Musky 360 Podcast Episode 232: Early Season Musky Q+A

Musky 360 Podcast Episode 232: Early Season Musky Q+A

Steven Paul April 22, 2024

Podcast Transcript

Steven:  Alright folks, welcome to the Musky 360 Podcast me real with the awesome dragon!

JAY:  Kick it!

STEVEN:  Kick it! Kick it! It's like a bird, like a bird.

JAY:  I almost blew my voice out; I cracked on one of them.

STEVEN:  Like a snarky little bird you are, Jaybird.

Jay: Like a beastie, boys! Yeah, you know, it's just that thing.

JAY:  Anyway, what's going on in Northwoods?

Jay: You have to fight for your old right to Muskie! Muskie Season is right around the corner, Steven. We've got some stuff rolling in too. Two-thirds of whatever way you want to slice and dice the state of Wisconsin opens up. What's... Less than two weeks?

STEVEN:  I didn't even think about that. Sweet!

JAY:  Memorial Day weekend. Yeah, last weekend of May.

STEVEN:  Another month. Where are they?

JAY:  No more complaining. There's opportunities nearby, you know? So, it has those opportunities quite like, you know, we have... There's a few lakes that are actually open. Not too far from my house, too.

STEVEN:  Oh, well, yeah, we're done with ice. But looks like... What else did the Northern Lights stuff show up this week? Is that new here?

JAY:  Well, we got another surprise big shipment of only Lake X Lures in a couple days back. And just out of nowhere, it's like, oh, man. So, we've got... We got refilled because the first wave was almost done from the previous week. So, we're in pretty good shape on Lake X stuff. And rumor has it that the Savage stuff, all that stuff that Mads was talking about a few weeks ago, and Danny Herbeck. And that stuff is rolling in, possibly even starting tomorrow. So, I'll get it on the website as soon as I have pictures processed of all the different colors and sizes. There's six different Bucktail models and like 10, 11 colors and the Burbot tube, that 3D Burbot tube thing. Looks pretty cool. I got some of that stuff shot underwater legally, by the way. And with DNR approval and put some of that up so folks can see what the stuff looks like underwater.

STEVEN:  Oh, my goodness, yeah, I'm looking here, a bunch of colors in on the Lake X. Danny Herbeck coming up that stuff with Mads. That's going to be cool here very shortly, just a cool addition. Then if you missed last week, there are some custom colors from Innovations that showed up. You got that.

JAY:  We got more custom colors from Chaos Tackle in too.

STEVEN:  Okay, what's in there? What's in there?

JAY:  We carry a lot of custom colors in Chaos and we got refilled on a lot of them. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a lot of them.

Steven: If you're out there just waiting for it.

JAY:  Medusa's and Poseidon's. What?

STEVEN:  All the good stuff? What more do you want? What more do you want? I can't believe it's been just such a crazy Netherlands and running around doing all this stuff. I just time just flying by the fact that we're mere hours for Musky opener. I know people are fishing for you this week.

Steven: It's been, I'll tell you, in a lot of people have been messaging. What do I do?

Jay:  Right?

STEVEN:  Again, it has been just a mixed bag. I was very fortunate. I caught a Donkey Kong the other day.

JAY:  I saw the picture. I think it's on the app too. Beautiful.

STEVEN:  Yeah, I wrote a little pre-spawn. I'll tell you; you've heard a lot. If you listen to the show, you've heard a lot of the crap talking about pre-spawn. But it's kind of a gross generality. I'll just tell you that. When it comes to where a fish or staging on any body of water, pre-spawn, where big fish are, it's going to vary greatly. It's just kind of like some loose parameters of, okay, you've got to fill in the blanks. You know what I'm saying? I've given you the Connect the Dots, Jay. You can tell it's a bunny rabbit. You've got to draw the line between the dots. Oh, don't make a mistake, Jay. Oh, you messed up its ear. That's no good. So, it's just kind of very everywhere you go. I've been getting blown up on messages. You know, hey, the water temps are X, Y, and Z, right? What's happening with this? I'm going, you've got to sort of take that reed, lake by lake, river by river. Because there's so many things. I've seen lakes that are catching more shade, you know, something we deal with in the outside of your section of the habitat range. You can have sections or large swaths of water, vast tracts of land, Jay, if you will, that are shielded by mountains or foliage or, you know what I'm saying? There's a lot of things that have a cooling effect. So, sun angle, what's getting sun, what's not getting sun, it's just too much to go, this is it. Bam. No, up north. I mean, go ahead, sir.

Jay: I was just going to say with water temps, you know, it's like, oh, water temps, you know, they're 55 degrees and well, that might have been a peak one day late in the day of reading with sun beating down on the shallows. And it's like, well, the next three days, it freezes at night. It's much colder than that. And it just wasn't enough to, you know, to, you know, accelerate the pre-spawn possibly. Yeah, I know. So, what are you still in? I'm a pre-pre-spawn.

STEVEN:  I'm looking at the picture on the app. Yeah, that's a horrible picture. I'm sitting on it. Ah!

JAY:  I was going to say beautiful fish, but it's not. It's just a giant.

Steven: The picture sucks. And it's like, fricking.

STEVEN:  No, the picture's not bad.

JAY:  No, the fish is just, you know, kind of pre-spawned, a little schlub. Yeah.

STEVEN:  Well, what's cool is I've got the video. We'll use that for something here shortly, but I'm kind of fine. Cool. You know, when I make the fricking face, I'm sitting down. Come on.

Jay: That's a big fish.

Steven: The deal here is, you know, you can lead a horse to water. Well, you got to figure out what's going on in your waterway with the spawning, you know, up north, the gross generality, Jay. North into the lake, blah blah blah, the littoral zone, right? You've just got to know your home waters, but you can really capitalize on that. If you're, you know, muskies are open, you're around in Michigan. You know, UP, there's probably people. I don't know if it's open yet or the ice, but I guess if you're free of ice, there's some stuff and, you know, you got Iowa and you got these different places. There's some opportunity there where you can actually get in front of a pig-a-lig-leg, they call them.

JAY:  Yeah. That's, there's a lake, there's a lake half an hour away. You probably don't know about it, but I mean, all you got to do is register at the DNR station and you're free to fish it.

STEVEN:  Really? Is that across the border?

