Muskies are often referred to the "fish of 10,000 casts" and are frequently thought of as being a fish that resides in remote lakes in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and much of Ontario.
It is true that the musky can be an elusive fish to catch. There are numerous tales of anglers going days without catching fish, yet they consider the trip a success because they had a couple of muskies follow their bait to the boat.
It is also true that the remote waters of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario are home to good numbers of muskies, many of trophy size.
The last fact is that no longer is it necessary to make 10,000 casts to catch a musky, and it surely is not necessary to travel long distances to get to good musky water. The opportunity to catch a musky is better now than it has been in many of our lifetimes.
Due to stocking and progressive regulations regarding keeping muskies, populations of these fish are getting better throughout the Midwest. Some of the best musky fishing in Minnesota is in the metro lakes around Minneapolis and St. Paul. Huge muskies live in the waters around Madison, Milwaukee and the Iowa Great Lakes region, while musky numbers are increasing steadily in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. And the muskies in the traditional musky haunts just keep getting bigger.
Beginner and expert musky anglers alike catch lots of muskies every year on bucktails. In fact, the two biggest muskies taken in Minnesota over the past number of years came on the same style bucktail, a Bionic Bucktail. Bucktails are easy to work and provide very high hooking percentages.
The trend in rods is toward longer, slightly less stiff rods. With the advent of the super-lines, the rod doesn't need to be quite as stiff to provide adequate hooksets. I used fifty-pound test FireLine and Whiplash for my musky fishing last year. It cast really well, and the hooksets were rock-solid. An Ambassadeur 6500 is still the most popular musky reel out there because they're durable and affordable.
Muskies are like any other fish. You must find them before you can catch them. This era we're living in right now provides the best opportunity to fish for muskies, and have a good chance to catch one, than ever before. Good lakes are closer, and with the increased length limits, the number of fish that are allowed to grow up are better than ever. Most musky anglers also have a very far-sighted vision of fishing. They realize we can't keep most of the muskies we catch if we want to see the range and average size of these fish increase.
If you want to catch a musky, the time is right. If you put in the time, you can almost bet you'll have action. That's something a person wouldn't have been willing to bet on twenty years ago.
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