Welcome to Apex Fishing Tips, this section of our website is strictly for muskie fishing. On this web page you'll learn about the muskie species and some awesome muskie fishing tips, tricks and tactics. Our muskie fishing information is useful to anglers of every skill level. It doesn't matter if you're just starting out or been muskie fishing for years. Our muskie fishing tips will help you catch bigger muskie, more often.
Below you'll find 8 muskie fishing tips that will increase your odds of catching a muskie. Both novice and experienced anglers will be able to use our muskie fishing tips to increase their chances of success when muskie fishing. If you have any amazing muskie fishing tips and would like to share them, please contact us and we'll add them below.
In addition to 8 muskie fishing tips we're going to teach you the basics about muskie and the tiger muskie. Below you'll also find the latest all-tackle world fishing records for muskie and tiger muskie. If you need further muskie fishing information you can use the resources at the end of this page. We also have some amazing muskie fishing pictures.
8 Muskie Fishing Tips
Muskies are infamous for snapping monofilament and braided fishing line with their sharp teeth. To keep your sanity, fishing tackle and money you'll want to use a leader. A muskie fishing leader should be at least 12 inches long and rated at least for 30 pounds. This will reduce the amount of muskie you lose to snaps and breaks.
Muskies are successful ambush predators with their elongated bodies and sharp teeth. This means if you want to use live bait to catch muskies, you'll need a large bait fish. The best live bait for muskie is alewives, bluegills, creek chubs, juvenile frogs, large shiners, shad, suckers and yellow perch. A lot of anglers like to use a casting net or fish traps to catch live bait for muskie, but some of these can be bought at local bait shops.
If you're trying to catch muskie with live bait, you'll need the right fishing rig. If you're fishing in deeper water or near the bottom, we recommend the fish finder rig, the three-way rig or the drift rig. If you're fishing shallow water or want to use a bobber, we recommend a slip bobber rig. Slip bobbers allow you to set the depth without sacrificing casting accuracy. If you're going to use a slip bobber with our live bait suggestions, you'll need a large one with a heavy split shot. Otherwise your live bait will be zipping it across the water.
You have endless choices when it comes to lures, spoons and spinners specifically designed for muskie. It's a multimillion dollar industry for bait and tackle companies. We recommend that you choose ones that best mimic the bait fish that muskie would eat where you're fishing. For example, if you're using a lure that mimics a yellow perch, but they feed mostly on bluegills, you'll not have that great of results. Instead, if they feed predominantly on bluegills, we would use a lure that mimics them.
In the spring months muskie tend to go for smaller prey than they normally due, so you might need to size down your bait. However, in fall months they start going for larger baits as they start to bulk up for the winter. Pay attention to the season and size your bait or lure appropriately.
Muskies have a very bony mouth and require a powerful hookset. They're known to shake off hooks and that can frustrate a lot of anglers. Muskie typically attack their prey headfirst; you'll want to ensure a muskie has fully taken your bait or lure before you set the hook. You'll need a firm, solid jerk to properly set the hook.
Learn about the lake, pond or river where you're trying to catch muskie. Google Maps is a great way to study where you're going to fish and potentially locate cover or structure where muskies might be lurking. For better fishing success try to find a topographical map that has depth ranges. This makes it easier to choose the right fishing rig in the area you're trying to catch a muskie. Check out some local online fishing forums, other anglers might share some tips and locations where you can catch muskie in your area.
Be safe when you're handling a muskie, especially for photos. Muskie are known for their sharp teeth and strong jaws. A large muskie can literally bite off an angler's finger. Don't risk your safety for that perfect selfie or trying to recover that expensive lure. Never put your fingers are hands close to a muskies mouth, use a pair of long needle nose pliers to remove a hook. Don't be that angler who ends up on the news losing a finger or nose to a muskie.
About Muskie (Esox masquinongy)
Muskellunge are commonly called muskie or musky by anglers. Tiger muskellunge are commonly called tiger muskie or tiger musky by anglers. A tiger muskie is a hybrid species that is the offspring of a muskie and a northern pike. Muskies and tiger muskies are ambush predators with an elongated body, flat head and a mouth full of sharp teeth.
Muskies are commonly confused with northern pike, but there are two easy ways to tell the two apart. Muskies have a pointed tail, while the northern pike tail is rounded. Muskies have dark stripes along their body, while northern pike have light spots. Muskies are powerful predators that eat prey over 50% of their body length. They eat a wide variety of fish and if possible, they'll eat amphibians, small birds and small mammals.
The all-tackle world record for a muskie (Esox masquinongy) is 67 pounds and 8 ounces. The muskie world record was set by Cal Johnson on July 24th, 1949 at Lake Court Oreilles in Hayward, Wisconsin, USA.
The all-tackle world record for a tiger muskie (Esox masquinongy x Esox lucius) is 51 pounds and 3 ounces. The tiger muskie world record was set by John Knobla on July 16th, 1919 in Lac Vieux-Desert, Michigan, USA.
Muskie Fishing Pictures
A picture of a muskie (E. masquinongy) caught on a fishing trip. (Credit: Sunset Country / Flickr)
A picture of a tiger muskie (E. lucius x masquinongy) caught on a fishing trip. (Credit: john / Flickr)
A close-up picture of the teeth of a muskie that was caught while fishing. (Credit: joeythelemur / Flickr)
Muskie Fishing Resources
How to Catch a Muskie - An excellent guide by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources explaining how you can catch a muskie.