Jay: Across from Trout Lake.

Steven: Oh, yeah. Yeah. There you go. Well, what do you know? You just do your thing. But like I said, try, we're trying to lead you to water on the pre-spawn thing, but you know, and we'll hear shortly when we get closer, maybe next week we'll talk about, you know, the early tactics, if you don't know, then, you know, but your Giant Killers and your traps of rattles and your different things, your different options there. But anyway, we're finally, I can't believe it's been a, it's been a long December, Jay.

Jay: I feel like I'm counting crows all day long.

Steven: And counting crows all day long. Let's get after it. We've ran along the last two weeks. It is time for you and my love to show great content with great humor. And Jay, are you telling jokes?

Jay: I can't remember the last time I did. No, I'm, we're not trying to be funny.

Steven: No, that's ridiculous. That you would just insinuate and kind of weird, kind of weird, Mike. Get with a man all serious all the time. A hundred percent. This is musky fishing. Stop playing around. Exactly. Jay, stop playing around.

Jay: Stay off my lawn.

Steven: This is not a joke. Quit the wrong bit. The wrong week to stop sniffing glue anyway.

JAY:  The wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

STEVEN:  Mike wanted to know. You ever hang around gymnasiums? Mike wanted to know if any of the music, if you could get, no, we pay our dues. You know, you got it. You're going to use cover tunes and you're just coming from the music thing. Yeah, I know how to put it out. We can't put it out. You can just butcher it though for a minimal fee. That's just it.

Jay: I was paying the price.

I was paying the price. Now Jay, Jay's working on a solo project right now.

JAY:  I am. It's basically my rap album.

STEVEN:  Yeah.. Well, it's basically Sarah McLachlan covers. It's just Jay doing the best to Sarah McLachlan. Bruce, don't let me down. Bruce. Early open water and early spring this year. How do you think it will affect the tube? Here we go. Remember what I said was starting. What's going to happen in 2024 season? Will the fish go to their deeper summer water haunts earlier than normal? Will they stay consistent in their annual patterns? Is it just too early to tell? Refer to my earlier statements about it's going to be body of water to body water. Early open or typically somebody just shot fireworks, I think. Yeah, that was fireworks. Jay, our fireworks legal up there can buy them year around.

Jay: Is Fred down there right now? I don't know. He could be.

Steven:  He could be Fred. People are starting to barbecue and they barbecue apparently. Barbecues and fireworks are now synonymous. But early ice out typically means better fishing. That's kind of the rule of thumb considering what I know about the Northwoods and all the guys in the experience and you hear that right. Again, day to day pattern to pattern lake to lake. There are going to be lakes that have, you know, there's lakes that are better when it's late ice. It's just fact, right? And there's lakes that are better when it's early ice. So, each body water in that ecosystem is going to react to conditions differently. So, there's not a carte blanche blanket statement. There just simply isn't. You're going to have to address each body water. Now typically, you know, that's going to be beneficial for what most of this clear lakes, right? Lakes that are not tannic or turbid. Gonna be pretty beneficial because the spawn by the time you guys up super North, right, get around to doing your business. It shouldn't be like these lazy follows or beat up fish, right? When you're fishing post spawn fish, some of these fish are just lethargic and they're ate up and they got the fricking gunk and the funk on them. Hopefully they've recouped a little bit and we've moved beyond, you know, tiny presentations, swim jigs and rattle traps and all the early season stuff and moved into quote unquote more musky presentations to make a gross flat statement. I think that's going to be tough. Now when I look at say 2024 in general, I think it has a more of a positive effect the further North you go like in, you know, Ontario where we're waiting till July, you know, last week of June, early July is when most people are hitting this. I think I haven't looked in a minute, but it's always been sort of like last week of June for a hot minute, right? If the ice is off and we're getting close to that or it's breaking up, I could ask Danny Herbeck or Steve what's going on. But the earlier the ice out the more it's going to hasten that whole spawning process and get them get them cleaned up and get them more in the musky zone, right? We talk up. We've talked the last few years where, oh, it's late ice and it's this that and the other and a lot of tactics and thoughts on how to sort of coerce fish that are kind of muh. So hopefully, you know, by the time muskies open, you can throw your single five, five hundreds and seven hundreds and, you know, tiny top waters in your game. Kyle, what lures, would you recommend for super shout for a super shallow and very snaggy river? Excuse me. Max depth is about five feet and what would be considered the deep holes. Love the show, sick of losing gear. Jay, you fish them, shallow. What are some baits that come to mind? Not snaggy, not foully kind of shallow water presentation. I got a couple of mine here, but let's see what you come up with.

JAY:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, for sure, spinnerbaits. That'd be number one. I mean, of course, you can go on top with a, you know, walk the dog or maybe a slower tail bait presentation, top water type lure presentation, but probably seeing a lot of that spinnerbaits can get the done job slower. It's in their face longer thinking that you said the done job slower. I like that. Yep.

JAY:  I think hopefully you can visualize the pockets and let that thing helicopter a little bit,

STEVEN:  you know, not Steve's tell it. Steve’s Tailgator. You say?

JAY:  Yeah. Yeah.

STEVEN:  Little Gator Meat Grinders. Yep. Bucher’s.

JAY:  Sure. Bucher’s. Yeah. Bucher’s got a lot of fine. Eight fifties, eight seventies. They all have numbers. Buchertails spinnerbaits. Yeah, there's a bunch of them that have single hooks that are very weedless presentation. You know, if it's the type weed, we've all been there probably where you get that, that crazy kind of weed that you little even wrap around bearings and, you know, snaps and stuff like that. Well, go on top. Yeah.

STEVEN:  Well, that's the thing though. You see Snaggy though too, which spinnerbaits are going to crawl over rocks pretty well. You know, if you're, you know, I've fished parts of the Fox before it's just like you throw the bait out by the time you engage the reel, it's on the bottom. Whoa. Right. So, baits that are conservatively hooked. And I'm flipping through here. I'm looking at stuff that's near the shot, but here's Bobby Bates. You know, so dive and rise, you know, Bobby Baits, crack it. Bobby Baits, Titans, Suicks, you know, Anthony Hottails makes a diamond. I mean, those are diving rides are going to be pretty clutch and shallow situations. I think more so than a crankbait.

