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Something I haven't done in many moons .....fishing for musky !   I know a few spots & have a few large lures ( 8" Rebel , spinner baits, plastics , live chubs , etc)   .   The problem.......I have some stronger rods & reels to choose like my 8' custom salmon rod & 4000 series Symetre spinning reel , long steel leaders or 30 lb. floro carb. leader line . I know you can land a ski on 6 lb. line as some have been caught as an accidental catch  (  2 hr. fight  )  :wacko: , and some will use 100 lb. braid  !   I would prefer a line somewhere in between that casts easily and matches the rod strength & reel limitations ......thinking 20 lb. braid would suffice for a 20 -30 lb ski ?  We have a few ski - doers here ,  got any advice for this old feller ? 

...corrected reel name ...

Edited by smerchly
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44 minutes ago, I'm_A_Drifter said:

Don't fish for them on purpose. Fish for pike and largemouth bass instead. At least that's how it has panned out for me.

My first ski was caught from a boat while fishing for walleye at Deer Bay , Buckhorn (light yrs. ago) , using a live minnow - split shot . It was only 10 lbs. but put up a great fuss compared to those eyes ......using a light spinning rod with 8 or 10 lb. mono . ( braid was a bunch of hair on a girls head back then)

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If musky was my target I'm using a minimum of 60lb braid as a starting point. 80lb is probably better. Not because I'd be afraid of breaking the fish off but because I'd want the fight over as quickly as possible so as to ensure a healthy release. You don't want to have to tire the fish to exhaustion. Get her in, snap a couple quick pics and get her back in the water as quick as you can. 

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If I may compare a 30# salmon to a 30# ski ......I used my 8' custom salmon rod & Stradic 4000 reel with 17# Stren mono & landed a 28# king ....using a down rigger in 25 fow .....but we would bring up the other line & circle the fish , not drag it . It was nice to fight the king from the side of the boat & would take about 10 minutes to net it .  The drawback with catching a big ski would be the weed beds . I'll have to check the spool capacity for using 60lb + braid & line diameters  .   Might have to use my carp rods !   :D

Thanks for the info ....will digest it and check with my local tackle shop(s) before the skis start snarling !

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Musky need a heavy setup not necessarily for their fight but for others reasons. I've caught a bunch on float rods and bass rods incidentally and none have taken overly long to get in or ran the way a big trout or salmon would. The reason for heavy braid is partly because the sheer size of the lures your casting. Anything less than 50-60# and any minor tangle whatsoever your lures gone. The thicker braid has less tendency to dig into itself and cause tangles.Also you can really put the brakes to skis in the fight but now imagine if you do break off and leave a big 3 treble 12" bait in the fish's mouth. That's a disaster waiting to happen and quite different than leaving a #10-14 hook in a trout or salmon.. Salmon rods will get you by but a specific musky rod is way more stiff mostly for the reason to hammer those big trebles into the bony toothy mouth of these fish. 

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Good info steellee  .  I lost a nice ski a few years ago ....targeting pike with a J13 Rapala . It  jumped just 15' from me , went under a dock & ran my braid over a zebra mussel encrusted chain & shredded the line . I went back early the next morning to find the ski or Rapala ......hate to see the fish die later . One of the hooks was a Siwash  which may help the fish to lose it . I don't plan on fishing from any docks for ski ....only wide open lakes , from shore .  I expect to have more pike hit my lures and the chance for skis are slim in comparison . My 8' salmon rod is fairly stiff compared to any of other rods I have . If I have any luck pursuing those bony toothers  , I'll check out the musky rod that are suitable for casting from shore . Over the years I've heard of ski's being caught at the whirlpool by guys targeting salmon & trout .....and heard about the big skis they lost there too !   ( I'll post a couple pics later of a few lures & gear I have....)

