Livebait in Spring – Sweet Stream 'skie GIFs – Big Beards & Fly 'skies

Livebait in Spring – Sweet Stream 'skie GIFs – Big Beards & Fly 'skies

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Thorne Bros

Spring Livebaitin'

Steve Herbeck

We recently had Steve "Herbie" Herbeck as a speaker for the Musky Insider PRO crew, and one little tidbit he touched on was how livebait fishin' can sometimes actually be BETTER in spring, than it is in fall. 👀

This is a topic most folks aren't thinkin' about, so we thought we'd pull a writeup together for ya with some A+ info on spring sucker draggin' with Herbie – enjoy!

Herbie: "In many parts of the country, fishing livebait for muskies is a long-standing traditional fall/cold water presentation option that greatly enhances success when used in conjunction with a casting presentation.... or vertical jigging if temps are well below freezing.

"What many don’t realize is the post-spawn period can actually be as good, many times even better than late fall – especially when it comes to later springs and cold fronts with lingering water temps in the 50's to low/mid-60's range.

"If colder than normal temps or a prolonged cold front stymies/drops typical spring rising water temps and you’re faced with clearer than normal water and a lack of new weed growth.... shallow movements can be very inconsistent until these conditions are reversed and a consistent rise in water temps occur. This is especially true on systems that lack a pelagic forage base that fish can move out over deep water and target, then recoup in depths that are cool and more stable than the shallows can be under these conditions.

"These are the conditions (especially if you're in a state where you can use multiple lines) where running livebait rigs slightly off the break in conjunction with your typical early season presentations up shallower can be deadly."

Now that you know which conditions are most conducive to livebaiting success, let's talk a little bit about presentation:

"This time of year, you should down-size your baits a bit and keep your rigs small. I like baits that are 11-14” long, paired with 60# wire and one 1/0 or 2/0 2x hardened wire treble. Finish it off with a #1-3 gold Colorado tail-gunner for a bit of flash."

Here's a look at Herbie's setup:

Sucker RIg

"Use a float if you're running the bait in shallow water, otherwise you can use a planer board in deeper water off the break behind you.

"The term “quick-set” really and absolutely applies here. With metabolisms on the rise and the use of generally smaller bait sizes, muskies will turn a bait much quicker than in the fall."

Excellent info from Herbie per usual! 🔥

Fear the Beard

I'm not a sociologist, but I think there's some sorta connection between fly slingin' musky dudes and impressive, burly beards.

Pretty sure social media is influencing my theories here, because I saw all three of these sweet #onthefly shots on my feed within the last 24 hours:

This first one from @natives_flyfishing features the perfect combination of toothy critter and bearded, wader-wearing outdoorsman.

Fly Musky

Here's another 🔥 fly fishin' shot.... this time from @logamnartin21:

Muskies on the Fly

Last up, we have one more West Virginia fly-muncher. Cool picture from @catchcamnets 📸

Beards and Muskies

Btw, if you're just getting into fly fishing for 'skies, you'll probably wanna check out this article we published a while back with MN guide Luke Swanson – lots of good tips that will get you started 👇

Fly musky gear

Also, our buddies over at Thorne Bros have a killer fly selection w/ The Fly Angler

They are for-sure a great resource for information and gear, especially if you live or fish near the Twin Cities metro area. 👍

Rapid Yakin' Musky Fishing

Gotta give @bcash141 a shoutout for some sweet POV musky chasin' footage during a recent river 'skie trip – we GIF-ified a few of his best clips.

Here's a look at some of the rapid crawlin' action they had to endure to get to their key musky spots:

1 Kayaking Rapids

And here's a live look at his buddy Jason Hughes losing one at the side of the yak:

2 Kayak Muskie Miss

Finally, this is the cross-current hookset that ended with a musky in the net 🔥

3 Hookset

Excellent footage, and we're glad you and your buddies were able to get one!

River Muskie

This Week's Mashup:

Mashup time!

#1 – Diggin' this musky ink 🔥

Art provided by Drew Wilson, canvas provided by Chas Mease:

Muskie Tattoo

#2 – Really cool & unique 'skie eyeball shot from @aidanc_fishing:

Muskie Eyeball

#3 – Had to share this shore fishin' musky shot from @wkelsey05, partly for the nice catch, but mostly because the shirt is pretty dang perfect.... 😂

Meme Shirt

#4 – Is it just me or does it look like this gal lost a bet with her fishin' partner....

Muskie Memes


– Angling Revolution is doing a giveaway this weekend (link)

– Southern WI musky opener w/ Smith’s Fishing (video)

– LOTW boatside musky w/ jlyonfishingteam (video)

– Instructional vid for fly fishing musky/pike (video)

– Throwback cover fishing 'skies w/ Bucher (video)

– "The Swimming Muskie" w/ Erik Jacobson (video)

– "Muskie Fishing After 40" via In-Fisherman (link)

Taps & TackleMuskies Inc


Justin H. caught this plus-sized beauty castin' from shore. He went 1 for 2 on the day, with another 'skie poppin' off at the net.... 🤬

Shore Fishing Muskies

Awesome fly-eater from guide Scott Grassi.... who's doesn't have a massive beard 😂

Fly Fishing Esox

Props to Douglas Shaffer on putting this porky Pennsylvania 'skie in the boat 💪

East Coast Muskie

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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