Muskie Marks Wisconsin Fishing Musky Guide Service for Lake Redstone, Castle Rock Flowage, Lake Petenwell Flowage and the Wisconsin River. Fishing reports, musky fishing articles, muskie fishing tips and musky fishing news with professional Wisconsin fishing guide Mark Saemisch.

Fishing Tips & Articles
by Fishing Guide Mark Saemisch aka "Muskie Mark"

Seal the deal on the 8
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Seal the deal on the 8

I tell everyone that 50% of my fish are caught on the figure eight. The reaction that I get from most people, is yea right. I even get this from people that claim to have musky fished for years. However that is my story and I’m sticking to it. So I’m going to explain why and how, and maybe you to can make fifty/ fifty your number as well.

The first thing that you have to understand is the area I fish is excellent for doing this. I fish quite a bit of darker stained water in central and southern Wisconsin. The stained water versus the clear water lakes up north, makes the fish less skittish at boat side. I would also point out that when I fish clearer water up north, I still get close to the same results on follows. The second thing that you should know is that I use specific techniques, when looked at in their scientific nature make complete sense as to why I would use this approach.

Let’s get to it. The very first thing that I do when I retrieve my lure is I look for a follow. I don’t however do this to decide whether or not I need to do the figure eight. I do the figure eight regardless. The reason I look for the follow is for three reasons 1. I want to be mentally prepared to do battle when a fish hits at boat side. 2. I want to check the mood of the fish. And 3 If the fish doesn’t hit, I at least want to know that there was one following. Some times this is important just because on dark water it can be hard to see a follow. Sometimes all you see of a fish is a tail or just a flash. If you see this then you now know where a fish is and that it is slightly interested. Now you have 2 choices keep casting for it or come back later during moon rise or sunset.

Let’s talk about baits and eights for a second. When you watch a fishing show and someone is working a jerk bait, they suddenly get a follow then you see the person go into the figure eight. Some times you see them change from jerking the lure and just drag the bait through the water as they do the eight. I notice a number of times during these shows that they just stand back up and say something like, that was a big one. They might have actually known how big if they kept doing what brought the fish to the boat as they went through the figure eight motion. Folks I’m going to tell ya right now, that if jerking the bait triggered a fish’s interest you better keep that motion going as you go into your figure eight pattern. Why would you take the chance of losing the fishes interest? Often what gets a fish to strike is a change of speed or direction. One other thing is when you present a strike opportunity. I will explain in a little bit how to present this, but for now you need to understand that you need to try and keep the fish’s attention by doing what brought it to the boat. When fishing a jerk bait this is going to take a little practice, but it’s worth it.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the proper construction of the perfect figure eight. Muskies are big long fish. So you need to make your eights as big as you can. A longer pole like 7 to 8 foot can help make this a little less pain staking. When I bring my lure in to the boat I try to take the lure straight into the boat deep. I then take the lure sideways. Sometimes a fish will hit right here. Then I make the turn away from the boat, and at the same time thrust the lure towards the surface, swiftly. This is the strike opportunity that I was talking about earlier. The reason that this is a strike opportunity is that to a musky, any time prey moves to the surface they know there is nowhere else to go. It’s like having a base runner caught In a pickle. The prey looks helpless, and therefore gets the fish to strike. Just before I head the lure back to the boat I take it deep again. I then repeat the same thing in the other direction. You may ask, Why not keep the lure near the surface all the time then? Let me ask you a question then. Have you ever seen where a musky’s eyes are mounted on it’s head? They’re on top! If you have a fish following your lure and you take the lure towards your boat, Do you want the fish to see you or do you want to be cautious and take the lure deep. I would choose deep and keep the fish’s eyes on the prize.

Well I hope this helps you all to catch 50% of your muskies at boat side this year. Remember C.P.R.

Muskie Mark Saemisch
Muskie Marks Guide service
1 608 415 1231
www.muskiemarks.com  

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© Muskie Marks Wisconsin Fishing Musky Guide Service for Lake Redstone, Castle Rock Flowage, Lake Petenwell Flowage and the Wisconsin River. Fishing reports, musky fishing articles, muskie fishing tips and musky fishing news with professional Wisconsin fishing guide Mark Saemisch.