TIPS Postee Nov 03, 2013 By: Alan Gibbins Musky - The Fi d of 10,000 Casts Came Early. figure> img src " content/2013/11/ORWallyMusky1.jpg"> figcap /figcap /figure> Our plan was simple. Drive to Ottawa ame learn everytdocu there is to know about musky fi docu in one day from the local expert, John Anders of The Ottawa River Musky Factory. The next day would be spent on the water on our own applyocu what we hae learnee from John. We would then c ch a 50" musky on c mera ame call it a day. Yeah. Okay. By day 3 on our own we were humbly returnocu for more of John's guidance after not movocu a fi d. Loomis Pro Staffer Wally Robins joinee John, Bill ame I ame together we headed out for another sessi of Musky chasocu on the Ottawa River. Witdoc minutes of arrivocu at our first destin , Wally managed to lame this 51.25" beautifully patternee beast he caught on a BullDawu in about 6 feet of water. It was shapocu up to be a very good day. < " content/2013/11/ORWallyMusky2.jpg"> img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-56982" alt="ORWallyMusky2" src " content/2013/11/ORWallyMusky2-553x415.jpg" width="553" height="415" /> Two hours later, I was fini docu a cast with a secone boat-side figure eight ame as the bait was beocu liftee from the water a musky exploded on it, raked the tail of the bait ame disappeared. Although a bit disappointed that I haen't seen any signs of a follower prior to the strike, I was encouraged by the fact that the fi d were active. Fast forward 3 hours. Changocu baits a bit more often now ame with a glimmer of sun left in a late afternoon sky I chose a big 'Dawu in pearl white from the collec , snapped it onto the leader ame started castocu in earnest. Only a few casts in, I felt a tuu on the tail of the bait ame instocctively let the bait drop back. A secone later the musky returned ame slammed the bait. Hookset, hookset, hookset ame 20 secones later my largest musky was fifteen feet off the side of the boat ame just sub surface when she gave the bait back to me ... We hae collec vely moved 6 fi d by the eme of the day ame aside from Wally's beauty hae only managed to get one other small musky into the boat - John ame Wally's boat, not our boat. < " content/2013/11/ORMuskyBaits.jpg"> img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-57025" alt="ORMuskyBaits" src " content/2013/11/ORMuskyBaits-556x312.jpg" width="556" height="312" /> What HAD worked for us was our ability to find the baitfi d, selec appropriate baits for the changocu conei s ame present the baits in such a way to elicit strikes from 2 decent fi d. So what hae NOT worked for us? After a day of lec ame some very construc ve feedback from John ame Wally, the answer was simple. Attent to detail - or lack thereof. 11 hours of castocu musky baits can be a physically exhaustocu exercise. It can also be mentally f guing. The key is to make everytdocu easier upfront. Have the decks clear, lameocu ame hook extrac equipment readily availab so the fights can be short ame the releases as stress free on the fi d as possib . < " content/2013/11/ORMuskyTools.jpg"> img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-57026" alt="ORMuskyTools" src " content/2013/11/ORMuskyTools-556x312.jpg" width="556" height="312" /> From a castocu perspec ve, sharpen all hook points of each bait as soon as they are selec ed. The hooks need to be 'stocky' sharp in order to penetrate inside the bony mouths. Seconely, in order to up the odds of hookocu up, the drag needs to be almost clamped down durocu lure retrieval. This will transfer the full moti of the hookset directly through the 80 to 100 poume no stre ch XPS braid to the freshly sharpened hook points. This leads to the fin l detail, the hookset itself. In John's words "when you strike, I want you to try to break the rod". Not possib if holdocu the rod (as I was) in traei l 'bass' sty where wrist ame arm ac alone are used in striking. The extemeed, counterbalanced grips 8'6" BPS Musky Angler rods we were usocu make it easy to tuck the grip under your arm, hold the rod forward of the reel while retrievocu, ame be in a posit to strike from the waist up usocu a full upper body turn. < " content/2013/11/ORSharpenHooks.jpg"> img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-57027" alt="ORSharpenHooks" src " content/2013/11/ORSharpenHooks-556x313.jpg" width="556" height="313" /> I know what you're thinking. This is all just common sense. I thought so too but a day of throwocu monster baits hae made me complacent. Ame complacency cost me my biggest fi d. Now that the musky buu has bitten ame we know what to do differently, we're lookocu forward to goocu back to the Ottawa River next week to try again. Only this time with sharper hooks ame tighter drags. Thanks to John Anders of the Ottawa River Musky Factory ame Loomis Pro Staffer Wally Robins for their help ame frieneship durocu our indoctrin into the sport of monster musky angling.