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Thread: First post (already asking for help)

  1. #1

    First post (already asking for help)

    New to the forum and hopefully soon to musky fishing. Iíve always been a river fisherman chasing perch, bluegill, white bass, pike and a vast majority of the time walleyes on the Mississippi and Wisconsin as well as smaller local rivers. The common denominator has always been targeting fish I really enjoyed eating, and logical or not Iíve always felt like I had to keep enough fish for a meal whenever I went. Iíve always had encounters with musky and have lucked into a few really nice fish over time but was entirely content sticking to the meat fishing Iíd always done. Iím looking to branch into a catch and release dominated aspect of fishing to get me from mid June to fall duck hunting so it was either bass or skis and bass and although smallies are fun bass have never really felt like much of a challenge. Iím from the Chippewa falls area and a majority of what I would be doing is fishing the Chippewa, Eau Claire, flambeau and black rivers and occasionally their impoundments, I do have a boat but really enjoy just wet wading in a pair of shorts for the simplicity and solitude. Iím pretty clueless on what I need but the water Iím interested in is mostly 1-5 ft rocky pools and runs and some shallower weedbeds and smaller bridges on the impoundments that Iíve seen lots of fish on in the past. The timeframe Iíd be targeting musky would be June-late September. With that said what would be a decent basic setup to hopefully gain some success with? If possible Iíd be looking to do it with one rod/reel combo and a half dozen or so baits that I could put in a small satchel for wading.
    Thanks in advance,
    Mike

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Normally I recommend longer musky rods for all the benefits they offer, but since portability is a concern for wading I'd recommend going with a shorter rod, like St. Croix's 7-foot-2 Mojo Musky. Pair it up with a mid-range, durable reel (Shimano Calcutta B or D, Daiwa's Luna, Abu Revo Toro Winch) and spool up with 65- to 80-pound test braid, and you'll be in business. If you don't want to buy new, you can always find good used rigs on musky forums or eBay (especially the Winch, which has been discontinued -- not a good move by Abu).

    For baits, pick a couple of tail-spinning topwaters (TopRaider, Fat Bastard), a couple smallish bucktails (Mepps Musky Flashabou or Tandem Musky Killer), a regular-sized Bull Dawg, a 9" Suick, and a couple minnowbaits (Slammer, Baby ShallowRaider). All the rivers mentioned have dark water, so choose brighter colors or something that looks like a sucker.

    Unhooking tools are important. A small needlenose pliers usually isn't enough. Get a 10-12" needlenose pliers or Baker Hookout, a mini bolt-cutter for cutting hooks, a split ring pliers for replacing hooks, some extra hooks to match those your baits are rigged with, and a beveled-edge file to touch up hooks that have bumped bottom or to sharpen new hooks.

    And don't forget to read anything by Ace Sommerfeld in Musky Hunter. The guy fishes those rivers A LOT and does pretty well.

    Good luck and welcome to the sport.
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

  3. #3
    Thanks for the quick response and advice. Should have added this initially, I do have a 5500 c3 but I’m not sure if that would hack it, any gear ratio to look for if I need a new reel? As far as rods go I was gunna run up to park falls and check the warranty buckets, kind of a fun trip and I’ve found some good deals in the past. I’ll look for one around 7’ but is there a particular power/action that would be pretty multipurpose?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jigmasterflex View Post
    Thanks for the quick response and advice. Should have added this initially, I do have a 5500 c3 but I’m not sure if that would hack it, any gear ratio to look for if I need a new reel? As far as rods go I was gunna run up to park falls and check the warranty buckets, kind of a fun trip and I’ve found some good deals in the past. I’ll look for one around 7’ but is there a particular power/action that would be pretty multipurpose?
    The 5500 C3 will get you started. There are better reels available, but for a durable starter it's great. You'll want a mid-range retrieve ratio of around 5:1 and the 5500 fits that parameter.

    Sorry I wasn't more clear on the Mojo model. For smaller baits, something with a medium-heavy power should work. Here's the exact model number I meant to include ... MM72MHF.

    St. Croix's Customer Appreciation Day is Saturday, June 16. There's always lots of bargains at that event. https://stcroixrods.com/pages/customer-appreciation
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    When you are up that way stop in Phillips at Elk River on the north end of town..
    They have some awesome custom made rods

  6. #6
    You guys have any ideas for carrying gear while wading? I was looking at surf fishing bags but am not sure if the compartments are big enough. Would like to be able to carry 6 or so lures, long needle nose pliers, a few leaders and a bottle of water, want a sling so I can access the bag while I’m in the water and I’d like it to be small enough to not get in the way. So far I have my eyes on the blue wave surf bag from Shimano. Have a lure list together too, black/black nickel hirsch ghostail, brown and brass 1-3/4 rad dog, black and orange topper stopper, black unweighted 10” suick, black jackpot, rootbeer octogambo grubs with a jig, seem decent enough?

  7. #7
    The rivers are all pretty tannic and I’d imagine the fish are eating red horse and a whole lot of smallmouth.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Just a thought ….. Take a back pack with a plano 3700 box or what ever size would fit in ???

    Just my 2 cents.

  9. #9
    I’ll prob do that in the meantime, I used to use a backpack all the time for walleyes and smallies but it’s tough to access gear when you’re waist deep in a river. Definitely nicer than a satchel when your walking through the woods though, I get my little river bag hung up pretty often if the brush gets thick but it’s perfect otherwise for what I used to carry.

  10. #10
    Got out after work last night for a couple hours before dark, got my first musky while actually fishing for them and a tank smallie. Thanks for the advice guys, seeing a muskie follow a top raider and blow it up was pretty awesome.
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