It’s that time of year again.
When shop is closed up north, and the temps keep dropping, but the beats never stop down south, where the musky fishing just keeps getting hotter.
This is the time of year to bundle up and batten down the hatches for big fish. You may have to fish through some of the smaller more virulent fish, but I’ve gotten pretty good at pricing myself out of that market over the years.
This time of year is when fish are settling into staging areas with the right criteria before staging to spawn, and the devil is in the details when it comes to even the slightest current influence or shift in temperature regime.
But make no mistake, this is the time of year you can encounter the single largest fish of your life in very predictable areas.
For one, never ever EVER leave your lighter tackle setups at home. Now more than ever, a smaller presentation even demanding spinning tackle can be the definitive element between success and failure. We’re talking finesse, be it Flicker shad, X-raps, Biwaa Divinator JR’s, Smithwick Rogues, or even wacky worms (yes, wacky worms) and having the proper combo for raw power and delicate intricacy is essential.
Any good walleye or bass spinning combo with a 20 lb braid upgrade and an American Fishing Wire tied 30 lb steel leader will do the job, but I strongly recommend checking out the Toothtamer line of rods which have some specifically designed musky spinning rods that handle some of the power tools but more of the “micro machines” than you’d possibly imagine without losing crucial rod length for figure-8s or intestinal fortitude for wrestling gorillas out of the mist.
I’ll be doing a solid in-depth review of a handful of the Toothtamer rod series very soon available through In the Spread YouTube and here as well.
On top of all that, I’ll be continuing my love affair with Roger Watter’s amazing line of musky baits that flew even under my radar for years. Trust me, he doesn’t just make the Barbarian and Hardhead. Guy is a polymath of musky lure design and we’ll be working together here on out to not only increase your awareness of these amazing tools, but also design and tweak a few more for the future.
Speaking of which, don’t forget to check out the works of William Carpenter at Carpenter Customs, the mind behind the “Quiet Pill” glider, as we continue to barrage each other with DM’s concerning new design ideas to bring to the table, and trust me, we got two that you ain’t seen before.
I’ll be doing regular blog posts here now guys, as this is my new HQ for all things musky related, southbound and beyond.
Tight lines, y’all.
-Cory Allen, the Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority