Saric Fall Tips – Snappin' vs. Sweepin' – Sick Figure-8 Eat

Saric Fall Tips – Snappin' vs. Sweepin' – Sick Figure-8 Eat

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Lake Labs

Jim Saric Fall Musky Tips

Jim Saric Muskies

Jim Saric is about to drop some in-depth fall musky knowledge, but first, some words of warning:

“You’ll need to be prepared and keep an open mind to catch muskies in the fall, because so often what happened last weekend, will not happen the following weekend.”

Kinda reminds me of this Pete Maina photo from a few days ago:

Winter Feet

Notice the remnant sandal tan??? 😂

Alright, let's get back to the musky info. Here's how Saric breaks down the bite in early, mid, and late fall:


“In early fall, there often is a movement of muskies shallow. In some waters it’s simply more muskies using the weed edges, but in many others, it's muskies utilizing weed flats and thick, shallow cover. Also, there are ultra-shallow movements to the inside weed edge, or even shallow rushes on sand flats.

“Remember this – when the air and water temperatures drop, muskies typically move shallower and sit on top of the structural elements. Move your boat shallower than normal and sift through the cover with spinnerbaits, topwater, minnow baits or soft plastics to extract the muskies lying in the thick cover. Focus on working the tops of the structural elements and you are usually in the game."


“As fall progresses and water temperatures drop into the low 50s, muskies will often move deeper and stage near suspended forage, or in some river systems move toward potential spawning areas. Rather than focusing on the top of the structural elements, there will be a progression deeper along the break line and often at the base of the structural element where it meets the basin.

“These deeper break lines are classic fall spots, where crankbaits, big soft plastics and jerkbaits and jigs can be extremely productive."


“As water temperatures continue to drop, muskies will congregate towards deep holes in river systems, steep-breaking shorelines associated with deep basins in lakes and deeper areas adjacent to spring spawning areas.

“It’s this time where both live bait and trolling can be extremely effective as you can optimize lure depth control and constantly have a bait in the water."

We decided to include the Early Fall section even though most of you are probably fishin' mid fall condition right now. It doesn't hurt having extra context.

Check out the Musky Hunter TV newsletter for the FULL write-up.

Sweepin' vs. Snappin'

When it comes to sucker fishin' hooksets, there's two schools of thought:

The Sweep and the Snap.

One thing's for sure, you need to bust the sucker free from the hooks to maximize your chances of keeping the fish pinned.

As you can see in this clip from Burnin' Eights, some guys like to jack 'em, all but guaranteeing the sucker breaks free:

Sucker Hookset

Alternatively, guys like Jeremy Smith opt for a less aggressive, sweeping hookset:

Livebait Musky Hookset

Jer uses rubber band rigs which easily tear away from the sucker without a big, hard rip.

Just out of curiosity, what's your sucker hookset strategy? Vote below:

A – The Snap

B – The Sweep

Josh's Sucker Settin' Strategy

If you want one guy's perspective, here's how MN guide Josh Borovsky lays the smackdown on sucker slurpin' muskies:

“First and foremost, I’ll make sure the sucker is swimming directly away from me, so I can drive the trebles directly into the mouth of the fish.

“As soon as I'm in position for a hookset, I’ll let the musky pull the rod tip almost all the way down to the water, then with a little slack in the line, I’ll pivot my body away from the fish, and violently set the hook – I tell my clients to imagine they’re swinging an axe and chopping a piece of wood on the opposite side of the boat.

“The little bit of slack in the line before the snap-set helps tear the hooks free from the minnow.

“It sounds extra-aggressive, but the hooks get buried and the fish go bananas when you hook ‘em like this.”

Bigger than you'd think....

Guys have been keeping it close to the chest this year, but make no mistake, the Whale Tail is a coldwater killer!

Most folks we've talked to are surprised just how big these jumbo grubs really are. To help put things in perspective, here's a shot on a bump board next to a Magnum Bull Dawg:

Whale Tail

Boatside Topper Strike

How 'bout this super sweet cross-face eat courtesy of Jeff Andersen on a topwater figure-8.

Figure 8 Musky

Nothing else to add, just thought it was a sick clip.


– 49" figure-8 musky (video)

– Six fish day on LSC (video)

– How to tie musky leaders (video)

– Vilas County Muskies w/ W&W and Rob Manthei (video)


(Times based on Minneapolis)

lunar calendar

musky frenzyWhale Tail Luressupernatural big baits


This plus-sized tanker is already in late fall form! David "Dr. Boom" Olson is no strangers to big 'skies, and this one went 53.25" x 26.25" on his tape. #thick

Fall Musky Fishing

Cory Svobodny cracked this 53" Metro reef-runner casting rubber up in the weeds.

metro musky

Congrats to Ty Sjodin for bustin' his new PB while filming an episode of Angling Edge TV on legendary Eagle Lake.

Eagle Lake Muskie

Zach Brew got more than he bargained for when he set the hook on this 55" monster 'skie on Lake of the Woods.

lake of the woods musky fishing

Stealth Tackle

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