JAY:  Or more sold in a glidebait. I think they're more weedless because of the pitch of the bait, you know, thing that you

STEVEN:  keep saying weedless. I'm, I'm thinking Snaggy. He said Snaggy in my head's, rock.

JAY:  And he's talking rock.

STEVEN:  Okay. You know, weeds.

JAY:  You know, bump them and let it rise. Yeah. Make sure it's a floating high floating model.

STEVEN:  You know, um, I mean, the weeds are the weeds and that, that, that is a never-ending fight. And Sandcats, I mean, I would probably throw a, like a Sand cat over a lipped crankbait. And I think like the Sand cats, you know, you got the little ones, you get the midsize ones, everything in between. I can't make up my mind what that bait is. Like a sand.

JAY:  Yes. I do. Yeah. Especially the six-inch model. Yeah. It's a little crank baity.

Steven: Yeah. Yeah. But I do break them out when I'm kind of stumped, like we're getting follows on Slammer's. Right. On Fatty Minnows. I go, Oh, what did I go from here? Right? Well, you know, what is it? They make a six. The six is what I have. They, they even get enough for it. Okay. So, the six is like crankbait enough and jerkbait enough. Right. So, you know, when I'm ripping, say like, or playing with a Fatty Minnow, tap tap pulse, tap tap pulse, you know, that kind of kind of pseudo jerkbait. Yeah. If I'm just getting fall after fall, a Sandcat comes to mind because it has that crank bait wobble funkiness to it. And then the kind of the dive and rise thing. But I've used that around timber successfully. I've used that in rocky situation successfully as like a fall up to crankbaits. And if I'm in something like the deepest water, J's five feet, the proximity between you and a musky that's even in on the bottom in the deepest hole, right? The proximity got a close and not that much. So, I'm not going, Hey, let's fricking rip rubber. You know, unless you just want to pollute the lake with bulldogs or the river. You know, it's like when I, when I came up with the, the, excuse me, the Tailgator, you know, pull pause in a shallow water situation where it's got the rear thing and it suspends and it helicopters down. So, you can think outside of the box. I'm looking here Beaver Baits. You can do an unweighted Beaver in that situation. As far as jerk baiter, you could do the Tailgater. You know, straight Dive and Rise, as I said, Titans, Suicks, Bobbies. Oh, what's Max running depth on? I just was looking at them like a slammer seven J three feet.

Jay: Casted. Yeah, right.

JAY:  So there. Yeah.

STEVEN:  I mean, that's what you know, even if it's if the deep polls that you might be ticking and clicking, so you need to be a, come accustomed to feeling those baits out and letting them

JAY:  do their, do their thing backing up. Yeah, exactly. That's the trick.

STEVEN:  We're not, I wouldn't recommend what's saddle up a swim bait. You know, let's saddle up something that is, we're going to be fighting and focused on go ahead.

JAY:  Yeah. With the minnow baits and don't be afraid to let that thing break the surface. I mean, especially in that situation, you know, that's a good thing. Looks like an injured bait fish.

STEVEN:  Yeah. Super shallow water as well. People are going to, wow, whatever. Spoons do pretty good. Getting through stuff. You know, spoons typically run shallow. Right. If it's a moderate retrieve or even a quick retrieve. Yeah, they really do wear like a, there's that Slop Master spoon. Doesn't Doctor Juice make a spoon. Dr.

JAY:  Spoons doctor spoons.

STEVEN:  Yeah. It's a musician as well. It's like beating on his leg. It's me, Dr. Spoons. He's not a real physician by any means.

JAY:  He's just so enamored with Dr. Juice.

STEVEN:  It's funny. He's a purveyor of spoon tunes. It's a spoon, man.

JAY:  Tons of good Eppinger’s. The old Daredevil standby. Let's say some models.

STEVEN:  You get musky on them spoons. I've heard that so many times. Scream. Yes, I have, unfortunately. But, you know, spoons are viable in super snaggy situation, especially like your spoons that have your single hook. Doctors doctor spoon. It's me from some spooner.

JAY:  Yeah, put a drop on the back. It'll, you know, it'll even ride higher. And it's a great action with that thing. Oh, they look good with the grub on the back.

STEVEN:  Put two grubs on there, Jay says.

Jay: Oh, that's what Elmer would do.

Steven: Listen, the people from the grub consortium said put three. The more grubs, the better, Jay. Henry just got back into musky fishing after a 10-year hiatus. Oh, Henry. He doesn't say. But let's guess why he took 10 years off. Was he in prison? Lost at sea. I don't know. It was, is he the Linberg baby? And it was just returned. Who? Who? It's a mystery to be a Henry. Henry, let us know. Just let us know. So, he took 10 years off. I know the trend is longer rods, but I have a bunch of shorter rods from back in the day. Six foots through sevens. Any recommendations of what I could use them for? Drink a Pepsi for me. Love the show. Gladly. Anyway, um, recommendations, Jay. I watched this episode of Bear Grylls. He made a lean two one time. I have some sticks. All right. Do you think like a six, six premiere with that make like a good tint bracing or like could you make a shelter outdoors

Jay: Stouter, the rod, the better? it'll make an excellent lean two.

JAY:  If it's an old jerk bait rod,.

STEVEN:  There you go, folks. That's a bingo. You need something to put your scarecrow up with bingo. That's a bingo. That's what else you got, Jay. You want to frickin be a hobo and tie a handkerchief to something and put it over your shoulder. Forget the stick. Use that old rod when you're hitchhiking along the railways of America.

JAY:  Sure.

STEVEN:  Why not? Why not? Um, so admittedly, I have the world shortest musky rod on my boat. Jay, I have a fricking five. What is it? Is it a five nine they made? I got it. I would have to go out to the boat and look that

Jay: the one I used that one time we're doing Todd and Dave or something.

