Finally got the monkey off my back and put the first two (2) muskies in my boat this season at Clear Fork. I lost one at boat side on Saturday evening and redeemed myself Sunday morning with these two fish.
Those are both pretty fish, Bite-Me. I've never tried to fish for Muskie, but would like to give it a try. I just got a new canoe, and made myself a transom to mount an electric motor on the side. I've been out twice now, and the only problem I have is keeping the canoe on a straight track in cross-winds. I assume this time of the year, I'd find more fish in 10-15 ft of water, and plan to troll for them using a larger spoon that will stay down. Does a fish-finder help in locating the spots to fish, or do you primarily fish drop-offs and other structure? In the past I've mainly fished for Bass and Crappie, and would appreciate any suggestions you may have that would improve my chances of finding my first Muskie - I assume a steel leader is mandatory
Thanks for any advice you may have for a beginner.
I see you're from Kettering - I live just off Ackerman Blvd, South of Stroop Rd.
I primarily cast cover and shallow structure for muskie this time of year. Depending on what body of water your on, the shallow structure/cover is usually visible and a sonar unit isn't that necessary for locating spots. However, they are very useful when trolling and trying to fish a certain depth, locate deeper structure/cover, baitfish, gamefish, etc... Without it you will probably end up picking a salad off your lure or backing up the boat to retrieve a snagged lure.
If your just getting into muskie fishing, I would recommend that you use a 7'-0" med/hvy baitcasting MUSKIE ROD (not a med/hvy bass rod), braided line 50lb or higher and a single strand wire MUSKIE leader.
As far as baits:
casting - start off with a bucktail in-line spinner or larger close pin style spinner
trolling - 4" to 7" crankbaits (Lil Ernie, Bagley Monster Shad, Bucher Baby Depthraider)
You can pick up all the muskie tackle at Gander Mountain in Huber Heights. If you don't want to shell out the money - heavier bass equipment will suffice, but it puts a lot of stress on the fish due to the amount of time it takes to succesfully play them out on lighter gear. With the relatively cool water temps we have right now the fish should do okay, but once the water temps start rising in June you stand a good chance of having the fish go belly up on you.
You can try the local lakes - Caesar Creek or Cowan, but your best bet to put the first fish in the boat is Clear Fork or Leesville Lake.
When you do land that big one, remember to practice CATCH & RELEASE!!!