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Tackle Management: Inventory Time

Soon the dust will clear from all the musky shows, your taxes are done and you learned all those new techniques and spent a ton of money, itís time to look at what we have in our arsenal. Itís time to inventory all the baits that we have in order to make our time on the water productive. You are probably thinking that this is almost an impossible task. I thought that at first too. If you are like the average musky fisherman (If there is such a creature), you have many weapons, some call them tools, in your cherished collection...More


Who's The Fish Here???

Whether it is the middle of Muskie season or we are 'ice bound', Muskie Fever can still really take hold of us all. We find ourselves dreaming of open expanses of water where monster Muskie are snapping at our lures and providing us the thrill of a lifetime. We find ourselves looking longingly at our tackle boxes and the lures that are in our arsenal and wondering if, perhaps, we should add a lure or two...More

Chicago Musky Show Location - Anything But Convenient

As you may have heard, the "so called Chicago Musky Expo" will be held in a different venue in 2018. I refer to it as the "so called Chicago Musky Expo" because it is actually being held in St. Charles Illinois at Pheasant Run. Having grown up in the area, I can honestly say that the venue is very niceÖBut having grown up in the area, I can also say that this will be a nightmare to get to given that it is NOT freeway close and the explosion in the local traffic. If you are coming from almost anywhere in the Chicago metro area, getting to Pheasant Run is going to be an adventure. Picture a Friday rush hour which usually starts at the same time the show opens. It is going to be bumper to bumper on any of the freeways or tollways just to get to an exit sort of close to the venue...More

Keeping That Musky Boat Dry

Among the last thing that gets an opportunity to disappoint you is your bilge pump. You usually find out after the first good rain when you go down to the dock and find your boat looking like the shallow end of a swimming pool. I donít know why a pump that was perfectly good last season has lapsed into non-activity, but is happens. When it comes to bilge pumps, I subscribe to the philosophy that encourages us to keep it simple. In an effort to follow that philosophy, I chose the ĎRule Fully Automatic Bilge Pumpí. I have tried to do the bilge pump and separate water level sensor and it usually turns into a wiring ordeal requiring extra wire crimps...More

It's A Simple Modification

There seems to have emerged some additional interest in the practice of heat shrinking the tail hook on Musky lures. Supposedly, this will position the hook for a higher hookup percentage but there are no facts to support the "marketing hype". What we do know is that Musky will seek to attack their prey in mid-body. A mid-body attack makes a 'fixed position' tail hook less likely to be part of a 'hook-up'. The Top Raider and the Rumbler use a neat modification to the tail hook. It is a little trick borrowed from other lure manufacturers and many of the older Musky anglers. I thought that you might find this simple lure modification of some interest. This article gives you a step by step to try it for yourself...More

Putting A Hook Hanger To Work !!!

The hooks hanger is typically used as a method to suspend a hook from the body of your lure. The draw back to the hook hanger is the possibility that the screws will, over time, back out (When was the last time you checked them for snugness). The alternate method for suspending a hook from your lure is through the use of a screweye; the screweye too has the potential to loosen over time. Enter the hook hanger again. You can easily modify a hook hanger and use it to prevent a screweye from backing out...More

Lures Develop Cracks

Among the most common problems that you will find with coated lures are the four conditions shown above. The chipped epoxy can be due to the lure hitting a hard surface, like a rock, as it was cast. The stress crack can be caused by the action of a Musky battle or by trying to free a lure from a sub-surface snag or from a tree. The body crack, as with the stress crack, can be caused by Musky encounters or a casting mishap. The fatigue crack is typical in deep diver lures when you are banging the lure off the rocky bottom or sub-surface structure...More

Re-shafting LeLure Globes

Once the lures made in China began to hit the American market, complaints from the field began to surface. There were complaints about the eyes falling out and the paint peeling off as well as the shaft of their globes breaking for no apparent reason. After a little investigation of the globe problem, it became apparent that there were likely two reasons why the globe shafts were failing. The first reason was the application of excessive heat on the shaft during the production process. The second was the inferior quality of the metal used for the shaft. Either of these two conditions will result in shaft fracturing for no apparent reason. Since all the globes were made in a single lot, all of the globes (about 5,000) have the potential for this type of failure...More

Touching Up The Wood

The traditional Muskie angler loves his/her wooden lures. Many Muskie anglers will tell you that the wood provides the lure with the type of action that plastic or composite lures cannot match. I will not debate the issue here. In this article I will provide some suggestions for conditioning your wooden lures so that they remain effective...More

Tackling Your Tackle

Special Mate offers an innovative approach to organizing your tackle by offering tackle boxes that are designed to match your lure types. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, bucktails, jerk baits and spoons can be easily stored, eliminating the tangled mess that often occurs in many tackle boxes.  Each box has two strong steel latches, and a folding handle for easy carrying.  The underside of the lid is lined with foam padding to secure the lures in place when the box is closed, and small drain holes in the bottom of the boxes allow water to drain away from the lures...More

Re-shafting Your Bucktail

Over the course of a Muskie season, our lures take one heck of a beating. They are stepped upon, they have heavy objects set upon them; not to mention being abused by our Muskie friend. Probably, among the most used lure in a tackle box is the bucktail. In this article we will go through the steps required to disassemble, re-hook, re-shaft and re-assemble a bucktail. Remember that not all bucktails are exactly the same, so you can use this article as a general guideline. For this article we will use a Skimmer Bucktail, however, the use of a Skimmer should not be construed as an endorsement for the lure or as a testimonial to its effectiveness...More

Tools For Survival

Remember that when you are on the water, you are essentially alone. For that reason, your tool selection should provide you some measure of self reliance. The tools pictured here are what I consider to be the bare minimum. These tools are a channel lock pliers, long nose pliers, regular pliers and a screw driver/wrench set. Some times mechanical things have a bad habit of coming loose when they are subjected to continuous vibrations like those from an outboard motor. You may find yourself changing a shear pin or removing a cotter pin or tightening trolling motor mounts or adjusting depth finder transducers. All of these things have happened to others while on the water and they will, eventually, happen to you too. Be prepared by having some tools to help you make some on-the-spot repairs until you can get to shore...More

Making Sure Your Drag Works

Probably the most important tool of Musky fishing is your reel and the most important function of your reel is the drag system. When you are in the heat of a confrontation with a Musky, you must be able to ďplayĒ the fish. That means that you must be able to give it line to prevent straightening a hook and keep pressure on the Musky to prevent it from throwing a hook. Your reelís drag system is an indispensible element to successfully boating a Musky...More

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