STEVEN:  Yeah, that little now that's that rod is actually the rod. My mom fish for years, which was a Berkeley. And it's got one of the brown and bugger. See, I'm looking at it right now. It's on my rod rack. That was my mother's musky rod for years. She's she's three foot one. She's a wee little person. She was crazy. Dad met her in Hobbiton right there. Big Tolkien fan. You know, they did some hobbits and found my mother. No, that's a Berkeley. I have the Saint Croix rod that's ridiculously short, but I use it with vipers. I was actually using it down the boat. Like the Livingston Lures Viper, like the eight inch when I'm doing a trolling pass. I just launch a bomb cast with that bait and just drag it in the prop wash on the short little rod. So, I'm just sticking in a Folbe, sticking straight up above the engine. And it's a short little rod. I keep that if you know, I've got a guest that brings a kid or something like that. And it makes a good little trollin’ rod. So, your short rods, you can always troll with them. I mean, if you're up north, obviously you probably don't need to have eight million rods. Something I've done in the past is there's a lot of cool charities. I can't remember which one Bucher does. If you wanted to make a donation of like Wounded Warriors, is it Wounded Warriors? He does he does a thing every year where it's like for vets and some of them have disabilities in the past, I've made donations of tackle of old rods and things of that nature. So, you know, a short, you know, six, nine, a seven, six rod for somebody has mobility issues might be great. You know, if you're just looking to do something and just unload them. Um, the aggregate can make a lean-to Jay. Like what? I lean to, like you said, you could do, you know, whatever. I don't know. I mean, I don't think they're really applicable other than trolling and, um, well, I take that back. Let me back that up. You know, if I was going to go out and be like, listen, these things are on a Reef Hawg bite, you know, I might whip out the six foot nine, you know, or. Yeah, you guys, Zach, where's going? You could if you're like struggling with walking the dog or things of that nature with, with say, like these modern nine's and nine sixes, tens, whatever it might be, um, it could be applicable, you know, with like, say like the Titan, you don't need a short rod. Verse say, like some of the old wooden baits that are a little bit easier to work on the short rods that are directly in front of yourself. Um, other than that, burn them. Jay, that's the other option. Just burn them in your front yard. Just wear a mask, wear a mask.

JAY:  You're going to do that, right?

STEVEN:  There's some hazardous stuff in there. Sure.

Steven:  Probably going to get in trouble with your HOA. Just burn them. I'm teasing whatever. Give them to somebody. Use them as live bait rods. Do what? Do what? Don will. Samuel, each summer my family heads to the Northwoods and pretends to musky. God bless you. You win the show, folks. There you go. The big door prize tonight goes to. So, we pretend to musky. That's funny. We never catch much anything. We don't catch much of anything because frankly, we kind of suck, but we have a lot of fun. Well, that's what it's about. You got it.

JAY:  I can't stop it in the Musky Shop. We'll tell you if there's, you know, a particular bite going on. There usually is and, you know, all the stuff, all knows what's going on. We all fish.

STEVEN:  And I can promise you that there's no awards for winning musky fishing. I can promise you that. Wow. Yeah. Everybody kind of sucks at it. Anyway, he wants to know what the tips are. Yeah, man. Go to the shop. Talk to the dudes. Tips for somebody that if you know you're on good water. I mean, that's the thing. And I've talked to people in the past and Jay, you've seen it over the eons. You've been up there. Jay was there when the lakes were formed. Little little little little. Jay was a single cell organism on the Flambeau chain. People don't know that. I was here when Elmer was in high school and Jay is immortal. And like I said, he kind of she thinks she kind of evolved. It's weird. He wasn't born. He just kind of this little he turned from like a lichen into this base like a cricket and it just remember your. I'm just here. Remember the 1780s when you were like salamander size? That was weird. Anyway, folks, Jay's been there forever and can attest to people that will come up there and they struggle musky fishing and then they'll tell us what lake they're on and you go, Oh, no wonder. If you're on a load.

JAY:  Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You're not disparaging them.

STEVEN:  No, you're. No offense. I'm I'm I miffed a guy one time. Remember the guy that was miffed because I said about Trout Lake. Right. And that was always the joke about caught him on Trout and her back was like, yeah, dude, that's been a thing forever where Trout Lake has been notoriously difficult. Yeah. In the 70s and 80s. If you're staying on say my, you know, make it up, you know, your family rents a cabin on, you know, Suckatoebin and there's four muskies in there, but our cabins on Suckatoebin. Maybe you need to venture out, you know, put the boat on the trailer or go with the guide if you don't have a boat or you're just whatever is going on there and get on some different water. I would say in the month of July in the Northwoods, if you're there for a week, you know,

JAY:  people get on some fish, you know, it might not be jumping in the boat, but it's just like, and we'll try to aid you and steer you towards the right makes and presentations at the right time.

STEVEN:  Yeah. I mean, Jay, that's reality for a lot of people. You get your week in the Northwoods, your week in Canada, your week, wherever. Not a lot of practice, right? And that's normal. That's the normality of what musky fishing is to a lot of people. I would say up there, given a week and let's be real, right? You know, if you're on a family vacation, are you fishing on sun up to sundown every day, probably not. Let's focus on majors, minors. Let's focus on sun up sundown. And I would be blades, top water and maybe some shallow cranks. What else do you think, Jay, for somebody? Not a lot of time to get dialed in, not a lot of time to practice.

Jay:  Yeah. Well, listen to input. I mean, inputs, that's almost essential in that situation. You're coming up, driving kind of blind. But the problem with input is that you don't know where it's coming from and how legitimate it is, not that people are stretching the truth or something, but one guy might be only fishing five o'clock till dark and not a minute after dark and using one presentation every day. And he might be struggling or he might be lighting him up. And vice versa, the next guy might be just doing morning trips. And so, try to get specifics out of them if you can and ask the staff. Most of the staff or a lot of the staff at the Musky Shop during the summer are guides, you know, and they're on the water quite a bit. Sometimes they're even on the water before they start their shifts. So, they'll have a lot of good input as far as lower presentations. Yeah, if it's July, right?

