New Tech Released – 2023's Best Strike? – Big Tube-Eater

New Tech Released – 2023's Best Strike? – Big Tube-Eater

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blue ribbon tackle

New Tech Comin' in 🔥

It's that time of year again.... when fishing companies release a bunch of new gear at ICAST, the big industry trade show every year down in Florida.

This year's show is July 11-14.

It's pretty rare that we see any interesting musky/Esox-related stuff, but it's still worth paying attention because there's always a bunch of new electronics shhhtuff announced and showcased.

So far, we've seen some pre-show releases from Garmin and Minn Kota – both have new trolling motors coming out soon.

I'm sure we'll see more stuff in the next week or so, but here's what we know about the new trollin' motors so far:

First, let's look at Minn Kota's "Quest" motors....

Minn Kota

MK is finally jumping into the brushless game. They have Quest models in a buncha models, including the one's most musky folks have on their boats (Ultrex, Ultera, Terrova, etc.) – here's what they say makes the new Quest line different:

"QUEST motors feature a dual 24 or 36-volt brushless lower unit, a carbon fiber-infused upgraded shaft, reinforced brackets, and pivot points. Boasting 30% longer runtime and up to 50% more torque*...."

To sum-up everything we've been hearing.... More efficient, faster, a beefier build, and some extra tech-goodies. Stuff like "drift mode", power saving mode, programable foot petal buttons, etc.

The other fresh troller on the scene is the Garmin Kraken.... gotta give 'em points for having a significantly cooler name 😂

Folks trying to rig their boats with 100% Garmin stuff have quickly learned that the first Garmin trolling motor was basically just for bass boats (shorter shafts only).

That's no longer an issue. They now have 63-inch, 75-inch and 90-inch shafts available for fresh & saltwater big boat anglers.

Here's a look:

Garmin Kracken Trolling Motor

Looks like they're still using BASS in their product promo pics though.... 😂

Add these two options to the ultra-pricy Power Pole trolling motor that came out earlier this year, and you now have some souped-up bow-mount options for your rig.

They are getting more expensive, but hey, it's only an extra $30 or $40 on your boat payment, right??? 😅

Stupidly Sweet Strike

I think we need to take a moment to admire the absolute dogged determination of this musky chasin' down Ben Stone's 'skie... check it out:

Figure Eight Musky

You can watch the boatside encounter on his YT channel by clicking here – the link will take you directly to the strike. 👍

He was fishing Mille Lacs with John & Ashley Holmgren when the extra-hungry 48.5 incher smoked his bucktail on the third turn of the 8.

Here's a look at her above the surface:

Big Mille Lacs Musky

She pretty 🔥

Congrats, Ben!

Understanding "Poop Zones" 🤔

Was listening to Jim Saric & Gord Pyzer's seminar – a good chat with some interesting tidbits – when I heard something a little different I thought was worth sharing here in the newsletter.

Basically, it's Gord's thoughts & theories on "kill zones" and "defecation areas".

Here's the seminar:


Lots to unpack here, but here's a quick rundown of Gord's thoughts on the topic:

"We often talk about sweet-spots and the spot-on-the-spot, but I think we need to start thinking about them as kill zones."

According to Gordo, the key to finding these “kill zones” is lookin’ just a few casts from the musky’s defecation area or as we like to call it: the “poop zone”. 😂

What is a poop zone, you might ask?

"These are sun-exposed, calm water spots (in roughly 3-6 feet). If you look on the bottom of these areas, you will see long white grease marks, which is pike or musky defecation. It looks like a white seagull mark on the underwater rocks. Fish use these areas religiously. It’s like us using the restroom in our house. You eat in a different location than you use the washroom.

"They defecate in these shallow, warm areas, but usually, about 1 to 3 casts away, there is a ‘kill zone’ where they eat. When she’s hungry, she’ll move from the bathroom into the kill zone. When you find these defecation areas, you need to start looking around because there’s a kill zone somewhere nearby.

"In these defecation areas, the suckers, tullibee, walleye, and smallmouth go on high alert, thanks to alarm pheromones in the water. They pass through these areas very quickly as a result. That’s why muskies don’t defecate in the kill zone, because it would spook everything they are getting ready to eat. These same pheromones attract smaller muskies and northern pike…. which encourages Esox cannibalism."

Most humans don't "defecate in the kill zone" either, so that's ONE thing we have in common with our favorite fish.... 😂

A lot of this info is based on pike research, but Gord believes it also applies to muskies. What's your opinion – does this make sense based on what you see on your favorite musky lakes?

This Week's Mashup:

Mashup time!

#1 – Check out these spicy lookin' custom Pro Mag colors from the Blue Ribbon crew – from top to bottom: JS Special, Hot Steel Painted Holo & Psychedelic Shad

Bull Dawgs

#2 – Cool shot from Jordan Keister. The musky almost weirdly cools happy. Are fish capable of emotions like happiness?? 😂

Release Photo

#3 – Sweet musky-themed ink via Justin Bolonski in SE Pennsylvania:

Musky Tattoo

#4 – How wild is this "street art" done for the Hayward Musky Fest last year?? Thanks to Larry Ramsell for sending in the pic 👌

Street Art


– Open water casting w/ Kevin Cochran (video)

– Northern Wisconsin PB w/ AA (video)

– 10-fish day w/ Todays Angler (video)

– Northern WI summer baits w/ Matt Vavroch (video)

– Boat maintenance statistics (link)

Taps & TackleMuskies Inc


How bout the head on this impressive Ninja Tube eater from Benjamin Duke 🔥

Big Fish

The freaks come out at night! Stellar after-hours 'skie from musky-head Brennan Carlson:

Nighttime Musky

Love, love, LOVE seeing kids get into musky fishing. This was Mason's first-ever musky, and he caught it fishing on Lac Seul with Greg Attard#hooked

Kid with 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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