Southern Musky Winter Fishing with the Livingston Pounder
While the northern musky waters are tightly locked in winters frozen grasp the musky fishing bite is just heating up for those of us that call the south home. January, February and March are prime time on southern musky waters as muskies are feeding up in anticipation of the spawn. While southern muskies may have food on the brain during this pre-spawn period, colder water temperatures and increased water clarity make choosing the right lure more important than ever. Selecting the right musky lure during warmer months generally finding the right size, action and color. However, during colder conditions when muskies are holding tight to deeper structure and cover speed, depth control and rate of rise should be top considerations.
After years of frustration attempting to tweak, tune and modify other deep running musky lures, I had all but given up on finding a lure that had the right action straight out of the box. Recently my prayers for a perfect southern musky lure were answered when Livingston Lures introduced the Pounder.
The Pounder is an exceptionally tough lure with a reinforced lip that can take the abuse of ticking timber and slamming into subsurface rocks. The factory hardware, split rings and hooks from Livingston are top quality so no need to worry about switching things out like on other brands. But what makes the Pounder exceptional is it’s precise internal weighting that makes this the best mid and deep depth crank bait in my box.
Unlike the other so called deep running lures the Pounder actually delivers, easily getting to depths of 8 feet plus on a normal cast. Consistently hitting deeper running depths is imperative when targeting muskies that are tight to timber, rock and man-made structures. The Pounder gets where you need it quickly and stays there with zero modifications.
While the above-mentioned features of the Pounder make it stand out from the pack its slow rise while paused is what makes it a musky catching machine. This slow rise coupled with an aggressive retrieve creates a death pause when the Pounder makes contact with subsurface cover.
To get the most out of your Livingston Lures Pounder fish it tight to shore line timber. Make casts that run the length of lay downs and allow the lure to hit multiple branches as it’s worked back to the boat. Each time you feel the lure make contact with a branch, stop reeling giving the lure a pause in the two to three second range. This pause gives the Pounder a chance to not only show hungry muskies the magical death pause but it will also back it’s self out preventing snags. Repeat this process down the entire length of shore line lays downs until you reach the outer edge where the timber gives way to open water. Once you are in open water transition to a straight retrieve the remaining distance back to the boat. I highly recommend finishing each retrieve off with a deep figure eight and them ripping the lure upward transitioning to a shallow figure 8. This same methodology can be applied to rocks, rip rap, wing walls, damn faces and other natural or man-made cover or structure. Just reel and rip the Pounder until you make subsurface contact and pause momentarily.
Professional Musky Guide/Co-Owner Musky 360