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Mastering Musky Fishing in 8 Easy Steps

Professional fishermen, as well as novice, come from hundreds of miles away to cast their line on Amber Lake, our resort's Grade A Musky fishing lake.

man who caught musky on squaw lake

Some walk away with an experience to share for years to come and pictures to go along with (you know those "it was 10 feet long but I let it go" stories no longer work in the age of smart phones...haha).

With the variety of people who come to fish for the big one, there is one thing that's consistent...there is nothing consistent about fishing for a Musky - some days, you just get lucky!

Every person has their own favorite technique, rod, reel, bait, lure, hook and sinker. So what's best? How can you improve your chances and best prepare for your Musky fishing trip up in northern Wisconsin?

Following these 8 easy steps will give you that competitive edge and help you become the master of Musky fishing:

Step 1 - Find the Right Lake.

Muskellunge prefer clear lakes with variances between deep, cool water and shallow, broad-leaf, vegetation-covered spots. They thrive in low boat traffic areas and will come to shallow, rocky, lake edges to reproduce when the lake is around 50-60 degrees F.

squaw lake for musky fishing

Amber Lake in Minocqua, WI (see image above) is the perfect habitat for Muskies. Call 715-588-1962 to book a cabin at our resort which is located directly on Amber Lake.

Step 2 - Map the Lake Before You Go

Understand where the shallow, weed-covered areas are before you head out. Get a feel for the deep waters and avoid them. Muskies are rarely caught in water deeper than 40 feet. Click here to view the Squaw Lake Survey Map.

Step 3 - Prepare to Keep Moving

Muskies are aggressive predators that attack moving prey. Sitting on your boat waiting for one to come by will not cut it - you've got to move! Some expert fishermen recommend trolling as fast as 10 miles per hour to catch the real big ones, and 3-7 mph for average to large Muskies.

Step 4 - Don't Check the Weather

Musky fish do not care if it's sunny and hot or windy and cool. Trophy-sized fish have been caught in all varieties of weather. This means that every day is the best day to go Musky fishing at our resort!

Step 5 - Pick the Right Rod, Line and Leader Wire

This is the widest, most debated topic, as you can imagine. Everyone has their "perfect" set up and only experience will give you yours. Here are some tips to get you started though:

  • Pick a rod that is capable of withstanding the Musky fight. Serious anglers often choose an 8-9' lightweight, heavy-duty rod made of carbon fiber and stainless steel.

  • Load your reel with 20 to 30 lb test line. Braided line works great and has a smaller diameter than you'd expect.

  • Do not skimp on the right leader wire. If you want to catch the big one, prepare with 50-70lb test, steel leader.

Step 6 - Choose the Best Bait or Lure

Again, this decision is an ongoing debate among the professionals. Some believe live bait such as frogs or large minnows work best. Others believe a life-like lure ranging from 4-10" will grant you that legendary catch.

holding a frog near birch trail resort in minocqua wi

One of the original Musky lures on the market is still one of the most popular, the "Suick Musky Thriller". Other recommended lures are the Mepps Magnum Musky Killer Bucktail, the Musky Innovations Bull Dawg and the range of MudPuppy lures.

Step 7 - Master the Figure 8

Often Muskies will attack the lure/bait very close to the boat as they may have been watching from a distance and are just now ready for the kill. Don't pull in your line in those last 10 feet, rather dip the end of your rod in the water and make a figure 8 pattern to lure the Musky to bite. Check out this youtube video for an example, then come back and give us a call at 715-588-1962. Your next Musky fishing trip awaits you!

Step 8 - Be Patient

The Musky has been known as the "fish of 10,000 casts" for many generations. This type of elusive fish requires loads of patience but the reward is so worth it. Catching a Musky is the fight of a lifetime for most sport fishermen and as with all good things, requires time, energy and patience.

Following the 8 steps above is your best chance at catching a Musky this season. Do you have a tip we haven't mentioned above? Please contact us at 715-588-1962 to let us know. We'd love to hear it!

lakeside cabin minocqua wi

Now are you ready to plan your Musky fishing trip on the best lake for Musky fishing? Call Birch Trail Resort on Amber Lake at 715-588-1962 to enjoy a lakeside cabin in Minocqua, Wisconsin. (see above our actual cabin on the lake)


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