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Timely Tips to Make Your Musky Hunt a Success"
By Justin Hoffman

As the trees drop their leaves and the days grow colder, in-the-know musky anglers begin to congregate on their favourite waters to reap the rewards that the fall time offers - BIG plentiful muskies! Fall is the best time to hook into that fish of a lifetime, and by being prepared and having the right tools, your time on the water can be more productive and unforgettable.

Lures and Rods

There are a ton of musky lures on the market today, however, fall fishing will simplify the selection and take the guesswork out of what to bring. My arsenal consists of three types of lures - jerkbaits, trolling cranks and spinnerbaits.

Jerkbaits are my "go to" lure in the fall and their action and style are just what the musky doctor ordered. Choose a jerk between 8 and twelve inches and get ready for some excitement. A few baits to keep on board are the Suick, the Jake and the Bobbie Bait.

Trolling cranks deserve a place in all fall tackle boxes as they are a dynamite search lure and have the reputation of catching HUGE fish. The way to go is BIG in order to whet the appetite of these eating machines. Choose a few lures that will cover different depths for the water you troll. Lures such as Believers, Swim Whiz's and jumbo Rapalas or Bagleys have worked well for me in the past. Try different colour combinations to see which one is triggering a strike in this "sometimes picky" fish.

Spinnerbaits work great in the summer months for musky and also produce results well into the fall. Bass-sized baits should be overlooked, as jumbo spinnerbaits are the best to choose. White-skirted versions with oversized willow leaf blades have been the "lure de jour" for many of the muskies I have encountered during the chilly months.

If there is one thing I can suggest to those anglers wishing to pursue the mighty musky it is to invest in a good quality rod that is specifically designed for this type of fish. My recommendation is a rod in the 6-foot to 6-and-a-half foot length with a heavy action. This will enable you to cast and troll easily, and land fish that would undoubtedly play havoc on gear that is any lighter.

Gear and Gadgets

There are certain items that must be in my boat each musky outing to ensure a safe and productive day. Having a good set of pliers will make hook removal a snap, as long as they are of a sufficient length (so you don't have to venture too close to that ferocious mouth) and can attain a reasonable torque. A heavy-duty pair of bolt cutters is also needed so that any hook that is irremovable can be quickly and effortlessly cut off. No hook is worth the price of a musky, so when in doubt, your best option is to cut her free.

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