Stocking Study - Open Water Tips - Bachelor Party 'Skies

Stocking Study - Open Water Tips - Bachelor Party 'Skies

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New Stocking Study

What's the best bang for our buck when it comes to stocking?

The Iowa DNR recently conducted a study on advanced stage musky stocking to evaluate the poststocking behavior and survival of yearling muskies.

Here’s how they set-up the study . . .

They implanted radio telemetry devices into 25 yearling muskies which were greater than 14.75” in length and stocked them into two lakes (Spirit and Cornelia). These fish were released at the boat access on Cornelia and released offshore on Spirit. They then monitored the dispersal, movement, depth, vegetation use, proximity to shore, and survival of the yearlings.

Here’s what they found . . .

The fish in both lakes dispersed rapidly after stocking. The survival rates in the two lakes were between 86.7-90%! This shows that yearling muskies are proving to be a suitable alternative for fisheries with a high mortality rate.

It’s looking like the large size of yearlings reduces predation from other fish predators while offshore stocking may reduce the risk of avian or other terrestrial predation.

One other interesting tidbit . . . these fish were stocked in June and showed a preference for offshore habitat, possibly because offshore submergent vegetation had more time to grow/develop and provide cover.

Check out the full study for more deets.


Brian Truax Memorial Results

The Brian Truax Memorial Tournament happened last weekend and the field of 74 contestants registered 17 muskies.

While that may sound like a decent catch rate, a small group of people did most of the catchin’ with the top three contestants producing 12 of those 17 fish. Congrats to Tyler Schlabsz on the win! Tyler boated a 52”, 48”, 46”, and a 42” on Lake Bemidji.

We reached out to Musky Insider Pro  Instructor Kevin Cochran  to get the low down on the event. Kevin’s tournament partner Jody Marler boated a 47”, 42.5”, 42.5”, 39”, 36.5” at the event landing them in second place.

Kevin said “Most of the top teams were targeting suspending fish in the open water with tubes, beavers, and a variety of other rubbers baits.”

Alex McLean took home big fish honors with this 53.25” beast and from the looks of it he was sharing a boat with Schlabsz. That’s quite a performance! 🔥

Check out  the tournament results to see how the rest of the field stacked up. 


Open Water Tips

Forward facing sonar has made it extremely easy (maybe too easy) for folks to locate and target muskies in the open water on smaller bodies of water. But, it’s a different ballgame on large acreage low density waters. It’s more about eliminating the “dead water” as quickly as you can.

Obviously, there’s a lot of debate right now about whether eliminating that “dead water” should be done with or without a line in the water and what kind of electronics you should use to do it.

Regardless, it can feel pretty daunting on a big body of water. You still have to know where to start.

Here’s a few tips from MN guide Josh Borovsky on what to look for . . .

 1. Hard/soft bottom transitions - “We can debate about why these areas are magnets for open water muskies. But, there’s no debating it’s a thing.”

2. “I use the AutoChart Live to build my own color coded bottom composition maps. Many of our muskies come from these edges clearly marked by the color changes on the map.”

3. “Confined open water areas between or adjacent to midlake summer spots are also a safe bet to check.”

There’s a few quick tips to get you started. But, if you really want to take a deep dive on open water muskies, check out the Cutting Edge Open Water Tactics  class Luke Ronnestrand and Josh did together.


This Week's Mashup:

Mashup time!

#1 – Let’s kick this mashup off with a bachelor party gone right!

What do you do when your bachelor party falls on the Canadian musky opener? You plan a musky fishing extravaganza of course!

 Normally, you might not want photo evidence of a bachelor party, but Daniel Litwora and his buddies couldn’t resist snappin’ a few pics of the ‘skies that came into the boat. 

 Better still, this trip was capped off with Daniel putting a fiddy topside after it came unglued on the first turn of his 8. It doesn’t get any better than that!

#2-Markus Lukic may live all the way over in Serbia, but he makes some of the coolest musky creations we've seen. Check out this 51 inch wooden musky replica he made for US resident Jake Jageman's collection. 


#3-Raise your hand if this little guy puts more into his 8’s than your fishing buddies. 🙋‍♂️ 

 That’s a younger,  smaller version of Fischer Smith shared by father Jason on the Musky Fishing Tips and Tricks Facebook group. 

Gotta love the way he gets his rod parallel with the surface of the water. That’s something a lot of musky sticks need work on these days. #LostArt

#4 – Open water muskies and tubes go together like bacon and eggs. Check  out these cool colors from our friends at Taps and Tackle.  



– Muskies Grow Slower in Rivers than reservoirs (link)

– The Amazing Race Starts Now w/ 54 or Bust (video)

– Giant pike surpasses MN record (video)

– Northern Wisconsin Open Water Muskies w/ Todays Angler  (video)

– Fishing SLOP Weeds for Muskies w/ Musky Mastery (video)

Taps & TackleMuskies Inc


Ashley Holmgren of Devoted Outdoors got this tank slingin’ out in the basin.
The first musky of the season in Austin William Sandström’s boat was this dragon headed beast.
Check out this dinosaur 🦖 caught by @audetteandreeann while fishing with Chrishtian Crete . 
The big ones bite at noon 🕛🤷‍♂️. . . or at least they do for Timmy Peterzen.

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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