Mini Travel: Northeast Musky Destinations
The Northeast offers plenty of places to tangle with freshwater’s ultimate predator.
No freshwater fish is more fabled than the muskellunge. The “Fish of 10,000 Casts” is a bucket list species for many anglers, and often one that never gets checked-off. The most essential key to catching a musky is finding them, and that all starts with identifying a body of water which has enough fish of catchable size to give you a decent shot. Thirty years ago, this article would be limited to the lakes and waterways in northern Minnesota and Ontario, but today musky fishing is a much different story.
Between stocking efforts and cleaner water, several states in the Northeast boast trophy musky fisheries, and even more waters in our region are developing fisheries rapidly. New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania all have numerous quality musky fisheries, while Connecticut and Massachusetts are seeing a revival of their tiger musky stocking efforts and showing promise for the very near future.
Like most things that are worth doing in life, musky fishing takes a little time. Doing your homework, investing in the right tackle, practicing and spending time on the water will ultimately lead you to continued success. I can’t do all of those things for you, but maybe I can help you get started on the homework.
Casting Vs Trolling
There are two distinct schools of thought among the musky community, the “casters” and the “trollers.” While it’s not necessary to know all the pros and cons of each, it is beneficial to decide if you have preference for one of these tactics. Sticking to one approach will help you learn it thoroughly, and as both require slightly different tackle it’ll save you a few bucks as well. The decision whether to cast or troll comes down to personal preference.
Casting for muskies is taxing and throwing baits that can weigh as much as a pound on heavy gear for long hours certainly isn’t for everyone. But for some anglers, like me, it is preferable to sitting still long enough to give trolling an honest effort. Other anglers prefer toying with the depths at which their baits are running and keeping their eyes glued to electronics as they try to elicit a bite. Regardless of the time of year, both methods catch fish if done properly.