Hardcore Herbie Tips – Mille Lacs Update – 56 Incher Caught
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Herbie on "Edges"
If you're a podcast listener and you're reading this email, you've probably listened to a few dozen episodes of the Back Lash Podcast.
One of our favorite recurring guests is Steve "Herbie" Herbeck, who was BACK last week talkin' about overlooked "edges":
WAY too many juicy nuggets to fit into this newsletter (Herbie always has killer info), but we'll drop a few of our favorite morsels here:
First – Herbie talkin' about how fishing a little bit further off the break than you normally would can help you catch more fish:
"I don't think many people think about the edges down deep where the rock bar actually turns into mud. I see so many people that fish the top of the rocks....very few people work down through that transition area at the bottom.
"More and more studies have shown that in these high-pressured waters, particularly in cisco-based lakes, a lot of these fish are dropping off at daylight into deeper water. The deep transition area is very overlooked, except by people in the fall, and it can be fished anytime after spawn."
Another "edge" that a lot of folks don't utilize is the thermocline (on lakes that have 'em, of course):
"I look for bars that top out slightly above or even just a bit below the thermocline level. Those bars have fish that are there to eat, they are very seldom there just to rest."
This might not be new to the river rats reading this, but another massively important "edge" is current breaks, either natural or wind-driven:
"Most of the current that I'm fishing that isn't river flow related is brought on by wind. I've caught so many fish on wind-blown rocks and points, and the more I've thought about it and evaluated it, the more I started seeing why these spots are so good. It's usually because there's an obstruction below it or above it that's breaking the current to some degree, and the fish are actually sitting on a current edge.
"When you have a big wind that's pounding into points and shorelines and you see a big white sud line coming down the shoreline – what you're seeing is a current line. Once I really started concentrating and looking for these sud lines on windy days, especially when the wind is blowing really hard for 2 or 3 days, those signals are like a stop sign to me – those spots concentrate fish.
"Most the time when I've encountered packs of fish, it's because there was some kind of eddy there, usually made by current."
That's just a taste – you can get the rest of the goods by listenin' to the podcast.
Also, just a reminder: Herbie & Josh Borovsky are teaming up to do a live virtual class on Late Fall Musky Tactics next week.
They are going to dig deep into their bag of tricks to share everything you need to know to maximize your odds of sticking a big, late season hawg-a-saurus!
Once this class is full, we won't be accepting any more signups!
We did a class with Luke Ronnestrand last night, and we had a bunch of emails from folks trying to get in last-minute. If you wanna get in, you should definitely do it now!
Mille Lacs is Fine?
Anyone else remember when Mille Lacs Lake was the crown jewel of musky fishin' in the Midwest?
It's never gonna be as good as it was during the 2000's peak, but it could sure as heck be a lot better than it is today....
Sure, you still have the opportunity to catch the state record, but your chances of catching ANYTHING are significantly lower than just about any other musky lake in the state.
And apparently the DNR thinks musky anglers are cool with the current state of the lake – here's a quote from their 2021 Management Plan:
"The MN DNR received little input about muskellunge during the input process, suggesting general satisfaction with the status quo."
This is their plan going forward:
"[We will] continue to stock muskellunge at the current rate (3,000 fall fingerlings every other year)."
And how does this make us feel?
Okay, maybe a little mad.... 😂
Honestly, we have WAYYY too much to say on this topic. Mille Lacs is such an important resource for the state of Minnesota – in past years, it has soaked up a ton of fishing pressure, which has helped the smaller-to-moderate sized lakes thrive.
More thoughts in a future email.
But luckily, we've got some good news for ya. The input process isn't over yet....
If you're unhappy with the current stocking/management of the lake, you can share your input here (link) or send a thoughtful message to the local Fisheries Supervisor, Tom Heinrich (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Let him know that you aren't "satisfied with the status quo."
Once again, make sure to keep your messages respectful!
Bob Benson Quotes
Not gonna lie – I really enjoyed the Bob Benson Pro-Staff Profile posted earlier this week:
Sure, the video had some sweet musky catches, but the best parts were the tell-it-like-it-is quotes from Bob. Here's a few of our favorites:
"My dad took me musky fishing when I was 5 years old and it basically ruined my life."
My bank account can relate....
Bob's definitely not afraid to call it like he sees it:
"I'm still learning things today that I didn't know over the past 40+ years. If you think you know it all in musky fishing, you have a LOT to learn."
And best of all, he doesn't hesitate to call out the bass/walleye guys 😂
"Muskies are the perfect adversary for me – they win half the time, I win half the time. The bass guys are out here, the walleye guys are out here. They are playing checkers, we're playing three dimensional chess."
Here's Bob's favorite bait when he REALLY needs to stick a musky:
"When I need to reach deep to catch a musky, I almost always strap on a Supermodel, typically in black. There's times when I'm sitting in the back of the boat holding a 53+ incher that my clients bypassed throwing a Supermodel for. They let me throw it and next thing you know, they're taking MY picture. So if you get in my boat, don't let me throw the Supermodel, make sure you're throwing it ahead of me!"
Make sure to watch the full video for more Bob Benson-isms!
This Week's Mashup:
Here's a few random tidbits you might find interesting this week:
#1 – How cool is this Aqua Traction pattern on the bottom of Bill Shimota's 21 foot Ranger?? 🔥
If you're still in the market for some fresh musky gear, check out Forrest Huset's Thorne Bros seminar. Lots of good info on new bucktail, hard baits and anything else you might need in your boat this year:
Obviously, we don't love little hammer-handle pike, but this baby two-toned water wolf from @love4fish has some amazing patterns:
Let's wrap up this mashup with some musky meme-ery:
– “Bursting the Bucktail” w/ Joe Bucher (video)
– “Muskies on the Go” w/ Keyes Outdoors (video)
– Muskies Canada Virtual Odyssey, April 17-18 (link)
– Pete Maina interview w/ Musky Factory (video)
– Spinnerbaitin’ river muskies in wood (video)
– St. Clair musky movement study (link)
THIS WEEK'S MONSTER MUSKIES:
LOVE the markings on this big incidental Green Bay 'skie from Shelby Kilibarda, fishin' with her bf Tom Boley (who had to hand-land this brute).
This shore fishin' jelly belly from Vinnie DeStefano only hit 45 inches long on the tape but had a 27 inch girth measurement. Crazy impressive fish, man! #chunkmonkey
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