''Self-Torturing Anglers'' – Tips for Turnover – 57-incher caught

''Self-Torturing Anglers'' – Tips for Turnover – 57-incher caught

If you're looking for fishing tips for other species, make sure to check out hookset.co – lots of good info over there!

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Thoughts on Turnover

It's that time of year again – time for the turnover to start becoming a factor.

Turnover occurs when the water above the thermocline becomes denser than the water below the thermocline (colder water = denser water), circulating the entire water column with oxygen.

This typically happens when surface temperatures start to creep into the low 50's.

Believe it happens something like this:

the blob

Anyway, fishing around turnover can be tricky – but don't worry, MN guide Josh Borovsky has a few tips if you're fishin' larger, multi-basin lakes or a chain of lakes. (ie. Vermilion, LOTW, Eagle River chain, Fox River chain, Minnetonka, etc.)

"First of all, keep in mind the entire lake and it's individual basins may not turn over at the same time, especially if we have a gradual cool down. The deeper basins may hold on longer with a good pre-turnover bite while the shallower basins are flipping.

"If we get a big cold blast with plummeting water temps, then everything may turnover at once. But the shallower basins will generally recover more quickly.

"On multi-basin lakes, I believe the turnover process triggers mass movements and migrations of fish of all species. This movement and scattering of fish is what can make the fishing somewhat challenging

"However, an effective strategy for dealing with the movement of muskies and their forage is to fish the bottlenecks and/or channels between the basins, along with any pinch points within them."

lotw map

"Any fish moving from one basin to another needs to travel through these constricted areas to get where they're going. Focusing on these areas during turnover has led to some outstanding days in my boat when many others have struggled.

"I've had success throwing blades, gliders, dive & rise baits, tubes, beavers and rubber this time of year."

Hopefully that helps you narrow things down and hook a few more muskies over the coming weeks! 👍

Tips for Beginners

Upside Down Reed

Musky huntin' is a hardcore, highly technical task, and if you don't have much experience/guidance, it's easy to make common rookie mistakes.

If you're new to the sport, make sure you watch these two videos from Joe Bucher and Todays Angler – both have a bunch of great tips. It's tough to give good universal advice that's applicable to everyone, but here's a few things we'd recommend:

1. Get in the boat with someone who knows what they're doing. That's the quickest "shortcut" to success. Hiring a guide and asking them a BUNCH of questions will save you years of trying to figure things out yourself.

2. Join your local Muskies Inc. chapter. Not only will you benefit from networking with other musky-heads, but you get access to their Lunge Log database, which has catch data for most musky waters in North America that can be sorted by lake, lures, date, conditions, structure, etc.

3. Start with smaller bodies of water that hold a good population of muskies. Big lakes get all the pub, but it's a lot easier to pick apart low acreage fisheries.

4. Don't go crazy with bait selection early on. Start with a small handful of easy to use lures like bucktails, swimbaits, crankbaits, and topwaters. Once you're comfortable and you've put a few fish in the boat, expand your arsenal into different categories that are more technical and challenging.

The deck is stacked against you, so you'll need to find ways to simplify the "game" and utilize high percentage strategies to put fish in the boat. The more time you spend on the water, the more you'll learn!

Hoisting Hawgs

Just like there's more than one way to skin a cat, there's more than one way to hold a musky....

We've all seen the traditional horizontal hold like this one from Jimmy Lindner:

Jim Lindner Muskie

And we all know to avoid vertical holds and boga grips:

Bad Musky Hold

Hate to see pics like that, but it's a good reminder that we need to continue (politely) educating anglers about proper musky handling/mortality.

Next up, someone who's held his fair share of muskies....

Still trying to figure out how Bucher pulls off the "Cross-Over Joe" hold. 🤔

Joe Bucher Musky

Here's a beautiful fly-style tail grab from Casey Birkholz in Utah:

Fly Fishing Musky Hold

And then there's the "help-a-buddy-out" hold – always a fan favorite:

Lindner Musky

No matter how you hold 'em, make sure you're doing it with the fish's health in mind. Support the body and let 'em go gently to swim another day!

"The fish that attracts self-torturing anglers"

You guessed it – they're talkin’ about musky fishing 😂

Here's the full quote:

"The fish attracts the self-torturing angler to drag a large spinner behind the boat for not just hours but sometimes weeks just to get a strike."

Sound familiar?

muskie meme

Esox lucius vs. Esox masquinongy

We've all heard the old adage that you shouldn't bite off more than you can chew.

Well, I think it's fair to say pike aren't terribly cautious when it comes to choosing their next lunchtime snack....

Exhibit A:

Pike eats a Muskie

Glenn Henneman found these two tangled up in a central MN lake. Sounds like the musky was still alive, but probably didn't make it.

Not something you see everyday – usually it's the other way around....


– Muskie Shootout on Leech – Oct 12-13 (link)

– Podcast interview with Jim Doyle (link)

– Where to fish LSC musky in fall (video)

– Bass eats musky bait, then musky eats bass (video)

– 50" LOTW musky with Peric (video)


(Times based on Minneapolis)

Moon chart

big baitsmuskyfrenzylakelabs


Green Bay couldn't finish off the Eagles yesterday, but thankfully the locals still have an insane musky fishery on the Bay. This monster from Phil Stodola hit FIFTY-SEVEN inches on the bump board. Long, lean, and MEAN!

Big Musky

Speaking of the Bay....Here's a couple of Green Bay beauties from Nick Eddy (top) and Doug Wegner (bottom). Nick's came trolling cranks and Doug's came casting a double 10 Apache bucktail.

If we had a little more room, I'd show the other two chunkers they boated together.

Green Bay Muskies

This big ole Lake St. Clair 'skie smashed the Dussa and tore the rod clean out of Jon Richard's hands before eventually hitting the net. Quick note from his guide Rick Wacasey:

"I looked to see him scrambling to save the rod from going in the lake. This happened 15-20 minutes after we had talked about being ready at all times, as muskies like to lull you to sleep. Sharp hooks, a good enough hook-set and some luck helped us put this girl in the bag."

Congrats on a great fish Jon!

Muskie Lake St. Clair

This Wisco water wolf was looking for a late night snack when she chomped Chris Anderson's bucktail. Straight up bruiser!

Night Muskie Wisconsin

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