More Livescope Critiques & Opinions – Big Fall Muskies – Clearing vs. Dropping

More Livescope Critiques & Opinions – Big Fall Muskies – Clearing vs. Dropping

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Taps & Tackle

Livescope Poll (Continued)

This is week #3 in our Livescope saga....

Two week ago, we asked YOU to fill out a poll, sharing your thoughts, feelings, and opinions on Forward Facing Sonar (FFS).

Last week, we shared a few graphs displaying your 👍 or 👎 thoughts.

This week, we're going to share some of your written responses:

(Disclaimer: These are anonymous opinions from our readers. Just because we shared a response, doesn't mean we agree or disagree with the statement!)

Okay, let's jump in.....

I'm ready

We're gonna slap a pile of responses here, trying to cover as many different perspectives as possible – enjoy!

"It's a tool in the toolbox, I agree it probably shouldn't be allowed in tournaments where it may provide an unfair advantage over anglers not using it."

"I have no issues using ffs unless you are just driving around just looking for Muskies to cast at..aka Sniping …which imo is very lame. Or targeting muskies in really deep open water during the warmer months"

"The only thing I have against it is the price. I say that because I’d really like to have one."

"DNR should adjust stocking/regulations/slots based on new data that considers FFS."

"If a fish happens to cross the transducer beam, it is ok to use sonar to see how the fish reacts. Sniping fish and chasing them down is a problem, but I don’t know how best to deal with it."

"I think FFS will be like electronic trolling motors or regular sonar when those came out. Some thought it was "cheating" until they became so ubiquitous that practically everyone has them. Most people now don't view electronic trolling motors "cheating". I don't plan on using FFS mostly because of the price."

"My buddy has it in his boat and thinks it's the greatest thing ever. Honestly, I go on the water to get away from screens. LOL"

"Most of the 'criticism' of FFS is either from people who have never actually used it (for example the people who think you can follow a single fish around for hours pestering it until it bites) OR it's from people who simply don't like to fish that way (sharpshooting specifically) and want to impose their preference on others."

"It’s not fishing!!! Takes no knowledge of fish behavior based on seasons, weather, forage, etc."

"I believe it’s pretty much the same thought Josh has shared but I would be completely fine if it didn’t exist or was banned but my brain is wired to always try and be better and stack every odd I can in my favor so I can’t justify not using it while everyone else out there around me is."

"I think it’s ok for the weekend angler to maximize time on the water. I don’t think it should be used in any type of tournament format."

"I think the Muskies will adapt…already are!"

"Ban that crap. It's over the line. Fish don't have a chance. It will ultimately decimate fisheries. All those people who get it for free and are promoting it are shooting themselves and the rest of us fisherman in the foot."

"Awesome trolling aid. Precise depth control, especially around structure. Also feedback if your lure attracting muskies. Fun interactions converting followers into potential biters."

"The live intel can be useful but sharpshooting open water fish/harassing them to bite is not ethical IMO"

Once again, we don't necessarily endorse or condemn any of the quotes above. Just wanted to get a good mix of opinions for the newsletter.

We had a few hundred people leave written responses. We threw 'em all in a spreadsheet (click here) if you wanted to check 'em out yourself. 👍


Next up, we have a big fall 'skie you need to see!

It was caught by Tyler Schlabsz fishin' with his buddy Alex McLean – here's the beast:

Giant Fall Muskies

And here's the caption from Alex:

"Largest overall fish to ever enter the boat. 55.5 x 27.5 conservatively. Tyler Schlabsz is a machine and keeps us motivated on all nighters.

"This giant muskie pulled up on a rock reef waiting on a midnight tullibee snack when she made the mistake of crushing a slow rolled Wolfcreek Monster Shad halfway back and gave the fight of a lifetime.

"Thats a cherry on top of a great season for us."

27.5" is a HEFTY girth – here's the tape shot:

Musky Girth

Alex wasn't kidding when he said "great season" either...

Check out this extra-long 56 incher he boated earlier this fall! #giant

56 inch musky

And his buddy Tyler popped a MN legal the same night 💪

Minnesota Legal Musky

Dudes are killin' it!

Btw, we try to share as many of the big super-tankers we see/hear about, but we don't always see everything! If you've caught (or know of others who have caught) any giant muskies this fall, let us know by replying to this email! 👍

Clear it or Drop it??

The age-old question: When your buddy hooks up, do you free-spool your reel and immediately go for the net, or do you clear your line first?

It might seem like a simple and unimportant question, but like anything in musky fishing, one tiny mistake could cost you (or your buddy) the fish of a lifetime.

Musky Insider co-owner Josh Borovsky dropped his rod and went right for the net on this big 53.5 incher from big-fish-magnet Mike Chisamore:

Big Musky

Good thing, too, because the bait popped out of the fish's mouth as soon as she entered the net. #closecall

That said, Josh usually clears his bait first – here's why:

(These bullet points were shortened for the newsletter. You can read the full writeup on Josh's original post.)

1 – He fishes around a lot of shallow, rocky cover. Droppin' the rod might mean damaging the boat when you go up to retrieve the snagged bait.

2 – Some of his guide clients don't have experience or skills to help with removing snags, running a boat, unhooking a fish etc.

3 – When your bait gets stuck on the bottom, you run the risk of losing the lures, but you also lose precious time during a key feeding window.

4 – Sometimes, landing a big fish requires fighting it around the boat. If your buddy loses a big fish because your rod was in the way, who's fault is that?

This next one's a reality check for your buddy:

5 – "If you lose a fish before the net gets there who’s fault is that? Before you point the finger at the net man, you need to look in the mirror. You got beat by the fish and often times there were things you could have done different to win the battle."

If you have poor execution and don't put good hooks in the fish, can you really blame the net man if he takes a few extra seconds to clear his bait?

6 – Sometimes, the reel can re-engage and you might end up breaking or losing your rod when it gets caught up on the bottom of the lake.

Just some things to think about....

Everything is situational and there are no hard-and-fast rules, but you need to make a decision, and you need to make it fast!


Mashup time!

#1 – Awesome "chin shot" from Brett Waldera on a BIG fish  👀  We'll share a photo of the entire musky in the Monster Muskies section below 👇👇

Muskie Chin Shot

#2 – Really sweet musky pointillism from Jaden Lindner #notapoodle

Musky pointillism

#3 – Killer shot of a musky going nuts at the side of the boat with a Suick Thriller pinned to it's lower lip 🔥 

Suick Musky Lures

#4 – Always lookin' for that next hot musky bite....

Musky Fishing Meme


– PMTT releases their 2024 schedule (link)

– Late fall musky fishing w/ Smith’s Fishing (video)

– November musky fishing w/ 54 or bust (video)

– Jeremy Smith speaking at St. Cloud Muskies Inc. in Feb. (link)

– Jim Saric on the WeFishASA podcast (link)

EZOKO BannerMuskies Inc


Alright, we teased it above! Here's the big fall bruiser caught by Jeff Anderson outta Brett Waldera's boat – the biggest fish in his boat in 2023. #mammoth

Fall musky

Huge congrats to Guy Davenport and his buddy Matt for putting this gorgeous extra-heavy 53 inch river monster in the boat, fishing with guide Sam Scott. That's a huge Virginia 'skie! 🔥

Virginia Musky

Lovin' this shot from Alex Parent! The kayak, the pup, and a big porky musky 🐖

Kayak Musky

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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