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Live Bait Musky

Written by OhioODJ. Posted in Fishing

Published on September 02, 2012 with 10 Comments

Live Bait Musky Fishing Minnow Chubs and Suckers


Live Bait Muskies !
By: Jason

Musky are moving into the shallow waters, and they are hungry

March and April are prime months for trophy musky fishing across Ohio’s lakes and rivers. Musky can be caught this time of year using big spinners and plugs, but live bait fishing can add an exciting twist to what you might be used to.

Live bait musky fishing is probably the most thrilling way to go after these rod-busting bruisers. The setup you will need should emulate a smaller scale version of what was used in the movie “Jaws.” Big heavy rod, heavy line with wire leader, and big bait-clicking reel is the rig you should have, because when fishing for musky, you need to use musky equipment. You may be able to land a baby with a smaller rig, but if you hook into a 30+ pounder with a catfish setup, you will not stand a chance.

The hard work for this type of fishing actually begins the day before you head out. The bait you will need to go after trophy musky is difficult to find in local bait shops, and if you can find it, it will cost you a pretty penny. If you want quality bait, you need to get it yourself, and this means a long day in your waders seining undercuts for big suckers and chubs. A good day of live bait musky fishing will require at least a dozen suckers and chubs 8-12 inches long. A 12 inch sucker 3-wayed to a one ounce sinker on a wire leader is all that you need to go after that wall hanger musky.

When your clicker starts singing do not panic! Live bait fishing for musky requires that you let the fish run, stop, then run again before you set the hook or you will loose over 50% of your strikes. A musky will grab the sucker horizontally in his mouth and thrash around to kill the bait. If you set the hook at this time, the musky will let go of the bait, and you just lost your fish. By waiting until the musky stops and begins to turn the fish into his mouth, you will ensure a better chance at a solid hook set. Waiting too long however can allow the musky to actually swallow the bait and do possible harm to the fish. Using heavy duty circle hooks and being able to read what the fish is doing before you set the hook will go a long way to ensuring that you land your fish and release him free of harm.

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There are currently 10 Comments on Live Bait Musky. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. This is the best live bait musky article I have read, thank you, I have learned a lot of from this.

  2. This sounds like so much fun! Very informative article.

  3. This is how I musky fish. There is no better sound than when that clicker starts singing!

  4. You are so right about the trickiness of knowing when to set the hook. Too soon and you will loose him and too long and he swallows the hook. Live bait musky fishing is an craft that you perfect. Nice article.

  5. I have always strictly used big plugs, but you guys are making me want to try this.

  6. Definitely like the big heavy Gamakatsu circle hooks for this type of fishing. They are strong, and hook the fish in the mouth and not the throat.

  7. Can you do an article on how you get the bait?

  8. I like the suckers better than the chubs because they seem to live longer when fishing is slow and the tend to be more resilient.

  9. Great article!

  10. Great points altogether, you just gained a new reader.

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