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by Simply Fishing’s Bob Mehsikomer My favorite waters for big muskies are found in the Canadian Shield region of northwestern Ontario, Canada including Lake Of The Woods, the Winnipeg River, Eagle Lake and others. This whole section of Canada sits on granite bedrock dotted with water-filled impressions, the remnants of glaciers that receded about 11,000 years ago. Over the years, nature has taken its course, weathering the granite, forming sediment deposits, and allowing many forms of life to enrich this environment. Today lakes such as Lake of the Woods, Eagle Lake, and Stork Lake abound with the beauty of many islands and bays hooked together with tree-lined shores of conifer, aspen and maple trees. Over the rocky bottom of these lakes, sediment has formed, allowing the growth of aquatic vegetation such as coontail and “cabbage” (pondweed), which are the favorite hiding places for ambush predators like the muskie, the queen of freshwater. For over thirty years I have been fishing these lakes, and the muskies just keep getting bigger and bigger, partly due to the fact that current regulations prohibit the harvest of fish under 54 inches in length. And today’s muskie anglers have become more conservation oriented, with the vast majority practicing catch and release. Understanding that these giant females carry the genetic material to produce future trophies, anglers wish to allow them to spawn again. I love the excitement in the visual experience of catching giant muskie on the surface, and I spend a great deal of time pursuing fish that will respond to such a presentation. Imagine the sight of a trophy muskie snaking behind your Poe’s Giant Jackpot as it zigzags across the surface. Case in point, a real monster I cought only Baits that go THUMP Churn It Up Churn It Up Churn It Up

Whitefish Bay Camp minutes from Whitefish Bay Camp. Located near the bottom end of whitefush Bay. You see the tip of the tail fin break the surface, and see the telltale S-shaped swirls behind your lure. You tense, wondering whether the fish is going to eat and what you can do to trigger a strike. Suddenly the water explodes, you feel the weight of the fish, then you set the hook firmly and the fight is on. Muskies are notorious for jumping, running directly at the boat head-shaking with mouth wide open, cork-screwing their way down in a roll, and making runs for cover. It’s angler against muskie and the outcome is never really predictable. This is what makes muskie fishing so intriguing. However, if I limited my approach to topwater baits like the Giant Jackpot, I would be missing out on a great number of fish. In short, it simply makes good sense to acquire and learn to present a somewhat larger base of lure groups within your arsenal if you truly wish to succeed at muskie fishing day in and day out. One group of lures that quickly comes to mind is what I refer to as blade baits. I’m not talking about those long metal baits often used in the pursuit of walleye during the cold water periods - I’m referring to bucktails and spinnerbaits. Bucktails are generally a straight wire shaft lure with a spinning blade at the front and one or more dressed treble hooks at the other end. They get their name from the hair originally used to dress this style of lure - the long, buoyant hair from the tail of deer. The spinnerbaits all share one common feature in common - a V-shaped wire formed like a safety pin. One end of the V carries the blade(s), while the other tip has a hook molded onto the wire form with a weighted body, which is dressed with “hair”. The lure is attached to the line at the center. The blade(s) of spinnerbaits and bucktails assist in providing necessary lift in the water on the retrieve. They will also to some degree, regulate or limit speed of retrieve. The wire shaft of the bait is somewhat more important in the construction of spinnerbaits. In most cases thinner wire means better transfer of vibration, which can result in better productivity. Shaft lengths are another very important consideration. The best design for counting down of dropping a spinnerbait would consist of the main wire and the forearm being very similar in length. When looking at a spinner