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ented baitfish. More than once, quality muskies have been taken against these wind blown structures, as well as in the calm water formed behind the structure as the current passes around the obstruction. As the wind and current subside, muskies, which prefer vertical structure, will still be found in relatively close proximity and in that comfort environment, whether it consists of boulders, a rock wall, weed bed, a particular depth along a breakline or a combination of these. I have fished muskies in large, expansive weed beds. These beds support an abundant food chain. However, it can take hours and hours of fishing to cover these weeds in order to locate the muskies. I prefer to fish areas where one can pinpoint the fish’s location more quickly. If we pick bottleneck areas and passages carefully, identifying the ones that contain good structure such as points, reefs, rocks and saddles mixed with enough appropriate weed cover, it will take a lot less time to cover these small areas and locate the target of our efforts, the muskie. The odds of presenting a lure in front of a muskie increase, and that is when the real work begins. We must now convince the muskie that our offering is the next meal. Continued from Pg 29 Springtime Crappie Bonanza Target docks by using light, flexible, smaller rods to slingshot Little Nippers underneath. As water continues to warm, look for crappies suspended off the outside weed lines. Cast a Little Joe Quiver jig and a minnow and let it fall. Also check fish cribs with the jig/spinner or a slip-bobber rig. Drifting areas off weed lines with slip bobbers can also be productive. One word of caution: contrary to what some believe, panfish populations can take a beating from more and smarter anglers equipped with the latest technology. Take only enough for a meal or two. That way, there’ll be more for you when you return next spring. Ted Takasaki, Professional Angler and president of Lindy Fishing Tackle. www.lindyfishingtackle.com Put Simply. Do you have items you would rather sell than store? If so, display them to thousands who enjoy exactly what you do. Simply click this link for rates: simplyfishingmagazine. com/Want Ads Want something special? we will quote your ad rate. Put your money back into your pocket and enjoy even more days in the outdoors Inquire today . simplyfishingmagazine. com/Want Ads

by Brett Erickson If you’re content throwing the same old bait, on the same old spots and getting the same old results, then move onto the next article! If you’re a progressive individual who wants to learn about the hottest new products, some background info on them, specific techniques, how the manufacturers and guides used them while prototyping them and even how to modify them—then read on!!! This is The Cutting Edge and that is exactly where we will keep you. Here we will highlight the latest products for all kinds of fishing but, with the explosion of popularity that muskie fishing is experiencing right now, we will focus most of our attention on products for big predator fish as this is the fastest growing segment in the fishing industry today. Let’s kick off this inaugural column with the single hottest product in the fishing industry today—the Double Cowgirl. It seems like just yesterday that I was in a restaurant with Brad and Carrie from Musky Mayhem Tackle. They had released the original Showgirl and Cowgirl baits earlier that year and were thinking about buying another company and looking for some advice. My advice to them was to do their own thing and grow their company their own way. We kept talking about Cowgirl and its impressive catches. The original Cowgirl was a 14”+ tinsel bait that had a huge cowbell spinner on it and weighed around 8oz. and came through the water at a 45 degree angle (it was that heavy!!!). To the average person, this was just going to be a trolling bait. I suggested that they lighten it up a lot and make it shorter so most people could cast it. Brad and Carrie went home and started playing around with different size baits and blade configurations and came up with one they liked, the fish liked and Brad’s guided clients liked. Later that year, they gave some of these new prototype baits to Gregg Thomas, Luke Ronnestrand, Jason Hammernick and other friends who were guides. As they say, the rest is history! It was three years ago when we were sitting in the restaurant. Since then, the Double Cowgirl has boated over 500 muskies over the 50” benchmark! They have only been on the market for 2 years and have already caught more giant muskies than any other bait made!!! What makes them so special? For that, you’ll have to find a muskie that can talk! What I can tell you is what they do different. Let’s start with the blades. The 2 #10 Colorado blades pull hard. Yes, you’re going to hurt after throwing these for a day or two, but you will also hurt after throwing a Giant Jackpot for a couple of days. It is all about matching the right equipment to the task at hand (more on this later). Back to the blades pulling hard. It accomplishes a couple different things. Probably the most important thing is that they move an incredible amount of water that the fish can easily sense through their lateral line. Luke Ronnestrand (guides on Mille Lacs and Vermilion in Minnesota) recently told me that ‘the harder they pull, the bigger they produce’. By pulling hard, and moving so much water, they let a muskie know that a big meal is within their strike zone. A couple of people have gone so far as to flatten the blades out a little to get them to pull harder. The other option is to go faster (we’ll go over how to make this easier in a little bit). The other these big blades do is that they create such a vortex behind them that they suck all the tinsel forward and this really makes the tinsel move around and dance. Where most bucktails just look like a long, thin line coming through the water, a Double Cowgirl is a big, moving blob that could represent a single large fish or a school of tightly packed baitfish. I also believe that with all this course tinsel moving around that The Cutting