I have always wanted a chance to get into musky/northern pike fishing, but have always lived too far south. Then, after my most recent move, I found out that Hazel Creek Lake (near Kirksville, MO), which is only a few miles from here, is stocked with muskies. Very few people around here fish for them so the fishing is supposed to be pretty good. My problem is that I am mostly equipped for bass and crappie. Right now, my heaviest rod is a medium-light action strung with 8 lb. line. Most of my lures are for bass, and they tend to be on the small side as I typically fish farm ponds and smaller lakes. I've looked into musky lures and noticed that they can be pretty expensive.

Do I need a new rod? If so, what would you recommend (I have never used a baitcasting reel)? Which bass lures will work for muskies? I don't mind buying a few more, and I don't mind paying a little more if they will catch fish, but I need to know what I'm doing. And I'm guessing it's tough to get a musky into the boat without a net? Is there anything else I should know?