Total Package Trolling for Fall Musky

Video best musky lures for trolling

I also run a heavy gauge line in the 75 to 80 pound range for all bottom bouncing. The line is surely going to get tested to the max, as it runs over all kinds of highly abrasive obstructions. A high quality, abrasion resistant line like Beast Braid is a must. Another essential part of the basic tackle for this abusive style of fishing is an extra long wire leader in the 3 to 4 foot range. The wire leader not only protects your line from a big fish bite-off, but reduces overall line abrasion by as much as 90%. As lure careens over rocks and other jagged protrusions, that first two to three feet of line also comes into contact with virtually everyone of these same objects. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how devastating this exercise can be to that section of line in virtually no time at all. Running the long wire leader here eliminates this problem.

Finally, while just about any kind of levelwind reel will work for trolling, my favorite contains a line counter. I use a line counter style trolling reel for both open water and bottom bounce trolling along with a longer rod of at least 8 feet in length. The line counter enables you to let out precise amounts of line to run at a specific depth. The more line you let out, the deeper most crankbaits will run. Sometimes you need to run a lot of line out; sometimes you do not. When you score on a fish, knowing exactly how much line you had out makes it easy to duplicate this on successive trolling passes.

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Look for land points, underwater projections of rock, humps of boulders, big slab rocks and a sudden contour change along a rocky bank to all be high potential spots for this bottom bouncing system. I like to let out just enough line so that your lure just ticks. Occasionally drop back on the rod to let the bait rise and then rip it forward. This cleans debris from the diving lip and around the hooks, plus it triggers strikes. It also drives the bait deeper and triggers any possible following musky. As you move tight to a rock wall bank, stick your rod towards the wall itself along straight sections, and point it back so it’s directly behind the motor on hard contour turns.

Any time you feel the bait bouncing bottom extra hard, the lure is hitting a high spot. Point the rod tip skyward and slow down just a tad. As soon as the bait starts vibrating freely kick up the speed and rip the bait forward with your rod tip. This usually triggers the strike and cleans the bait. This technique is absolutely deadly on muskies on every lake, river or reservoir I’ve tried it on.

Yes, trolling for big pike and muskies is definitely the deadliest fishing system of all. It’s especially productive when you combine multiple types of trolling systems for both suspended fish and deep bottom huggers. Big fish spend the majority of their time in deeper water. As you now know, these lunkers can be either suspended or bottom tight. Being able to attack both of these situations with equal efficiency all adds up to more success with more big fish more often. Next time traditional casting methods fail, in, break out the trolling gear. Check out the hard bottom breaklines, the rock walls, the deep points, the mud flats, and the open water around holes. Fish those spots that no one else dares to. I am certain you will up your odds on both numbers and big fish by adding these deep water trolling tricks to your arsenal.

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Joe Bucher : Musky 360