New Musky Science – Electronics Tips – Cool Vintage Lures

New Musky Science – Electronics Tips – Cool Vintage Lures

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Taps & Tackle

Dialing in Side Imaging

Check out this ultra-clear SI image from Matt Seifert:

"Why doesn't my graph look like that???"

We see that question all the time....

If you aren’t seeing this kind of detail on your 'birds, keep reading, because we reached out to a true electronics wizard for some pointers.

Matt Seifert is one of the best at tweaking electronics and taught many top musky guides (whether they'll admit it or not) a thing or two about how to dial in their graphs.

His advice:

"There are no "magic settings" for your graphs. Electronics work differently on every boat, even when transducers are rigged the same way – that's what makes it tricky. You need to experiment and learn how things work on YOUR boat.

“First off, set the following Side Imaging settings:

– Range = 50 feet
– Chart Speed = 3
– Sharpness = Off
– MEGA = On

“Next, drive past your favorite musky spots at 2.5mph, study your graph and play with contrast & sensitivity until you find the clearest picture possible (don’t adjust your chart speed, sharpness or MEGA). The ideal contrast/sensitivity will depend on your boat and the spot you're fishing.

“As a general rule of thumb, you need to crank the sensitivity DOWN on hard bottoms (sand, rock, gravel) and UP on soft bottoms (mud, muck, silt). Hard bottoms will show up brighter on the screen, while softer bottoms will show up darker. Contrast compliments sensitivity, so adjust accordingly as you tweak the sensitivity in different areas.

"Once you're comfortable with these settings, you can start playing with your range settings all the way up to 100 feet."

For those of you who have NO CLUE what you're looking at on Side Imaging, here's a little graphic:

There's a lot more to it, but that's a good place to start!

If you want more in-depth info on musky fishing electronics, check out the class we did with Matt Seifert: Advanced Electronics Strategies & Boat Control (Updated)

Insider PRO members can watch it inside the member portal, otherwise, non-PRO folks can purchase the class by clicking this link.

It's a true deep-dive on how to better utilize your electronics to put more 'skies in the boat 🔥

New 'skie Study

Let's look at some fresh musky science!

This study was performed on Shabbona Lake by John F. Bieber and Cory D. Suski outta the University of Illinois.

"Spatial ecology and thermal preferences of muskellunge within a Midwest impoundment"

We're going to break this down into the typical format used in these fisheries studies: Intro, Method, and Result

First up, here's a super short version of their study's intro:

"The present study aims to define the spatial ecology, distribution and thermal ecology of muskellunge stocked into a reservoir in the Midwestern United States to aid in improving, and achieving, management goals."

In other words, they wanted to take a closer look at the movement of reservoir muskies over time, and also how water temperature impacted those movements.

Next, here's a super short version of their methods:

"We utilized a year-long passive telemetry study with muskellunge in a reservoir known for its muskellunge angling. Additionally, we employed temperature loggers to track lake temperatures."

Okay, now lets get to the juicy stuff: the RESULTS:

"Results from the current study clearly show that a reservoir environment leads to sustained movements of muskellunge over time, with smaller conspecifics showing increased movement rates relative to larger conspecifics."

They had a few theories on why they saw so much musky movement in this study, including the size of the reservoir (it's a fairly small body of water) and also the presence of shad as a forage species.

More interesting findings:

"The results from residency analyses of muskellunge in Shabbona Lake showed that larger females have lower residency than smaller females, whereas larger males are more stationary than smaller males"

They had a few possible explanations for this behavior, but you can read about that yourself in the study – click to read (Too much to summarize here in the email)

The last category of info they studied was how water temps impacted musky movements in Shabbona. Here's what they found:

"Larger fish occupied cooler water temperatures compared to smaller individuals.

"Of concern, however, is how muskellunge use water temperatures 26°C (78.8F) and above in the summer. Muskellunge in Shabbona Lake appear to be seeking ‘thermal refuges’ in the summer, defined as temperatures >2°C below surface temperature (Henesy et al., 2022; Torgersen et al., 2012), but, despite this use of thermal refuges, the temperature inhabited by fish exceeds 26°C in the summer. The elevated temperatures may be due to the shallow depths, extensive littoral areas and lack of hypolimnetic refuges of Shabbona Lake that reduce available cooler water in summer."

Some interesting findings in this one. Shoutout to John F. Bieber and Cory D. Suski for putting this all together!

We love reading musky science and learning everything we can, whether the studies are done in our neck of the woods, or a few states away. 

Btw, the entire study is publicly available right now. Here's a link if you wanted to dig a little deeper into the statistics and methodology.

Muskie Maulin' in the 1960's

I ran into this super old YouTube video (posted in 2012), featuring Al & Ron Lindner talking about some musky fishin' happenings from WAYYY, way back.

It's pretty cool – check it out:

Did you know Al used to fish musky tourneys back in the day??

In this video, they talk about a big tournament Al won in 1965. He brought home $50, which was a lot of money back then. #inflation

They also show off an old musky lure they hand-made back in 1963 called the "Muskie Mauler".

Here's an old advertisement they took out in Sports Afield magazine to promote the bucktail, years before they started In-Fisherman:

I love at the end of the ad: "Contact your nearest dealer or send $2.75 ppd."

Gotta love the days when you'd see an ad in a magazine, mail $$ to the company, and they'd send your bait in the mail.

And man, prices have sure gone UP over the last 50+ years! You can't even by a blade for $2.75 in 2024 🥵

Btw, check out this old school Muskie Mauler In-Fish shirt shared on the OutdoorsFirst website:


Mashup time!

#1 – Here's a cool tip from the Next Bite guys if you fish in freezing cold temps and ever need to bust the ice build-up in your engine tube:

#2 – Check out these sweet musky-themed cookies sent in by Lindsay Walker:

#3 – Cool post by Larry Goetz showing off his old baits. Here's his caption to go with the photo:

"My favorite musky lures I used in the 60’s and 70’s. From Top Left - heddon game fisher (1920’s), black bobbie bait, perch bobbie bait, perch suick, grey suick, black jointed creek chub husky, blue scale jointed creek chub husky; Bottom Left - yellow buck tail, black magnum flat fish, large red and white daredevil, 2 black buck tails. These were all used in Northern Wisconsin during my youth."

#4 – And here's one of those aforementioned muskies from Larry. He caught it back when he was 16 years old on the Manitowish Chain of Lakes, back when catch-and-keep was the way of the world! #differenttimes


– Musky fishing in Minaki, Ontario w/ Jeremy Smith (video)

– More Iowa musky fishing w/ Ben Stone (video)

– Talk on Southern WI Opener w/ Road Rules (video)

– Canada musky fishing w/ Matt Vavroch & 54 or bust (video)

– Spring musky fishing action w/ Angling Anarchy (video)

– Southern WI opener musky fishing w/ naspeltz (video) Inc


Really cool photo of a beast of a Pennsylvania musky from Mike Breznicky:

Daniel Betz popped this big ole beauty within four hours of musky season opening up in southern Wisconsin 💪

Here's another one! Big props to Chris Piette on notching a new PB with this gorgeous Wisco 'skie. Great job dude!

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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