STEVEN:  Yeah, and in heck it can be September. But you know, the reality of the sport is not guys that do it every day they're off all day. Absolutely right. The reality of the sport is my family trip is, or since we were 10, we, you know, fill in the rest of the story. And that's normality. It is supposed to be fun. And thank God this guy's having fun with it, right? Yeah, you crawl into the belly of the beast and go, well, I haven't caught a fish in four days. I'm losing my mind, right? Who cares? It's stupid. What I would say is this, if I could give you without overloading you, you know, you're listening to the podcast and there's all this stuff and all this and all that, just become well versed with each bait style, right? So, if I get a week to fish once a year and the Musky rods come out once a year, right, Jay? Yeah. Let's spend a little bit of time. Let's get a bait. Let's get baits that work that are like easy, right? So, we got our bucktails. We got a top waters. We know that a Slammer, a Crane or a Bucher. Throw it, turn the handle, right? Twitch Twitch pause easy, easy to learn. Bucher’s done 30 years of videos on it. Got his YouTube channel or here on the app or whatever. He'll show you how to switch back. Okay. We got that. What a Hellhound. And you go, okay, tap. It goes left. Tap. It goes right. I got that down and they get a rubber bait and go, pull, pause, pull, pause, get the basic retrieves done. So at least for that one week of a year, you know, we have a well-rounded plan of attack, right? Get a Titan and throw it out. Turn the handle, stop. Turn the handle, stop. Turn the handle, stop it, dive and rise it. I think a lot of guys that have that one relegated week or whatever it might be a year for their must be fishing endeavors are 100% confident in and reliant on blades in top water because that's all they ever throw because they don't spend the time to learn the other retrieves.

JAY:  Yeah. Yeah. And you got to play into the fact that, you know, sunlight versus versus overcast situations and time of day, a huge impact on lure selections. We should do a whole podcast revolving around that before summer starts, you know,

STEVEN:  the weekenders guide to or the week or I ran. I ran into a guy one time and this was out on 70, right? We're coming back and I said, run ahead of me. I'll meet you guys, you know, in town and I had to gas up. Okay. Stopped at one of the C stores on 70. Guy sees the boat. What are you fishing for? Fishing for skis. Okay. We are too. We're here and we're staying over on Shish. We rented, I was at Airbnb or a house or whatever the heck I was. Where were we at? Okay. How's what are you getting them on? Well, we're getting them on tubes. Right. What? You're getting them on what? To you. And I get one out and show it. Whoa. And I gave him one of the baits and I was like, you can have it. It's fine. You know, coming down to the shop, I was trying to be, you know, diplomatic or whatever you want to call it. Check it out. How do you work? And I said, what are you guys throwing? It was a typical thing and there's nothing wrong with that. But sometimes if I'm a, you know, I'm a one week a year dude and that's the family trip or that's the week you get off and you got time to do it, you might be better off learning some of the other retrieves and you don't have to do it on one trip. You go, okay, this trip, I'm going to buy God. I'm going to get a follow on a Bull Dawg. Well, I don't have to catch one. No one cares. And I love, I'll tell you this. What I love about this sport is like, you know, they big, the higher than mighty, I am thine musky lords don't care. Right? That's silly. But there's dudes, I got clients and friends, you know, they got their one trip a year and they got trophies. Right? They've had little trophies made and whoever catches the biggest fish of our week is the winner. Well, how cool is that? Or you know, I'm saying very friendly, like family and friends and that's a lot of the sport, but you know, your hamstrung by your musky fish once a year. Just get well versed in it. Don't ever think it. Take the basics and J. Like you said, it'd be a heck of a thing to work on is like, what do you do when one week and how do you do it without it being, you know, master class level? How, how, how can we quickly get to success in the most discernible way? You know, I'm saying what, what, what I don't, and I don't know the answer to that at rough the top of my head of the, you know, cause everybody's kind of dumbing into one, but you look at some of these guys where you go. I'm not knocking anybody. I have clients and friends and buddies and pals and all this stuff where you go. We fish, you know, some Northwoods Lake X, Y and Z. We fish lake Y, Y, Z and, you know, we caught two last year. Well, did you fish? Oh, we fished every day. Every day. You know, we stayed around the lake and we'd do lunch and after lunch, we fish till sunset and you're going, okay, these guys are putting in six, seven hours on the lake where you could pretty much count on getting two or three. You know what I'm saying? If you put me in the boat on that, I'm not saying every time. I'm just going, okay, seven days mean we're going to have some days where, and its a, it's not the lake’s fault. It's a skill differential or reading the water differential where most of your musky angling takes place north of Chicago from July until the first of September. That is, it. Hour per hour, human hours of musky fishing. I would bet it is 90% takes place in those two months. Would you, would you venture to guess

Jay: that's probably right up there? Yeah, right up there.

Steven: All you got to do is drive through frickin, you know, the upper half of Wisconsin and Minnesota on your way to Ontario. You'll see the boats. You'll see the boats. You know, you show up and if guys, you've never been up there. Oh, here it is, musky opener in the north woods and then frickin, nobody's, you know, it's a little bit this little bit this July boom explosion. So yeah, it's just a different approach and there's nothing wrong with it. Just just brush up on some of these skills, try to add some presentations. Now the other thing that says this dude and you know, muskies don't take a resume. My favorite lines in this sport, that's a Bucherism, but muskies don't take a resume. Get some good figure eight's going. Super important. Absolutely. You know, you give me seven days of, I don't care what the conditions are and you give me bucktails and top water and I'm fishing a few five, six hours a day, you're going to get your opportunity up there. You're going to get at your opportunity.

JAY:  Well, look at, look at the few fish I caught last year. I mean, I don't fish that much and it's just like all the fish and I did with you. Remember back? I mean, most of them were on figure eight.

STEVEN:  All right. Well, it's a percentage game. If you go, you know, 60% of the fish in the past year were caught on figure eights. So, if you, you know, take that away and we're, yeah, just get good on figure eights. Do an oval, do whatever. Just make sure that mechanic is there. I've fished with guys notoriously guys that do trips like this and they're kind of half about it. Oh, I've never caught a fish on a figure eight. Well, not because you can't catch them. It's because you're not doing it. There's some things and it's not a, it's not a ball buster or anything like that. It's just like catching fish is way more fun than not catching fish. You know, so brush up on some of those core elements. You know, keep it fun. Don't beat your head against the wall. You know, talk about ruining something, do it for a living. Keep it fun, but why not be foundationally good? And I think that's why I'm trying to get that. You know, if I go, I go mini golfing with my wife, she annihilates me. Well, I can't putt to save my life, but she can. So, her, her, you know what I'm saying? Like foundationally, she knows what she's doing. I'm just like, oh, I know nothing.

JAY:  Right. Everyone knows about her serious putting skills by legendary.

STEVEN:  She's banned from Elmer's fun park. You know, too good hustling people believe. Jodie Michael, you know, she run one, a, a Camaro.

JAY:  What kind of handicap does she have on the mini course?

