Dealing w/ Floating Weeds – Sweet Musky Artwork – MN Expo Coming Up!

Dealing w/ Floating Weeds – Sweet Musky Artwork – MN Expo Coming Up!

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MN Muskie Expo Incoming

Gotta take a moment to shout out the Minnesota Muskie Expo coming up in a couple weeks (March 8-10th).

The musky community has in-person shows all over the place these days (which is amazing). We make it out to some of them, but the Minnesota event is a can't-miss for us here in our home state. It's a great opportunity to rub shoulders with other musky-obsessed folks who you might not have met otherwise.

If you're planning on making it out, make sure to stop by and say hello. Josh will be at the Angling Revolution booth when he's not on the seminar stage.

Speaking of seminars.... here's the lineup:

2:30 pm – Kevin Cochran: Electronics and Forward-facing Sonar
4:00 pm – Steve Herbeck: Living on the Edge
5:30 pm – Mike Keyes: Scouting New Water
7:00 pm – Josh Borovsky: Level Up Your Muskie Game
10:30 am – Rob Kimm: Dialing It In – A Systematic Approach to Finding a Player
11:00 am – Gregg Thomas: Patterning Monster Muskies
1:30 pm – Lee Tauchen: Top Muskie Techniques and Their Triggering Qualities
3:00 pm – Joe Peterson: No Time for Muskies
4:30 pm – John Roundsley: Boats, Re-powering, Trollers, New Electronics & Lithium
11:00 am – Sarah Trampe: Increase Your Odds to More Muskies
12:30 pm – Ben Olsen: Minnesota Guide Panel
2:00 pm – Luke Ronnestrand: Guaranteed Muskie Fishing Success
Not gonna lie, not only is this seminar lineup super stacked, but they're bringing some really strong/interesting topics to the table!
For more info on the expo this year, check out their website. 👈

Dealing w/ Floating Weeds

Anyone who's ever trolled busy waters with plenty of boating traffic knows that floating weeds can be a real pain in the butt....

Here's 3 quick tips from Bill Schwartz – the head dude at Slammer Tackle – that will help you keep your baits running clean in these conditions:

#1 – "Where I do most of my fishing, I’m allowed 3 lines per angler, but often the 'less is more' approach is better when the floating weeds are really bad. Personally, I would rather run one or two lines and have confidence that the lures/leaders are clean of any weeds vs. running more lines that are likely fouled up with weeds."

Agreed, but best of luck trying to convince musky anglers that the simpler solution is the better solution 😂

#2 – "When choosing a rod holder, pick one that will allow the rod to angle down into the water so the tip of the rod is 2 or 3 feet below the surface. I’ve been using Folbe rod holder and have been happy with them."

The third and final tip is the one you'll find the most fascinating:

#3 – "Choosing the right rod can make a big difference, too. The beauty of having a custom rod built, is you can build them for very specific purposes and techniques.

"I had two new trolling rods custom made by Thorne Bros. I really like their F-90M trolling blank. It has a nice soft tip section and plenty of back bone along the mid-section of the blank. The standard blank length for the F-90M blank is 9’ but Thorne Bros will cut it to whatever length you desire. In the past I’ve had them shortened to 7’6” for down-rods and also had them add to the “Butt” section and stretched out to 9’6” for out-rods.

"These latest rods were built specifically to deal with floating weeds. I use them as an in-between down/out rod, and I'm typically running smaller baits on them. I had 2” taken off the tip, and then the butt was cut down so the overall length was 8 feet long. This length spreads the rods out off the side of the boat a bit and still allows the tops to be 2 or 3 feet under the surface."

Now here's the most interesting/unique part of Bill's rod build:

"For the rod that will go on the “Port” side of the boat (left side) I had the eyelet closest to the reel positioned in a normal/straight position, and from there to the rod tip, the rest of the eyelets are slowly rotated clockwise 90 degrees along the rod blank. For the rod that will go on the “Starboard” side of the boat (right side) the eyelets rotate counterclockwise.

"I also had them put on oversized eyelets on to help grab weeds and stop them from sliding off the rod and down to the leader/lure. Both the size and the position of the guides on the rod help collect weeds on the rod instead of the lure."

Here's a closer look at the rods:

"To help with keeping the rods on the correct side of the boat, the 'Port' side rod has red colored guides and accent wraps and I have a red reel seat to match. The 'Starboard' side rod is done in Green (just like your bow nav light on your boat)."

As you can see from the photo, Bill's got color coordinated rod holders, too. His setup is 100% dialed & dummy proof 👍

Really cool idea from Bill!

Musky Artwork

One of the best parts about writing this newsletter is folks who reply to the emails.

Some want to share photos, others want to talk about how we've helped them catch more fish. Sometimes we get random musky questions, and sometimes folks send us some really cool musky-themed artwork.

All of it is awesome, but the photos and the artwork are extra-great because we get to share it here in the newsletter for YOU to enjoy! Here's some sweet musky art that was sent in by readers:

This first one is from Bryan Dove. He calls it "Shore Lunch":

Check out this sweet painting done-up by Owen Seman's dad:

Owen is the owner of Big O's Bucktails. We were told folks would have the chance to potentially win this picture ☝️ at the Muskie Max next weekend. We don't have any more deets, so you'll need to head over to their booth and ask Owen about it! 

Last up, we have a really cool piece done by @jakekeeler (found on IG) called "Cabbage Dragon", done with pen and ink on a wood panel.

Make sure to send in your musky-themed anything, so we can share it here in the Musky Insider newsletter 👍

This Week's Mashup:

Mashup time!

#1 – I know it's a LONG ways away, but is anyone else jacked up for some #TopwaterSZN this year??

#2 – Pretty sure these are designed for bass fishin'.... but how crazy realistic are these swimbaits from Clayton Sly?? #impressive

Here's a few more of his bigger 12.5 inch baits:

#3 – Can't say I've ever witnessed anyone harvest a musky, but it would 100% leave me shook!


– MuskieMax next weekend, March 2 & 3 (link)

– Leech Lake musky fishing w/ Keyes Outdoors (video)

– More Luke Ronnestrand musky fishing w/ Thorne Bros (video)

– Shallow Sept. muskies in MN w/ Mayhem's 10k cast (video)

– Feeding windows thoughts w/ Steve Heiting (video)

– Part 3 fishing on LSC w/ Smith's Fishing (video)

Taps & TackleMuskies Inc


This Ohio fatso from @turneralex hasn't been missing any meals!

Congrats to Jamie Truog on poppin' this 53" Green Bay bruiser on the troll this past October (shared via @elkrivercustomrods):

Look who decided to pay James Jackson a visit in the ice shack this week 👀

Wanna be featured in Musky Insider? Send in your recent trophy musky photos by replying to this email. You might just see your pic in next week's newsletter. 🤙 Canada

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