Larry Dahlberg Tip – GIANT Ice Musky – Science & Boatside Strikes

Larry Dahlberg Tip – GIANT Ice Musky – Science & Boatside Strikes

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MN Musky Expo 2020

Larry the Legend

Larry Dahlberg Musky

It’s easier NOW than it’s ever been to pinpoint muskies – either with your eyes or with your electronics. It’s on YOU, the angler, to make ‘em eat.

This week, we picked the brain of fishin’ legend Larry Dahlberg to get a few tips on how to catch ‘em once you know where they live. He knows his stuff and has a pretty dang clear mindset when he’s targeting a found fish:

"It is my contention that if I have all the tools I need at hand and I’ve visually located a musky, I can catch it regardless of the conditions – so long as I do everything correctly in that situation. (except in one case in regards to fish body temp in relation to water temp).”

So how does Larry up his odds once he’s IDed a ‘skie???

1. Think before you fire!

“Avoiding detection is critical. When you’re casting at a fish, try to stay as far away from your target as possible. Making a long distance bomb cast provides the fish with plenty of real estate to follow and commit before reaching the boat, giving you more time to unleash your bag of fish triggering tricks.

”That said, if you can get close enough, or elevated enough, to see the most subtle cues from a stationary fish without spooking it, your odds of catching it goes up. Subtle cues include dorsal and/or pectoral fin movement, gill movement, ect. The trick is to make the musky think the lure is reacting to the presence of the musky, often without removing the offering from the muskies zone of awareness."

2. Pave new roads

“If you want to up your odds of catching a musky, try showing them something they haven’t seen before. This might be a challenge on intelligently pressured waters where anglers have tried just about everything, but it’s well worth the effort.”

The best way to guarantee a “unique” presentation is making your own “one of a kind creation”, which is something Dahlberg is both skilled at and passionate about (as most of you know).

If you wanna know more about designing your own musky catchin’ baits, make sure to check out the Bait Makers Panel at this year’s MN Muskie Expo. Larry will actually be moderating the discussion. Super cool stuff!

Oh, and don’t forget to check out Larry’s sweet lure making videos on the Tube.

Larry Dahlberg Video

Rubber, Toppers & Gliders....

...OH MY!

Here's a trio of boatside strikes for your viewing pleasure – starting off with this Bull Dawg slam from Musky Addict:

Figure 8 Bull Dawg Strike

Forrest Huset has been kickin' out some sweet figure-8 strikes from Lake of the Woods. This one the drilled the topper on the first turn:

Forrest Eat

The best time to strap a GoPro on your head is when it's complete flat-calm and the muskies are chewin' (see Jesse Schulta's boatside strike below)

Gotta love it when they get all squirrelly for the glide bait!

Glide Bait Musky

Growth/Harvest Science

For all you armchair biologists out there – this seminar from John Casselman has some really good info on musky growth rates:

John Casselman Seminar

Definitely worth a watch if you have 30 minutes to kill. 

Thought this was one of the most interesting slides in his deck:

Predictive Harvest Length Data

This one's a bit tougher to wrap your thinker around, but basically what you're lookin' at is the annual mortality rate needed to achieve muskies of a certain age in a system.

Less mortality = Older fish

I think we can all agree everyone wants bigger/older muskies, but how do we get the mortality down?

Everyone agrees that we should limit harvest, but what about shortening the season???

That's a little less palatable, eh. 😉

We all know that warm water handling isn't great, but John also mentioned that late fall, coldwater handling might be more detrimental than we think. Not sure how much data's out there on that topic, but just some food for thought...🤷‍♂️

Art Class is in Session!

Definitely wouldn't call ourselves "art aficionados".... but we get all googly-eyed lookin' at stuff like this:

Musky Carving

Props to Brandon Trafananko on the sweet fingerling repo. 😉🔥


– Saric's top 3 musky fisheries in Ontario (link)

– Milwaukee Muskie Expo this weekend (link)

– Nice tiger musky from shore (video)

– 3 fish day on LOTW (video)

– Great Lakes water levels REALLLY high (link)

– Summer muskies with Slime Quest TV (video)

– Post spawn musky fishing (video)


(Times based on Minneapolis) 

Lunar Calendar

lake labsmusky frenzystealth tackle


Of all the hardwater muskies we've seen this season, this 53.5-inch chunky monkey from Colby Bozovsky ate takes the cake. She's long and EXTRA girthy!

Ice Fishing Musky

This was one of five 'skies Cole caught fishin' with Doug Wegner – all of 'em fell for Stagger bucktails#hungry

Bucktail Musky

Check out the GUT on this November double-nickle from MN guide Kevin Cochran. They don't grow 'em much bigger than that!

Big Minnesota Musky

Wanna be featured on 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. 🤙

muskies inc

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