Casting off the Wrong Side? – Snubs, Humpbacks & Nose Jobs – Hefty 'Skies

Casting off the Wrong Side? – Snubs, Humpbacks & Nose Jobs – Hefty 'Skies

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Supernatural Big Baits

2020 is here!

Hopefully you've got your resolutions in order, because we're already four days into 2020!

Did you know: Every year, the most popular New Years resolution is related to "working out more" or "going to the gym"?

There's nothing wrong with slingin' dumbbells, but this is hands-down our FAVORITE kind of lift:

Musky New Years

It's an election year, so you can bet your newsfeed will be jam-packed with political garbage. Might be a good year to spend more time with your family or in the garage tweaking baits when you're not on the water....

Anyway – You can rest assured that we'll #StickToFishing in 2020. 👍

Does it REALLY matter...

....which side of the boat you cast off?

The answer is "YES", according to guide Josh Borovsky:

"First of all, it’s important to have a designated side of the boat that you fish from, regardless of what side that is.

"Most of us accumulate extra rods and loose baits on the deck throughout the day. It's best to keep your casting side clean and pile extra gear behind you, away from the action.

"Foot placement is an important, yet often overlooked, factor in achieving the widest possible figure 8 turns. The closer your toes are to the edge of the boat, the wider your turn will be. This also helps you get closer to the boat or underneath it as you come back in the straightaway."

In other words, trying to cast/figure 8 over your gear is bad news.

Now that you know you can't fancast around the boat willy-nilly like your bass fishin' buddies, which side should you choose?

"In my opinion, the side of the boat that you choose to cast off of can have a significant impact on both your hooksets as well as your overall figure 8 success."


"Have you ever got rocked by a musky and felt like the rod almost got pulled out of your hand? More than likely, that's because the weak point of your grip was facing the fish.

"Whenever you hold a fishing rod (or really anything), there's a weak point and a strong point to your grip. The weak point will always be the seam between your thumb and fingers. Personal safety/self defense instructors will teach you to look for weak grip points when an assailant grabs your arm. It's fairly easy to rip your arm free if you pull in the direction of that weak point."

Who'da thought those Rex Kwon Do classes would help us catch more 'skies 😉

Rex Qwan Do

Just kiddin' man! Back to the tips....

"The same concept applies when you hold a fishing rod. Generally, if you reel with your right hand, you should be fishing off the port side or passenger side of the boat. If you’re casting perpendicular off that side of the boat, the strong part of your grip will face the fish. Which means even if you’re not paying attention or you're looking at your electronics when you get rocked by a fish, it pulls the rod into your hand vs. pulling the rod out."


"Your figure 8's work out better on the port side as well. As you sweep your rod from left-to-right along the side of the boat before the first big turn, you can keep the strong part of your grip facing the bait as you fight the extra drag of accelerating your bait at close quarters until your other hand comes off the reel and gives you more power."

Musky Strike

"Another key but often overlooked advantage is that generally the boat has some type of forward movement as you work around a structure. This movement helps pull/accelerate your bait at the end of your retrieve as it approaches the boat. This can be a big triggering factor before you get into the eight. (see GIF above)

"Conversely, if you make the same left-to-right sweep off the other side of the boat, the movement of the boat will actually slow down your boatside sweep instead of speed it up which is typically not a good thing."

So there you have it – one side hurts ya, one side helps ya!

Note: If you reel with your left hand, everything is reversed. Cast on the starboard/driver side and start your figure 8 going right-to-left.

Snubs, Humpbacks & Nose Jobs?

These 'skies ain't winning any beauty pageants anytime soon....

Let's kick off this round of ugly muskies with a northern Ontario snub-noser from Marty Vlietstra (left). The same fish was caught 11 months later (right) after growing another inch, from 47" to 48".

Snub Nose Musky

This bronze Wisconsin humpback was caught and released by Jeff Janusz:

Humpback Muskie

I have a feeling we don't wanna know how this 'skie got it's nose job. Regardless, this is one UGLY fish from Stephen Grausgruber in central Iowa.

Iowa Musky

If you've caught an extra-ugly musky, send 'em our way and it might be featured in a future newsletter!

What's your Musky goal for 2020?

Talkin' New Years resolutions again, I stumbled on this poll in the Muskie Network FB group. Thought the results were interesting:

Musky Poll

Musky anglers are big game hunters, so I'm not surprised seeing "bigger fish" on top of the list. Conversely, there's still plenty of folks that are happy to put ANY fish in the net, as you can see.

Notice, these results are the opposite of the natural progression of a musky angler:

When you first start out, you're happy to put anything in the boat. Next, you wanna catch as many fish as humanly possible. Once you've caught a bunch of 'em, you want to target the BIG girls.

Catching muskie is hard enough, but that special five-O mark can be a tough nut to crack. Be patient and just keep castin!



– Ohio Musky Show, Jan 10-12 (link)

– Musky (?) strike on an Aqua-Vu (video)

– Wild Apache bucktail action (video)

– Jeff & Jeff catch northern WI muskies (video)


(Times based on Minneapolis)

Moon Maps

lake labsMusky FrenzyStealth Tackle


First up, take a look at this straight up bruiser from earlier this season up at Andy Myers Lodge on Eagle Lake.

Eagle Lake Muskies

This late night boat ride came courtesy of a 12" Headlock and a yellow set of trousers! #MidnightSnack

Night Muskie

If you're gonna go crack a new PB, it's tough to beat the St. Lawrence River. That's where Jay Griffiths boated this big gal:

St Lawrence River Muskie

Forrest Huset stuck this LOTW beauty testing out the new 8/8 Stagger bucktail. It's gonna be a hot bait in 2020!

Lake of the Woods Muskie Fishing

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