Steven: Well, mental. It's a mental handicap.

STEVEN:  It is. Brett, love the Kraken and I got a forty-eight on a few weeks ago using the light upward snaps as we talked about. But in your pipe video, you were using low rod angles. What's the story on a lower rod angle with the Kraken and our jerk baits? Okay. Cool.

JAY:  Great question. You guys were running more weight at that particular time as my observation and remembering that.

STEVEN:  Well, the problem was this. Not the problem, but the fact of the matter. The video portrays in some capacity, but not it's like chop and what water conditions are everything. You know, video is a flat thing. We're bobbing a little bit more and then you have like stabilization in the cameras and then J stabilizes and then now it looks like we're just kind of bobbing and, you know, six inches of water. Right. So, camera stabilization, post stabilization, whatever it looks like. And there's different points where it's less more, less than more than whatever is first the chop. When we're ripping up in your two footers, now we're adding two foot a hop, right? Boom, you're up the low rod angle. Treating in almost like a pull pause or a twitch allowed that bait to surge forward and then fall. So, pop down. Pick up the slack slope, pop to try to eliminate like the, the jump up of the boat. With that being said, also the fish were running stupid deep. So, a low rod angle meant that bait was popping up a couple feet. So, we were staying, I hate the word strike zone. We're staying in the depth zone that we needed to be more so than upward pops. And that was a matter of dialing in, right? Oh, well, if we keep our low rod angle and we know these fish are it. Oh, dude. And you've knit. Can I just complain for a second? You're on the boat with two people that keep time in military time. Number one, to the depth finders and meters, right?

Jay: You're constantly adjusting and doing it. I'm a brain scramble.

Steven: Yeah, you're going to, ah, we're in, ah, we're, but, you know, meters, meters, how many meters and it's old 500. What time will we leave it? Give me bushels and baskets, please. I'm truly American.

JAY:  Water temper is too, too. Oh, it was.

STEVEN:  And you're like looking at that in your brain just, ah, and if you're not thinking in, in, in those, those, you know, in those metrics every time you look at the frickin' Humminbird, you just want to scream. But nonetheless. That was to maintain a running depth. You can get a, and we were like on the Krakens as we were running. We had the 28 grams in them. We stacked at one point where it's tracking like that one of the Titan weights, because the Titan weights and the Kraken weights are interchangeable. We're stacking like a seven gram on top of the 28 because it's that, that trade off of like deep baits are slow. Well, we need a deep fast bait. So heavier and just trying to get it down there so dialed in presentation. The same thing, we were running the Kraken with the paddle tail and the rip tail. It was like, how much weight can we get on this dude and keep it down?

JAY:  Yeah, cause I mentioned with the paddle tail, that's slowing the descent rate even more exaggerated than the standard tube tail, right? I mean, you can just get more drag.

STEVEN:  It falls. I mean, if you get. But it's got more weight, too.

Steven: No, not necessary. Those tails are hollow, okay, halfway back through. So, the wire that comes off the Kraken and it sets in there and there, it'll keep it from tearing itself up, but it's like hollow there. I could tell I actually have like a proto package hanging here. I can't tell you exact, like waiting grams on the difference of the two, but the paddle tail sort of catches it where the tube tail wants to let it fall vertically. The paddle tail creates drag for the vertical fall and the bait just runs fly. It was never its original intent, but it makes a heck of a swim bait just cause its round nature. So, you want to talk about belly roll. Well, the whole thing just roll and roll and roll and keep the dog. He's rolling. We're all, we're raw hide Jay. Sure. Oh, that's it. Good night folks.

Jay: But anyway, we got both kind of music.

JAY:  Here country and ray gay country, ray gay.

STEVEN:  Sorry, but you know, the swim bait thing again, any bait, if you want to get a running depth that's deeper, your rod angle will change it. You can do that with bulldogs. You can do with just anything. But when we're tackling that and it's just bizarre. So, Jay, like we're in like, you know, convert at 25 to 28 feet of water over shell beds. And the fish are coming like, if your baits are not skipping up, we pick more shells, like muscles, every cast rock pulling muscles and all weeds off. If you didn't do that, you wouldn't get a bite. You're like, Oh my God, this sucks. It was just brutal. Some days, Casey catch them. I like that. I can't break 40 for the last two years. I've cut a few muskies this year or some of the past years, but they're all mid to high thirties. Can you help me get over the hump? Okay. Let's let's just go back to that conversation about like the guy that fishes a week here and Casey probably fishes more. Maybe not. It doesn't matter. The dude that's struggling might be on a lake that is in what me we're talking about being open to going down the going down the lakes. If Casey's catching fish and he can't break 40, is he on a body of water that just has a ton of mid-thirties and upper thirties and a 40. Let's say this body of water, a 44 would be like the Donkey Kong.

JAY:  Yeah.

STEVEN:  Yeah. All right. There's a couple of body waters. There are bodies of water that are like that where sure a 44 a 45 might as well be a 59. That's the dominant fish.

JAY:  That's the horse. An awesome fish flat out, but you're absolutely right about that. Yeah. There's different systems.

STEVEN:  Yeah. Not every like I mean, Bucher always said, and I love it. Every lake has its giant, but I believe in some capacity that's proportional. Right. So, you know, and he's not complaining. Nobody complains about fish like that, but yeah, he would like to break the 40 mark, try a different body of water. Right. And with that being said, let's say you can't. Let's say that's just for some reason, I'm just assuming this is what he's got. Let's run deeper and bigger presentations. If you're over those fish and you can forego them, let's move out deeper and let's move to bigger presentations. The best way to not catch muskies is going with really, really big bait. Right. If I want to guarantee I don't get a strike that day. Right. Let's throw a two pounder. But when I get that strike, good Lord. Watch out. Right. Or Hey, you know, let's put on a Lip Lock. We're not going to pick up a 31. I promise you that. You know, that's the closest thing. Like to a Wishmaker I have is one of Duff's Lip Locks.

JAY:  Hmm.