 

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With using a light setup try not to fish for Muskie once the water temps really start warming up. Muskie might be the Top fresh water predator in our neck of the woods but they don't do well in warm water temps. A prolong fight in warm water will stress the fish to much and unless you are willing to spend a 1/2 hour or longer holding the fish on the release a good chance it will die. have a good set of needle nose pliers and a small pair of bolt cutters to cut the hooks if they are difficult to take out. (many times this is easier and safer) The proper net helps to keep the fish in the water as you work on getting the hooks out. 

Also don't forget in this area the size limits vary, in land waters around Niagara FMZ16 minimum. size is 36" .  Lakes Erie, St Clair and Upper Niagara FMZ 19 minimum size is 44", same as FMZ 17 Kawartha Lakes. Lake Ontario, Lower Niagara FMZ 20 minimum . size is 54"

 

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Thanks for that info RHK . I landed a ski for a guy who forgot his net ....my 30" diam.rubber carp net should do for skis also . This man uses lures like the Rapala J13  & all his lures were barbless , which would help the skis rid of the lure in case of break offs . And yes , pike & skis need to be landed and released a.s.a.p. when waters warm up . .....About the leaders .....if using 50# - 80# braid , what # leader would most prefer ? .....metal or floro-carb ?  I don't have a crimper  so tying heavy floro-carb knots can be challenging .

   Here is what I have to get a start on fishing skis .....the reel is a Symetre 4000 , line cap. 160 yds.12# ( depending on various line diam . Some of the lures I have .... gathering dust for 30+ years ....6" -7" ( other colours as well ). The 7" Rebel is heavy to get good distance & the 6" rubber Lunker baits can be rigged a few ways ....good action on them !  The coins are pennies , for size comparison .

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I have some braid line , and some are different . The twisted braid is shiny & tougher . The 30# smooth braid line I bought for carp frays too easily , don't like it .  I'll need to spool up a better quality line for both carp and skis ....

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Edited by smerchly
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I generally run with 100lb+ fluorocarbon leaders, about 14"-18" long for Crank Baits and Rubber. Solid steel for Jerks and Glides about 12" long. If trolling all depends on depth of the lure you are running in the water column, smashing bottom and what the bottom is. In the Upper Niagara bashing bottom go with Steel 24" to 36" long. Lake St Clair pretty soft so Fluorocarbon is fine. Other guys stay strictly with steel, personal preference

The equipment pictured should be fine for what you have tackle wise, not like you are tossing 16oz rubber baits. Don't be surprised, you'll probably get a good sized bass and defiantly some pike on some of that.

Net wise not sure, watched a young kid last spring on the upper Niagara land a muskie on a spinning rod with 8lb test, caught on a MR twister bass fishing from shore. Nice mid 40's fish, tore right through his first net and ripped up his larger one. Took him 1/2 an hour to get the fish in.

Another good piece of kit is a good pair of polarized sun glasses so you can see any follows, muskie are notorious for following your bait right to the boat or dock without striking that's why you always hear about doing a figure 8 or a "L" turn at the side of the boat to entice them to bite.

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You certainly have a lot more experience than I  .  I'll buy a few  steel leaders , 2-3' long.  Water depth is mostly about 10'  & some spots are about 6' . Early hours may catch them in the shallower water looking for me & my offerings .  My carp net has a fairly deep bag , strong 6' handle & supported my 30# carp well .....hope it will do the job .

My prescription bi-focal polarized sun glasses are great to see into the water & my Tilly outback hat helps keep glare away from the lens and my snozzola ( don't need the skin cancer to return there )

 Line spooling days coming soon , will spool up with 50# braid & try it out .  If I want to go heavier , I'll use the 50# for carp .

Thanks again ....I'll be a pro before I wet my line !    :Gonefishing:

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7 hours ago, knightfisher said:

Hmmm Bill knows of a musky spot and he's not telling me, time to check that   my gps on his truck is still working ;)

You have fished there Daniel , but the skis are snoozing by noonish..........:rolleyes:

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