Going Fall Muskie Fishing? Get Our Top Tips For Catching A Trophy

Pro Staff Tips

Going Fall Muskie Fishing? Get Our Top Tips For Catching A Trophy

One of the best times to fish for muskie is in the fall season. The cooler water temperatures and shorter daylight cycle stimulates feeding activity within the muskie population, moving them out of their summer stomping grounds towards shallower water in search of prey—and greatly improving your chances of seizing one.

The muskie is said to be the most difficult freshwater fish to catch. Pursuing these water giants can be quite the endeavour for the most adventure-seeking angler, so knowing the lures to use and the techniques to figure out where they are and what they want to eat is key for a successful catch.

Here are a few Lucky Strike tips that we've gathered to help guide you in catching the muskie of your dreams this month.

Big equipment = Big muskie

Using larger equipment can be the golden ticket to snagging a muskie. While we do think bigger is better, smaller lures can also be used. Cooler water means that muskies are less likely to chase a fast-moving lure, so we recommend using a large, slow-moving bait. A larger bait will make for a sizeable presence in the water, thus producing more sound and water displacement, which will attract those fish looking to bulk up over the winter months. Lures patterned after baitfish like perch or shiners, as well as bright colour patterns like Fire Tiger are top choices.

Lucky Strike lures recommended for muskie fishing:

SpinnerBait (#460050-20)
6” Live Series (#600448)
6” Ol’Wooden Plug (#319600-08)
Bear Valley Spinner (#410452-33)

SpinnerBait

Live Series Swim Baits

6” Ol’Wooden Plug

Bear Valley Spinner

One of the best times to fish for muskie is in the fall season. The cooler water temperatures and shorter daylight cycle stimulates feeding activity within the muskie population, moving them out of their summer stomping grounds towards shallower water in search of prey—and greatly improving your chances of seizing one.

The muskie is said to be the most difficult freshwater fish to catch. Pursuing these water giants can be quite the endeavour for the most adventure-seeking angler, so knowing the lures to use and the techniques to figure out where they are and what they want to eat is key for a successful catch.

Here are a few Lucky Strike tips that we've gathered to help guide you in catching the muskie of your dreams this month.

Location, location, location!

You are ready to hit the water in hunt of the toothy critters, but where is the prime place to go for fishing potential? There are few things to consider to help you hone in on your efforts.

  • Finding areas in rivers or lakes that contain healthy and highly oxygenated weeds can be critical in finding fall muskie. Weeds use oxygen as they die off and decompose. Fish search for oxygen-rich spots, often moving to healthy weeds in deeper water.
  • Look for rock and brush piles. These areas tend to retain heat during the winter, resulting in muskie seeking shelter there. Brush piles, whether shallow or deep, offer cover and protection for baitfish. Brush piles also provide perfect ambush points for muskie looking for an easy meal in the colder temperatures where everything is moving a little slower. Muskie will also move towards points, submerged islands and other shallow water in search of warmer water and prey.
  • Locate baitfish schools. Baitfish can be found suspending over main lake structures or humps, around points or oxygen-producing vegetation—it's basically buffet grounds for predators. Learning the depth of bait schools is important for knowing where to put your bait in the water column, as muskie generally feed on the side or below.

If you're an angler who travels across the country on a mission to catch the fish of 10,000 casts, some of the very best muskie fishing can be found in rivers such as the St. Lawrence, Ottawa, Rideau, Niagara, St. Clair and Winnipeg. The top muskie waterbodies are Rainy Lake, Eagle Lake, Lac Seul, Lake of the Woods, Lake Nipissing and the famous Trent-Severn Waterway.

Trolling baits

Trolling is an effective way to target deep-water fish and those feeding on baitfish schools in the fall. It's also a strategic way to cover ground and not tire yourself out by repeatedly casting heavy baits. Trolling is usually done with lines set 20-50 feet back from the back of the boat, using large crankbaits and minnowbaits. Trolling patterns can be done in a straight line, working passes at different distances from key structures, or by doing “S” bends as it changes the speed of the lures. The lure on the outside of the turn typically will move faster and slower on the inside, triggering the fish to strike.

Be patient and persistent

Muskie fishing isn't for the faint of heart. You have to exercise much patience and persistence as the sport can, at times, push you mentally and physically beyond your limit. Casting or trolling often for long hours without results demands self-restraint and can reward patience with well-earned success. If you give up too easily, you might leave a fruitful spot too soon, or end your day early, just as those twilight fish are getting ready. If you stick with it, you could be rewarded with the fish of a lifetime.

Safe handling and release

There's nothing more exciting about catching a mammoth muskie, especially if it's a size that allows you bragging rights. Fish are a precious resource that hold an important place in the bigger ecosystem. Be mindful to keep muskie in the water at all times, avoid picking up by the tail and always release it quickly into the channel where ideal conditions exist. For catch and release, we recommend using:
Lucky Strike Musky Cradle Net (#6494820)
Lucky Strike Gorilla Net (#6884848)

Lucky Strike Musky Cradle Net

Lucky Strike Gorilla Net

If you have a question about equipment for muskie fishing, get in touch with us at info@luckystrikebaitworks.com.

Be sure to share your big catch with us on our Contests page or on Instagram with the hashtag #STRIKECAM.

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