Category Archives: Articles

Muskie Transport Vs. Survival

As an avid and dedicated Esox Angler, I will continually try to discover/discuss factors directly linked to incidental mortality of muskie and pike … the fish intended to be released effectively. Most of us have seen “floaters:” Dead muskie or … Continue reading

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Late Spring Muskie Fishing

The late spring time frame can vary, depending on the latitude of the fishery in question, but to get a little more specific, we’re talking about the post-spawn period (about a month) and generally surface temperature ranges in the 60’s … Continue reading

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Cold Water Muskies

Muskies are truly different critters as fish go. No doubt about it! Those of us who fish for them are different critters as well; willing to put forth seemingly endless expenditure on tools of the trade, and endless hours in … Continue reading

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Handling, Landing & Releasing Muskies Alone

In a way, this discussion may be somewhat off-topic for a release column. At least I thought so at first and pondered it a little. But in reality it isn¹t at all. My concern was that the act of landing a … Continue reading

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Landing & Release of Muskies

There are still folks out there, who it appears… will never learn… but the value and effectiveness of catch and release angling is continually becoming more evident and accepted as a valuable tool in maintaining or improving the quality of … Continue reading

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Are We Pushing Safe Fish Handling Too Hard?

One of my favorite comments to hear from someone – is that catch and release – and handling information offered-up – has had positive effects… especially-so, if it resulted in saving a fish! Something I’ve long wrestled with regarding catch … Continue reading

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How to Get Out of Your Summer Muskie Drought

Muskies are never easy. We hear all kinds of things about what makes them tough to catch – and one of them is warm water, dog day summer conditions. But actually, in many ways, summer is my favorite time of year … Continue reading

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Catch and Release Muskies After Dark

Night fishing is in many ways – exactly the same as fishing during the day, when it comes to structures, lures, tactics and such. Yet, it does pose some unique issues for handling the landing and release of hooked fish. … Continue reading

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Jigging on Cold Fronts

Cold fronts generally aren’t the greatest news for any fishing, other than the fact that pre-frontal conditions usually bring a feeding spree as barometric pressure drops. Following this though, when cold air, high, clear skies persist, muskie and pike are … Continue reading

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For the Love of Muskie’s

Author: Ted Pilgrim with Pete Maina Pete Maina has in his day handled thousands of big muskies. Ex-guide, lure inventor, TV personality, angler extraordinaire, Maina has worn many hats. Today, while he remains a zealous hunter of the big green … Continue reading

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This is a tremendous little tip for use with any type of spinner lure, whether it’s an in-line or overhead spinner style. It’s exactly what I love in life: something very simple, comparatively easy-and I really believe increases interest and … Continue reading

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Return – Get that Muskie!

A real common question from muskie anglers is: “What do I do when I’ve located a big one?” Of course questions on triggering and wondering why figure eights didn’t work are common too. The hard thing for folks like me, … Continue reading

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Proactive Management

Mandatory release (i.e. proactive regulations that require release of all fish, a majority of fish, certain size-structure ranges in a fish species&#8230 is a popular management tool. There are many variables – each specie and fishery with its own uniqueness … Continue reading

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Polarized Glasses

Talk about a no – no; it’s like going muskie fishing without long-nose pliers and quality hook cutters-if you don’t have ’em-don’t go! Quality polarized glasses are an absolute must for any good muskie or pike fisher. And, it goes … Continue reading

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This subject is important for any species, but knowing how to properly use a net is especially important when it comes to big predators like muskie and northern pike. Done right, it’s the most effective and safest (for angler and … Continue reading

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Lure Patterning

There are big advantages to multiple anglers. After decades of guiding, generally a couple anglers at a time, every day, you’d think I’d like to spend a day or two just fishing alone. And I do, if it’s relaxing bobber-watching … Continue reading

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Learn to Use those LURES

A BIG secret – that doesn’t involve a “secret” lure; rather, increasing significantly, the capability of your favorite lures – to become secret weapons – as compared to other folks’ lures of the exact same kind. And actually, it’s a … Continue reading

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Adjusting Boat Control

  Efficiency is a very key element in muskie fishing. The lower the density of a fish species, the more you need to optimize your time on the water. Adjusting boat position on structures as patterns emerge can really save … Continue reading

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Head in the Water

When we talk of practicing effective release for muskie and northern pike, we commonly hear of the importance of having the right tools – and this is absolutely essential. If you don’t have the long-nose pliers, quality hook cutters, spreaders, … Continue reading

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Catch & Release Basics for Toothy Critters

As esox anglers, we all know the importance of catch and release to the future of our sport. Good intentions alone don’t make for successful releases. If the esox doesn’t survive the release, wasted effort and fish flesh is the … Continue reading

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Fight ‘Em Right

I’ve spent many seasons now as a muskie angler and guide (to the point where I’d rather not get specific). As a result, I’ve endured many a muskie story. Of course, the bulk of these are of “the one that got away” variety (specimens cited in the telling are of extreme proportions). I’ve watched many a muskie shake-off, not-get-hooked and even skillfully avoided as potential captors managed to whisk-away their offering before snapping jaws could close around them. It’s as though they want to save their respective purchases from the wear and tear that coincides with such vicious, toothy attacks (which I’ve never quite understood, since they’re usually paying me money to catch one of the silly things). Continue reading

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Finding Pike Through The Ice

To me, when it comes to the hard water season, northern pike are my favorite target for a lot of reasons. First, they are bigger fish that have teeth. And they pull hard and move fast. And another real neat … Continue reading

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Lure Colors and Muskies

You’ve all seen the smiley tackle manufacturer or rep at the sports show, graciously offering info on their line of product; also counsel on the myriad of colors available. I’ve been there myself many times; on both sides of the … Continue reading

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Fishing with Live Bait

Many anglers have never even tried live bait for any species. Where I come from in northwestern Wisconsin, live bait use for musky is a tradition as old as the sport itself. Generally, live bait use is common in the … Continue reading

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What’s Next for Our Muskie Fisheries?

All you muskie fishers out there-give yourself a pat on the back. Let’s look at what’s happened in muskie fishing over the last couple decades. About twenty-three years ago I started to release muskies myself, and encourage my guiding clients … Continue reading

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