Advanced Figure-8 Tips – 53'' Northwoods 'skie – Sweet New Rubber Bait – Tom Gelb's Boat
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Advanced Figure-8 Tips
The boatside figure-8 maneuver is an insanely important skill to master, but it's also one area where most musky anglers HIGHLY overrate their own skills – more on that in a minute....
Here's an advanced tip from MN guide Josh Borovsky that will help you put more muskies in the boat (assuming you've already mastered the basics 100%):
"One overlooked factor to keep in mind when you're performing a figure-8 is the positioning of your rod's guides in the water. This is especially important when you're utilizing a high-speed presentation, running baits with lots of drag (ie. big blades), or dealing with spooky/boat-shy fish.
"Next time you're in the boat, try sweeping your rod through the water, just like you would on a figure-8. First, do it with your guides facing the direction you're sweeping the rod. Next, spin the rod around in your hands (180 degrees) so the guides are facing the opposite way and try it again – it'll be buttery smooth.
"Having the guides facing the front-side of your sweep creates extra drag and turbulence in the water, which will undoubtably impact your figure-8. To avoid this problem, you can pivot the rod in your hands while changing directions to minimize drag throughout your entire boatside maneuver."
Just a word of warning: If you can't perform the basics in your sleep (most anglers can't), focusing too much on your guide placement can actually hurt you overall.... There's a reason we call this an "advanced" tip. 😂
If you want to catch more muskies this year, you need to sharpen up on your boatside techniques – and you can do that by checkin' out our Figure-8 Wizardy class coming up next week.
We'll be diving deep into the proper techniques and strategies you should be using at boatside – both the bedrock fundamentals and the highly advanced stuff you can't find anywhere on the interwebz.
Tom Gelb's Whip
How did the late, great Tom Gelb get around while he was kickin' everyone's butt on the water? In this old school powder blue 1988 Ranger 680C:
Tom passed the boat down to Steve Heiting, who had this to say about the old warhorse:
"Mechanically it's sound (which I would expect from Tom), but cosmetically it's very rough. Tom clearly viewed his boat as a tool and nothing more. I think that to him, it was all about the fish."
So cool – imagine the stories this boat could tell....
Sounds like Steve has some big plans for it, too:
"When I'm done it will be a great boat for the smaller waters in northern Wisconsin. I'm currently working on the fiberglass, have new Humminbirds and a Minn Kota on the way, and plan to redo the carpet this summer. By next year I hope to have the trailer looking better, and while the Mariner runs great, a re-power with a Mercury 115 4-stroke is in its future."
Thanks to Steve for the behind-the-scenes look!
Art + Muskies = SWEET!
Now let's take a quick moment to highlight some extra-sweet musky-themed artwork we found floating around on social media:
First up, we're lovin' this "Northwoods" woodburner from Laura Jean (@rustic_spruce) in Wisconsin:
How cool is this custom-painted Tumbler from Charlie Clark in Canada??
Really diggin' this beautiful piece of art from Markus Lukic who's also a custom bait maker WAYYY over in Serbia.
Gotta say, this might be first stained glass musky we've seen – thanks to Vicki Shumway for sharing!
THIS WEEK'S MASHUP:
Here's a few random tidbits you might find interesting this week:
I had to do a double-take when I saw this one come across the newsfeed....
That's a true Northwoods GIANT that was found floating near the dam in Park Falls (WI) by Henry Rauschenbach, one of the dam operators:
We don't know the whole story on this 53 inch bronze beauty, but wanted to share so all you Wisco musky chasers know what's possible.... if you've got a pile of horseshoes on the deck of your boat, of course. 🍀
Really enjoyed the latest Musky Mayhem Pro-Staff Profile featuring MN musky-head Donnie Manz. There was a boatload of big fish action throughout, including this nice boatside strike:
Also liked this quote from Donnie:
"Don't get too caught up [in having all the nicest gear]. You do not need a 21 foot Ranger to go out and catch muskies. I run 15" and 12" Humminbird graphs, but do you need it? No. You don't need fancy $200 baits. Just get out and fish and have fun!"
Has anyone else seen or tried the new Toothy Tuff Eel yet?
Take a look at the "underwater" footage 😍
I'm thinkin' a big musky would probably swipe-right on that crazy-tailed bugger.
Lets wrap up this mashup with a super-sweet underwater musky snap from Creek Hawg Baits #PicturePerfect
– Thorne Bros spring sale happening RIGHT NOW (link)
(Honestly, some of the best deals of the year happen during this sale....)
– Lake Vermilion muskies w/ Ronnestrand, Hoyer & Hansen (video)
– 50 inch tourney fish in northern Wisconsin (video)
– Doug Wegner’s Thorne Bros Seminar (video)
– Eagle Lake Musky Fishin’ w/ James Lindner & Jeremy Smith (video)
– Fischer Smith’s seminar at the Wausau Musky Bash (video)
– Vip Vieth book signing at Thorne Bros, April 10th (link)
– 2020 MN Fly Musky Montage w/ Luke Swanson (video)
– “Musky Redemption” w/ Fishcamp (video)
– Musky “Hotspots” Series, part VII (link)
– Fly slingin’ muskies in southern WV (video)
THIS WEEK'S MONSTER MUSKIES:
Props to @allinclusiveanglr on catchin' this big, clean beauty from a kayak on a prototype 3D printed lipless crankbait he made printed up. 🤔
Normally, I don't love these selective color photos, but this float fishin' musky shot from Joe Jacobowitz is 🔥!
Crazy to think Jim Saric has been putting big muskies on TV for a decade and a half. I guess time flies when you're catching 'skies!
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