Stick to your guns by Cory Allen
Stick to your Guns:
Musky fishing has been for the most part turned into a strafing run. A carpet Bombing. Precision and meticulousness has fallen to the wayside through a motif of burning...and all too often crashing because of it. "Covering water" doesn't necessarily mean covering a two dimensional expanse of water. 90 percent of the fish, as they say, are in 10 percent of the water. So, that being said, once you isolate the ten percent, why waste time performing the same routine over the same layer of water?
The real art of musky fishing comes in knowing the nature of the animal, what it utilizes as habitat and how it moved about its board, and carefully dissecting this ecosystem with different variations of depth, speed, size, action, and color. No matter where you fish, the Muskies are always either shallow, deep, or somewhere in between, and in accordance to that, either active, neutral, or inactive. These levels change periodically and almost constantly in an increase and decrease of "frequency" daily, and to be successful, you must synchronize with this aspect of nature imposed upon this particular animal, the muskellunge. No structure situation I've ever personally encountered can be covered in under an hour to any comprehensive degree. Take your time. Most musky anglers I fish with both fish an area far too quickly, and their presentations themselves usually lean far too heavily on the rapid side of the spectrum. Hastiness will not only leave your coverage sloppy, but cost you some of the greatest fish of your life, and lead to misnomers of information to use in the future. This is the single most evident reason why anglers have a tendency to get pigeon-holed into a handful of tactics on given bodies of water. Don't fear to cycle through drastic variations of depth speed and size control on the same structure situation. The evidence of being almost tedious in covering a structure was most evident when two clients of mine landed a 52"x25" musky on Melton Hill reservoir after we had staked out an area I know to be an almost year round musky habitat and covered it for at least 60 minutes over a 60 yard stretch with everything from a 12" crank to a 3" bass jig. Richard and Travis Storch were rewarded in entertaining my adamancy on our last pass with the fish of many people's lifetimes on a TRO Ice Cold Perch Shallow Invader retrieved moderately slowly over a channel break. If we had played hop scotch from spot to spot on a "milk run", we might have been on plane when this fish or another of equal size became just active enough to move up to the break and trigger. Have faith in your arsenal of knowledge and your ability to implement the right tool at the right time.
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