start out with are bucktails, topwaters such as the globe, and the hawg wabbler. You have to experiment and see what works for you. Make sure to have proper measuring and release tools such as pliers, hook cutters, jaw spreaders and a net big enough to land a muskie. Don't forget the camera.
3. Patience is very important when fishing for muskies. Don't expect to catch one right off the bat. They are often lethargic and will show themselves, but won't eat, so if you're getting them to follow your bait you're on the right track.
4. Be ready! It always seems like they hit when you least expect it. Always be anticipating a muskie to hit your lure
5. Have confidence in your bait. It will help you stick with it longer and it will keep you ready for a strike.
6. Have knowledge. You have to know what you're doing to properly release a muskie, which by the way is strongly advised. Know how to handle a fish. Holding fish vertically without support can hurt the fish. Never let the fish flop in the bottom of your boat. It will lose it's protective slime and it could hurt itself. When releasing, gently grab fish by tail and rock back forth in water until fish swims away. Make sure that from the time the fish is hooked until the fish is swimming away is as short as possible.
- Talk to people who fish the lake. See what's working and where.
- Find out as much as you can.
- Don't be afraid to try something different.
- KNOW AND PERFECT THE FIGURE-EIGHT TECHNIQUE! Muskies are best known for following the lure up to the boat and are tricky to hook, so the best way to counter this is the figure-eight. when the fish is by your boat move the lure in a fast and quick figure-eight motion. When the fish follows the lure to the surface, stick your rod in the water and use the figure-eight technique. This technique has been proven to work, and could make the difference between going home empty handed or going home with a trophy.
- Get polarized sunglasses. You will see a lot more.
- Keep an eye on your lure. If you don't see the fish, you won't know they are there.
- Watch the weather and moon phases, when windows open it can be great.
- Don't fish for muskies if you haven't done your research or don't know what you're doing.
- Muskies are a very aggressive species of fish (along with the northern pike) and have been known to ram the boat when anglers raise their bait or lure out of the water. muskies are sometimes unpredictable and should ALWAYS be handled with care.
- Make sure you're fishing legally. Know the seasons and requirements.