David Hebeda is an avid Muskie fisherman who has many years of experience catching these large, North American freshwater fish. David Hebeda knows that Muskie prefer water that is clear and has rocks, weeds and other forms of structure that they can hide and hunt their prey from.
David Hebeda also knows that Muskie like shallow water and shorelines, making them very rare to catch in depths greater than 40 feet. The water temperature these fish need for spawning is between 50 and 60 degrees.
But these aren’t the only things David Hebeda knows about Muskie fishing. He has a whole arsenal of Muskie fishing tips, tricks, and techniques that are proven to work. To help you on your next Muskie fishing trip, here are some tried and true Muskie fishing tactics David Hebeda likes to use.
Understand the Water
Before you starting fishing in a particular body of water, try obtaining a map of the area you plan to fish. Maps can have useful information like depth indicators and contour lines, which can help you spot the best places to fish for Muskie.
When fishing for Muskie, it is wise to use barbless hooks as opposed to traditional treble hooks. Barbless hooks will make removing the hook from the Muskie’s mouth much easier, and contrary to popular belief, barbless hooks do not lower the percentage of hook sets.
The size of your bait should depend on the season when you’re fishing for Muskie. In the spring time when the water is cool, you’ll want to use smaller lures and baits to attract the Muskie. This is because Muskie tend to go after smaller prey in the spring. But they increase their prey size leading up to the fall months. The idea is to increase the size of your Muskie bait as the season goes on.
Don’t be caught using the wrong tackle when fishing for Muskie. It’s easy to overlook some of the equipment you’ll need for the right setup, but having proper tackle is important for landing the fish. Ideally you’ll want to have a 8 or 9 foot heavy action fishing pole with about 80 to 100 pound super braid fishing line. You’ll also need a 75 to 100 pound test leader wire.
Lures and spinners are also great bait options for Muskie fishing, but if you’re going to go with live bait, you can’t beat 12-14 inch suckers when the water temps dip back under 60 degrees.