STEVEN:  You know, it ain't, I'm sure we could and don't get me wrong, but the dinks ain't coming unglued for that thing. They might, you know, they might look at it. Hey, are you my cousin? You know, so if you need to up this size class of fish, you're catching. Let's up size the presentations, obviously. Let's focus on areas that are more conducive to big fish. Have you dissected your body of water and go where, what areas are adjacent to deep holes, deep water and transitional zones? Right. Are we fishing things that are big fish areas, big fish want quick access to deep water? Deep waters relative. We know that. But again, size is relative to each body of water. So, you may be on a body of water where the potential to really get over 40 or two to 40 mark consistently is not there. And sometimes you get this, go, this is what it is and enjoy it. But make those augmentations and make those changes in your plan. Bigger baits, more deep tactics further off the structure, further off of cover and more transitional and see if that helps Brandon. I keep breaking the lips off my crankbaits while I'm trolling. What am I doing wrong? Now he didn't specify if he did it while he was trying or if he was just breaking them with his hand, Jay. The or a pliers. So, if you're breaking baits with pliers in your boat, what's your first thing to stop doing? Frustration. Yeah, stop, stop breaking stuff.

Jay: Yeah, just stop it. Stop it.

Steven: Don't do that. Yep. Keep the bait in the water. Put it away. Don't don't touch that. Anyway, breaking lips trolling. It happens. Um, again, I was just talking about Duff. Um, love Duff. And it's like his stuff is super tough because it's Duff stuff. He's got the metal lips. You're not going to break those. I mean, you could, but good luck. You know, so Plex it pla, plastic lips, Lexan lips, if you're making constant bottom contact, it's par for the course. Back to mini golf par for the course. You know, yeah. Right. You're not going to, you're not going to make constant contact with the bottom or hard wood, you know, hard rock covered structure and wood and blah, blah, blah, blah. And not pay the toll. Okay. One thing I would say the only tip I'd have on this, if you are breaking lips and you're trolling nasty stuff, you could theoretically back the drag down just a tick. So, when the bait hits, you get a little pull out, right? And it will lessen the impact just by a hair, but it's not what I like to do. If I'm breaking lips, I better be catching fish. So, if you're catching fish and you're breaking lips off of baits, you're just paying the toll. Right. The amount of Depth Raiders I have just tortured the amount of Headlocks where I'm literally taking files to the, to the aluminum lips and clean them up because I've just ding, like we're talking just don't the crap out of them, Jay, right? Yeah. Yeah. Just peeled the aluminum back. Oh, man. It's part of the game, part of the game. It's part for the course. Um, you know, and if you're not catching fish and you're hitting these areas and you're breaking stuff, do something else. Jeff need a new reel. What's your current recommendation? It seems like Steve changes up every so often. Is there a reason he does this? Does it matter? Is it just because of what you guys are talking about? Okay.

JAY:  Sorry. Yeah.

JAY:  But a guy like you, he tries a new reel, something that's fairly new on the market, let's say. Okay. I'm not using this Daiwa or the Shimano and you use it and you're like, this is an awesome reel and it truly is. Right. And then you try brand B, you know, of something that's just top shelf, perfect musky reel and you use that and you go, this feels great too. Yeah. I'm looking at it. There is a lot of good products on the market. Or I've got it.

Steven: I'm looking at a shelf for reels right now and you know, it's been a minute since I've hit a dud in the past. We hit more duds than anything, but now it's, it's a, it's an even field dude. So, a couple years ago, I was throwing Shimano now and I was throwing Abu and now I'm throwing a Daiwa. Yes. It's a matter of like, okay, we're going to mix it up. It's a, I'm not going to lie. It's a conscious decision. Okay. We, we, Steve was throwing Shimano. Well, let's throw this. Okay. That's fine. I'm not preferential as long as it's left-handed and doesn't break. I'm in. I'm not picky. I don't have a problem with any of these reels, any of the modern reels I've talked incessantly about how good those pins were. The, the Okuma Komodo is good. The Tranx is good. The Daiwa with stuff is good. The Beasts are good. I, there's more good reels than bad reels. Finally. Period. In history. Yeah. Pick a reel that's comfortable for you physically and move on. That's where I'm at where I'm going. Okay. Uh, can I try these now? Sure. Throw them, Steve. Hey, go to the Musky Shop, get them in your hand. Hey, this feels good. And then buy that one.

JAY:  Yeah. I am not under contract with anybody or anything. I work at the Musky Shop. We sell all this stuff. I use a lot of it or I've tried a lot of it. If I love it, I'm going to let you know. Yeah. And you're the same way.

STEVEN:  Yeah. Nate dog. How much difference does a straight wire leader make over say a fluoro or guiding garden glide baits should I be throwing my glide baits on fluoro at all or should I have a dedicated setup? Nope. I don't think you need a dedicated setup just for gliders. Maybe you're like the one dude, you got all these extra rods. Maybe you could do that. But the difference to me, yes, you're going to get a little bit more snap. But if you focus on your retrieves, you can get just as much snap with fluoro. It's about how much slack you take out of the line. You know, a little extra practice, a little care and attention. You're going to be in good shape. You know, if I'm on a, if I'm dialed in a glide thing, absolutely. Why not? But most of the time we're playing. Hey, you're the guy that's got a week or you got a weekend. Focus on getting good retrieves out of any leader material. When you're dialed in, you can tweak the leader as needed to make your life easier. That's my take. Jay, what do you think?

JAY:  I agree. I mean, yeah, I mean, yeah, I use 130, you know, fluorocarbon majority of the big bait stuff go a little bit lighter fluorocarbon early season with light baits, but small baits, but no, no, maybe work.

