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The Articles of Len Hartman

Len Hartman, along with his wife Betty, were prolific Musky anglers. We are fortunate that Len took the time to put some of his Musky insights down on paper. To read a collection of Len's articles, Click Here

Louie Spray Speaks

When you are fighting a fish, always keep your rod at a right angle to the fish so that the spring of the rod protects your line when the fish lunges straight away from you, thus warning you to release your thumb from the spool. Never completely release your thumb but always keep a good stiff drag on the reel. Make him earn any line he wants. Suppose he is taking out line: With your rod at a good right angle, jerk him hard, at the same time slipping your thumb so as to protect your line...More

Improving Your Muskie Lures

Every Muskie fisherman is looking for a better Muskie lure and any new lure that comes along will be bought and tried. Seems we are looking for a better "mouse trap" even though we have several....its the same in Muskie lures. Early spring walleye fishing taught us that big Muskie would take the smallest of lures. During early spring you fish before the weeds come up and therefore you can take chances...More

Early Season Musky Approaches

With the water temperature hovering just over the 60 degree mark, the fish seemed quite lethargic and were really holding tight, right in the thickest weeds. Faster moving lures like bucktails or topwater lures just didn't get their attention. Yet, if you slowly twitched a minnow type bait through the pockets or holes in the thick weed cover, you had better have a good grip on your rod!...More

Down-Sizing For Spring Musky

The conventional wisdom holds that in Spring the smaller lures seem to get more attention that the larger lures that we throw in Summer and Fall. Having the flexibility to down-size is an important option. How many times do you hear about the guy fishing for another species with a jig and minnow who ends up with a nice sized Musky at the end of his light weight tackle? Many anglers will also encourage using smaller lures after a cold front comes through during the Summer months...More

The Bait Casting Reel

The Bait casting reel is the weapon of choice for most Muskie and Northern Pike Anglers. The Abu Garcia reel line is probably the most reels used because of its moderate price and product support, however many anglers elect to use the higher priced Shimano and Penn reels. In this reel review, you will find write ups on the Calcutta 400D, a variety of Abu Garcia Reels and the Penn 965/...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 “play” 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 reel’s drag system is an indispensible element to successfully boating a Musky...More

Early Season Dark & Clear Water Tactics

Most of the action centers on the dark water lakes, rivers, and flowages due to the fact that they are the first to experience warming. Musky prefer 68-72 degree water temperature. Dark water bodies of water will reach this before deep clear water lakes.

A few of the better bets for early season waters would be Moose Lake, which is excellent in May and early June. In addition, Ghost, Lost Land, and teal turn on fast in the early part of the season. Suggested lures are small bucktails and down sized Rapalas and Crane baits. Surface bait action starts out slow, but if you do throw one, make it a slow moving one like a ZZ Topper, or any of the line of lures from Best American Tackle...More

Musky Fishing's Forgotten Surface Lure

In this day of noisy topwater lures, the subtle action of Topper-style baits could be the ticket to Musky success but few fishermen use them. The term "Topper" can be considered a generic, more contemporary name used to refer to any one of a family of torpedo-shaped artificial surface Musky lures which began to be manufactured shortly after the turn of the century. Although they've endured more than 90 years of subtle body shape changes, numerous name changes, and an incomprehensible number of savage Musky strikes, these Toppers, for all their celebrated successes, have grown to become largely ignored Musky surface baits...More

Early Season Musky Tips For Bucktails

Real early spring musky fishing will generally be slow until the fish have spawned and some warmer weather hits. However, when the fish finally do become active, the best approach seems to be smaller lures including smaller bucktails. When I say small, I am generally referring to lure lengths of fewer than 5 inches...More

Early Season Top Water Tactics

There are many Musky anglers who, because of old myths and beliefs, mistakenly reserve the use of topwater lures for the summer period. Topwater presentations however can be very deadly in the spring. Whenever Muskies are in shallow water they may respond to a topwater lure...More

Musky Success - Little Things Mean A Lot

Most musky fishermen have a fairly good understanding of the basics of the sport. Information on musky fishing is much more available today than it was 15 or 20 years ago. The high quality lake maps on the market pinpoint most of the better spots on most popular lakes. The many books, magazines and videos on musky fishing provide information on techniques and methods. Musky clubs and musky tournaments allow the sharing of information and the observing and learning from others. The result of all this information is that there are not only more musky fishermen today, there are more good fishermen. Yet, as in any endeavor, there are a select few musky fishermen that are truly exceptional...More


It doesn't take much of a cold front to turn Muskie off. Actually, a cold front is a double sided sword. As the cold front approaches and the weather becomes unstable, Muskie tend to put the feed bag on. If weather is coupled with favorable moon conditions, the lucky Muskie angler can really tap into some great fishing...More

Slop Musky On Plastics

Early season Musky success is often measured by the number of fish following lures 6-8 feet behind. With short hits common and cold water temps still keeping fish lethargic, fishing can be fruitless without a system. On my daily occupational drive there is plenty of time to review mental notes of the prior weekend's fishing experiences. For example, recently I recalled a strange early season incident on a lake I had guided on for seven years. While fishing a favorite spring bay I heard and then saw frequent large swirls and surface turbulence along the shoreline. The commotion was coming from several Muskies devouring frogs in 1-3 foot depths. Motoring further along this shoreline revealed more "frog feeding" Musky...More

Spring Jigging Areas For Musky

There are many areas that will produce spring Muskies with jigs. The common denominator is food. If there are other fish in the area such as walleyes, bass, or pan fish, it will undoubtedly be a spring Musky hotspot. Newly emerging weeds are big producers of bass, pike, and walleyes in the springtime. Jigging the weeds has become a ritual for thousands of Midwest anglers. Many "accidental" musky catches occur in this situation. But it’s not the only place to bag a spring ‘lunge...More

The Quest For A Weedless Musky Lure

Throughout the Musky season, weeds are an unavoidable consideration when fishing for our Musky friend. In the early Spring, we are searching for emerging weeds and as the season progresses we are seeking methods to fish close to the weed edges...More


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