Vulnerable Muskies = 👇 – Casting off Wrong Side – Ugly Muskies

Vulnerable Muskies = 👇 – Casting off Wrong Side – Ugly Muskies

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Taps & Tackle

Does it REALLY matter....

...which side of the boat you cast off?

The answer is "YES", according to guide & Insider co-owner Josh Borovsky:

"First of all, it’s important to have a designated side of the boat that you fish from, regardless of what side that is.

"Most of us accumulate extra rods and loose baits on the deck throughout the day. It's best to keep your casting side clean and pile extra gear behind you, away from the action.

"Foot placement is an important, yet often overlooked, factor in achieving the widest possible figure 8 turns. The closer your toes are to the edge of the boat, the wider your turn will be. This also helps you get closer to the boat or underneath it as you come back in the straightaway."

In other words, trying to cast/figure 8 over your gear is bad news.

Now that you know you can't fancast around the boat willy-nilly like your bass fishin' buddies, which side should you choose?

"In my opinion, the side of the boat that you choose to cast off of can have a significant impact on both your hooksets as well as your overall figure 8 success."


"Have you ever got rocked by a musky and felt like the rod almost got pulled out of your hand? More than likely, that's because the weak point of your grip was facing the fish.

"Whenever you hold a fishing rod (or really anything), there's a weak point and a strong point to your grip. The weak point will always be the seam between your thumb and fingers. Personal safety/self defense instructors will teach you to look for weak grip points when an assailant grabs your arm. It's fairly easy to rip your arm free if you pull in the direction of that weak point."

Who'da thought those Rex Kwon Do classes would help us catch more 'skies 😉

Hookset Mistake

Just kiddin' man! Back to the tips....

"The same concept applies when you hold a fishing rod. Generally, if you reel with your right hand, you should be fishing off the port side or passenger side of the boat. If you’re casting perpendicular off that side of the boat, the strong part of your grip will face the fish. Which means even if you’re not paying attention or you're looking at your electronics when you get rocked by a fish, it pulls the rod into your hand vs. pulling the rod out."


"Your figure 8's work out better on the port side as well. As you sweep your rod from left-to-right along the side of the boat before the first big turn, you can keep the strong part of your grip facing the bait as you fight the extra drag of accelerating your bait at close quarters until your other hand comes off the reel and gives you more power."

Figure 8

Another key but often overlooked advantage is that generally the boat has some type of forward movement as you work around a structure. This movement helps pull/accelerate your bait at the end of your retrieve as it approaches the boat. This can be a big triggering factor before you get into the eight. (see GIF above)

"Conversely, if you make the same left-to-right sweep off the other side of the boat, the movement of the boat will actually slow down your boatside sweep instead of speed it up which is typically not a good thing."

So there you have it – one side hurts ya, one side helps ya!

Note: If you reel with your left hand, everything is reversed. Cast on the starboard/driver side and start your figure 8 going right-to-left.

Some Uglies!

This big gal from Nicolas Perrier might be ugly (snub-noser), but that didn't stop her from growing to some impressive proportions!

Big Merp

At first glance, I honestly thought @mtbsnowgirl was hoisting a small sturgeon in her ice shack. Turns out, it was just a lean, mean musky.

Skinny Musky

This Ontario 'skie from @2b_fishing isn't winning any beauty contests!

Super Ugly Muskie

This out-east musky from Jacques Jocko Godin wouldn't have made the "ugly list" before it's snout mishap. We've seen injuries like this in the past from Boga grip use.

Gash Mouth Musk

"Vulnerable Fish"

Here's an interesting one for ya....

I came across this quote from a musky study by John Bieber, Michael J. Louison, Cory D. Suski and thought we'd share here in the newsletter:

"Fish that strike angling lures often have a set of characteristics that predispose them to capture. Vulnerable fish may then be removed from a population, either through harvest or incidental mortality, and in turn leave individuals in a population that are less vulnerable to angling.

"Over time, the removal of vulnerable individuals can erode capture rates, possibly resulting in evolutionary changes if traits that result in capture correlate with characteristics such as fecundity or growth"

What's your opinion on this??

Not sure how they could measure this or have any definitive data to observe this happening in regular lake/river environments.

Also, this makes no mention of fishing pressure and conditioning, which is an entirely different topic that we discuss ALL THE TIME in the musky world.

This Week's Mashup:

Mashup tiime!

#1 – I think Pamela Corwin has a winner with these musky earrings! Trade out those beads for some blades and they'll be perfect 😉

Musky Earings

#2 – This photo was sent in by Russ Smity Smith – he chainsawed this wooden kid-sized musky statue for his grandson Charlie's Christmas present:

Wooden Musky Carving

#3 – When you bring one of your bass/walleye fishin' buddies on your annual musky trip and he starts asking about heading back to shore for dinner....

He's a little slow

#4 – Really cool headshot by photographer and musky angler Austin Green:

Head Photo


– Weed choked musky waters w/ Keyes Outdoors (video)

– Small bait river musky fishing w/ Todays Angler (video)

– "Nite Bite" w/ Mayhems 10k Casts (video)

– Tips on working a jerkbaits w/ Burnin' Eights (video)

– MN Muskies series w/ Smiths Fishing (video)

– "Northwoods Hawg" w/ Joe Bucher (video)

Muskies Inc


What an absolute slob of a 50+ inch 'skie from Shawn Golabowski fishin' with his buddy Phil:

Big Muskies

Gorgeous nighttime inland Wisconsin musky from Adam Flasch – awesome fish dude!

Night Wisconsin Muskie

Congrats to Steve Smith on popping this barred beauty fishing with Jim Saric and Scott Schuster during a recent episode of Musky Hunter TV. You can click here to watch the full video.

Tiger Muskie

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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