STEVEN:  I mean, you've got like, you know, you've got a lot of options. Yeah, you know, let's say you're a dude and you're, you're, you're decks covered in musky rods. Why not have a rod that's a dedicated jerk bait, you know, Dive n Rise really good on straight wire. Walk the dogs really going straight wire. Your glide baits obviously are getting straight wire. If you're a multi rod, got to have a, have a jerk bait glide bait, walk the dog, set up absolutely run straight wire on it. You know, for me, I run one rod and in the cold-water period and pre spawn post spawn or run a five, three, one. Once it's passed that around six, one run one rod, one reel and I run a musky shop 130 12-inch leader for everything. I can make it work because I've adapted my retrieves to get the best action out of the baits with that material. So, it's like, it's, it's what came first, the chicken or the egg. If you can do a good retrieve on a fluorocarbon leader and its good retrieve that the, the, the leader material does not dictate good or bad. Your retrieve dictate that. That material makes it easier might be an influencer. However, you can compensate on all fronts. So, you don't have to have anything. Right. You can go all straight wire and really do a nice twitch thing. If you leave enough slack, but you know, for me, fluorocarbon, multi strand wire, straight wire, whatever you got, we're going to make it work and I recommend you the same Minnesota musky molar. I fish the Metro lakes and I hate it. Follow after follow after follow, that's like it. Wow. Wow, boys. That's it. He didn't even write anything more. I just hated. I hate him. Good night. Fish the Metro lakes, follow after follow after follow. Condition fish that just got caught. That's what it feels like. I'm looking for some figure eight tips or tricks to really get dialed in. Love you boys. Love the pod. Thanks for all the laughs. Great tricks, figure eight tips. Talking on the boat today, Jay. Yeah, a guy was asking about clicking the reel in in the figure eight. Well, that's about catching big fish. But when we're discussing that, like like how it becomes second hand where when you come into the first turn of the figure eight, you click the reel into free spool and then thumb up with your thumb, right? That's a mechanical thing. And I think what's important with figure eight is is each figure eight, you have thousands in a musky season, thousands upon thousands of opportunities to practice. Some of us take advantage of that. Some of us do a lazy J. Observing and paying attention to the width of your turns. Super important. I would say on condition finished, I'm not the master of condition fish. But when I fish for them, really smooth, perfect transitions from the cast into the figure eight seem to be imperative. Right? We're not going to come in this Herky jerky. Oh, there he is. And then like kind of do the thing, right? It needs to be a smooth transition. So, when is that transition taking place?

JAY:  Yeah. That's the most important thing I concentrate on my retrieves. Obviously working the bait, right? Trying to. Right. But I am always consciously trying to affect that entrance of the figure eight. No matter, I might be standing awkwardly in the back of somebody's boat with one foot, the left kind of cock eye and the other one kind of balancing on that. We're moving pretty quickly. It's wavy or whatever. It's just like if that thing's coming straight in, you're already out of room, you're going to have a bad figure eight. And if there was a fish behind that you couldn't see, which is the case most of the time, new dice, baby.

STEVEN:  No dice. You've got to be thinking about that transition the entire time. I don't care what bait it is. I don't care what bait it is. It's application and running depth. One of the two application and running depth or sometimes both changes in the last six, seven feet. Right. Rip baits like your pull pause your Medussas, your Bull Dawgs. You know, kind of hard to rip right there before we get in the first turn. You have a transitional thing that you need to be paying attention to and go, what are we doing in this one one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand kind of deal, right? You gotta three second window, a two second window. What's happening there? Don't be surprised that the bait showed up. That's first and foremost. And you're talking about your body language. Be prepared for it before it gets there. Don't be, Oh, now I got to figure it out. I see guys all the time. Hour on hour on hour on hour, hour hour, hour, hour, hour, hour, cast, cast, cast, cast. This this herky jerky. Oh, there's the bait now.

JAY:  No, yeah, set up the angle of attack before it come in. You need to be conscious how much lines out.

Steven: right and keep that thing from looking right at you, keeping engaged with the bait and then turning away. That would be my thing is anticipate the bait to rival, make accommodations for whatever bait that it is. So, you know, if it's a glide bait where we, it's one of the things everybody's got a plan to catch this monstrous musky that hits that on the cast and just annihilates blades are a topwater. Oh, he, he crushed it. What are you going to do? You got six feet of line and a 55 behind a Hellhound. What are you going to do? And you're ripping a bulldog. Yeah. And you got six feet, seven feet. What's your plan?

JAY:  How are you going to do when, when more than 50% of your opportunity lies in the figure eight presentation?

STEVEN:  What, what? Think about it. Have a mental plan for, okay. You know, if a fish is behind this or every time I come in, in, in what I do in the figure eight or how I address it is often dictated by what's going on pattern wise. But let's say it's in the winter and I'm ripping rubber. I go, well, it makes no sense for me to pull this thing up superbly shallow and then try to force this fish to come up and eat it when he's down at 10 feet. Okay. Are we doing deep figure eight? Where are we starting? A figure eight. It's funny when you spend as much frickin time. Think about this crap as I do. A figure eight is all good and well. Everybody does this superfluous. Here's my figure eight and he didn't eat it. Your figure eight is as much a part of your presentation style as the cast.

Jay: Sure is.

Steven: That's a whole other podcast. Heck, that's a whole other book. How do we augment our figure eight to best suit our presentation? All right. What are we doing? If fish are deep, why am I trying to force them to eat shallow?

JAY:  And again, I've said this before, not like I'm Mr. Super expert here, but I've seen it a lot on people's videos where sometimes they catch them, sometimes they don't. Depth change is so important.

STEVEN:  Well, that's the whole thing. It's absolutely.

JAY:  I've said people don't do that. It's like I did a nice wide figure eight. He was there and there and there and I almost had him and he came around twice, but it's just like there really wasn't a depth change.

STEVEN:  It was too much golf talk this evening because I made the mini golf. That's it on the boat before I probably sat on the podcast. Musky fishing is the closest to golf because anybody can hit the long drive, but you make your money, you win your money on the green putting. That's why my wife's a hustler. But you make your money putting you impress people with these long shots. I don't golf. I'm just I've absorbed through osmosis on the boat all of his years. I've heard of this golf crap. I thought about, okay, anybody can catch one on the cast. Trained monkey throws bait turns handle. Musky eats it when, right? Opposed to the dynamics in the intricacies of how do I keep this fish engaged? How I keep him from spooking. That's a possibility that sometimes they do sometimes they don't. What am I doing? You know, my body language. If I got a lunge forward two feet, you know, I'm fishing Metro muskies and I'm not going to be leaning back two feet. Oh, there's a fall on lunch forward and do something stupid. Right. Be prepared at all times and then address what kind of presentation we're doing. What's the running depth of this? You know, if we're pulling muskies off the bottom with say like a Depth Raider in mid depth stuff, well, why why bring him up to the top? He doesn't want to be up top. Are we going to just every figure? Are we jamming the rod down and keeping that bait at six feet? That's a thought. Something that a lot of stuff to unpack their J. Anyway, we covered some Q and A. We got more for next week. We'll ramble on about something else. J. Say good night, Jay bird.

JAY:  Thank you, everybody. Appreciate it. Good night.