Muskie Fishing Tips:
Muskie, also called Musky or Muskellunge, are the biggest freshwater predatory fish found in Ontario and have a reputation for being extremely aggressive and hard fighting. Because of this reputation, there is a lot of folklore surrounding them. You may have heard that you have to troll really fast and use really big lures to catch them. This is not true.
Trolling Speed: It's true that Muskie fisherpersons find more success trolling faster than they would for Walleye but there is a limit. A good Walleye speed is around 2-miles per hour. Many people fishing for Muskie will troll as fast as 10-miles per hour but the prime speed is between 4 and 6-miles per hour. You will catch Muskie trolling really fast and generally the really big Muskie hit the faster baits but trolling at a slower speed enables you to catch Muskie of all sizes.
Size of Lures: Traditional folklore also tells people new to Muskie fishing that you have to use really big lures. The truth is Muskie will hit any size lure. Tons of big Muskie get caught on little jigs used by people who are Walleye fishing. People trolling with both small, medium and big lures catch fish. The size of the lure should be based on the amount of weeds in the area.
In open water, you can troll with bigger lures as the water is cleaner with less weeds. In water that is weedier or if you are trolling along side thick weeds, a smaller lure is best. What it comes down to is a big lure is hard to bring in and if you have to bring in your line every few minutes because of weeds, big lures become an extremely un-enjoyable experience.
With open water, try trolling with bigger lures. The most popular big trolling lures for Muskie are Willy Lures, Ziggy Lures, Swim Wizzes, large spinner baits or long shallow-running Rapalas. Perch-color and Fire-Tiger are good during the day and red seems to be good in the evening. There are many different colors and some fisherpersons find unique color combinations that work well.
When in weeds it's better to use smaller lures. 6 or 7-inch Original Floating Rapalas (the skinny ones) or Thundersticks work well. The jointed J-11 Rapalas are also an excellent lure and seem to catch Muskie of any size. Spinner baits can be very affective as well.
Casting: If you want to cast into patches of Water Cabbage or between lines of thick weeds, various kinds of crank-baits work well. Suick's and Believers are very popular. Large spinner-baits are also very effective.
Weather: Sunny hot days or windy cold days with rain; it does not seem to matter. Many fish start their feeding cycles when atmospheric pressure changes. The Muskie seem to like it when the pressure and weather stay consistent, no matter how nice or miserable it is on the lake.
Steel Leaders & Line: You must use steel leaders at all times. It's best to use black leaders as sometimes a Muskie will see a silver shine ahead of the lure and hit the top of the leader and bite through the line. It does happen. The line you use should be based on the size of the fishing rod you use. In open water with a light-to-medium action rod, many people use 10 to 12-pound test line. In areas where there are thicker weeds, 12 to 15-pound test can be used. What is really getting popular is the braded line. You can get 15-pound test, which is as thin as 6-pound.
The secret to Muskie fishing is to have patience and try everything. You can fish for hours and hours and not catch anything and then start hitting them like crazy for an hour or two and then it stops dead again. Some people call Muskie the fish of 10,000 casts. This may be true on some lakes but not on Wabigoon. Wabigoon Lake is one of the top Muskie Lakes in North America.