Best Musky Rods For Fishing in Michigan

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I have been fishing the waters of Lake Michigan for many years and it is one of my favorite things to do. Many spots in Michigan are good for musky fishing. Some of my favorites are: Lake St. Clair, Budd Lake, Mullet Lake and many others. Large muskies are fairly common in these lakes, but choosing the best musky rods is of utmost importance. Like choosing the correct oil to put in your car, you must have the correct fishing rod for your experience.

3 Things Are Important When Choosing the Best Muskie Rod

1. Strength of the fishing rod
2. Quality of the fishing rod
3. Performance of the muskie rod

Several years ago, I discovered St. Croix musky rods while visiting the NP Outdoor Expo. St. Croix are the only musky rods that I have encountered that deliver on all 3 of the above, and for me they are the best muskie rods on the market when fishing for musky in Michigan or anywhere else. They are made of quality graphite and fit the bill perfectly.

Musky Rods: Other Factors To Consider

1. Engineering
2. Craftsmanship

The St. Croix musky rod has been engineered from a design perspective to deliver results. As far as feel and craftsmanship, I have not encountered any musky rod that is even close the St. Croix rods.

Another item that is important to me is that the St. Croix company is based in Wisconsin, so these people understand Musky fishing and are located in the Midwest. Being a native Midwesterner, I enjoy my annual pilgrimage trips in search of musky. So whether you choose to fish in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or any other location, please consider this fishing rod. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

Last year, on my annual trip to Budd Lake, I was lucky to catch several large Musky using my St. Croix musky rods, and to me fishing is about enjoyment. If you enjoy the outdoors, and love fishing as much as I do, you will not be disappointed with these rods.

best musky rods for michigan or wisconsin

My biggest issue is finding more time to be able to go musky fishing. I spend too much time working, and would love to spend more time in the clean air and clear lakes in search of the majestic muskies. My goal upon retirement (hopefully sooner rather than later) is to go musky fishing many times a year, and work less.

My Final Thoughts About St. Croix Musky Rods

Muskie fishing is one of the great joys of the outdoors in the Great Lakes region and I highly recommend the St. Croix musky rods to enhance your experience and catch more fish. We all know that luck has a certain element in fishing, but using the correct fishing rod for the job, only will enhance your chances of landing many fish.

So go and enjoy the outdoors and experience the majesty and thrill of catching fish in some of the cleanest, clearest water the world has to offer. And more importantly, go have fun and enjoy your time with a clear mind away from the trouble of everyday life.

Multiple Musky Rods Catch More Muskies

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Where we fish on Lake Michigan, two rods per each angler are allowed. We like to fish with Fenwick HMGs, Abu Garcia Conolon Premiers, and St. Croix Legends, which are perhaps the best musky rods for sale today. Each of these musky rods feature medium-heavy power and medium-fast action. For night time musky fishing, we place strips of white, reflective 3M automotive tape about 25 inches below the musky rod tip in order to help us see how the rod tips are performing after dark.

Best Musky Rods For Any Season

The only true way for any fisherman to know for sure which musky rods work best in a given season is to get out there and fish. One needs to really experiment with different brands and lengths of muskie rods. I personally prefer to use a longer musky rod, since I find that it gives me better lure control. That being said, I do sometimes like to switch things up.

best musky rods

When the water is cool, like in spring or fall, I use longer musky rods, with a medium-heavy action. This allows me to cast larger lures further, and gives me better control of the heavier bait.

When the water temperatures warm up into the 60 degree range, I may switch to a slightly shorter musky rod. This is because in the summer, I may use smaller, lighter lures, and having a lighter and shorter rod allows for better control over these types of lures. Jerk baits and crank baits can be more easily controlled with a shorter, medium action muskie rod.

Musky Rods Placement Is Important

When I am out in the boat alone, I fish with one musky rod out on both sides of the boat, with each of the musky rods perpendicular to the fishing boat and parallel to the surface of the lake. With multiple musky rods set, I have to clear the muskie rods from the side of the boat if a muskie bites. Then, if necessary, I will clear the other side of the boat for a bigger fish.

multiple musky rods

Using a six musky rod set is essentially the same as using the four muskie rod set, with the main difference being that the other 2 musky rods are set in rod holders towards the bow of the boat. I will typically run these fishing lines by spreading them out with some in-line boards. I additionally use the 3M reflective tape on inside and top of the boards for night muskie fishing. I picked up this tip from my good buddy Sam over at MarinFish.org.

When I have several fishermen with me in the boat, I will run my musky rods on the left (port) side of the boat, since I am driving. It’s best when I put one of my longer musky rods (6.5′ to 8′) up towards the front of the boat, as far forward as possible. I try to have this musky rod parallel to the lake and perpendicular to the boat. My second muskie rod is about 5.5-6.5′ long and is placed should be in a fishing rod holder about 12 inches or more behind the front musky rod. This rod is angled with it’s tip up a bit about 20-30 degrees. By placing the rods in this configuration, I get about a 4-foot fishing line spread, which helps to reduce my chances for line tangles.

 

Trolling For Muskies In Lake Michigan

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Perhaps the most important aspect of trolling for muskies in Lake Michigan is finding the best electric trolling motor for sale online. Next up is proper boat control, which is to say keeping your musky lures at the proper depth and in the right place, and running the boat at the correct speed to ensure that you cover lots of lake surface efficiently. Spending ample time out on the lake practicing controlling your fishing boat is really the best way to learn how to properly maneuver your boat to get your desired results.

best electric trolling motor for sale
The most effective way to remain on proper depth settings is to utilize two sonar fish finder units simultaneously, with one transducer mounted on the bottom of trolling motor at the front of the boat, and the other at the stern. This method enables you to read the depth on the front fish finder 14 to 21 feet and a few seconds before your musky lures get to that spot. This time allows you to make critical adjustments to your lures to keep them functioning properly along bottom edges.

Best Electric Trolling Motor For Sale Online

For my money, the best electric trolling motor for sale that I found was the Minn Kota Endura C2 30. This electric trolling motor starts at only $99, which makes it’s value hard to beat. It has 5 forward speeds combined with 3 reverse speeds which have proven to provide great boat control while trolling. This electric trolling motor boasts of having an “indestructible composite shaft” and is backed by a lifetime warranty. If you have a little higher budget than I did however, you may want to get a trolling motor with a few more features. One place that I found helpful with lots of electric trolling motor reviews was BoomerangSportFishing.com.

While it is true that the majority of the muskies that I catch while trolling are swimming along some sort of edge, like the edge of a rock bar, or a weed edge. However, I also catch hungry muskie out in the middle of what seems like nowhere, but odds are good that a school of smaller baitfish and/or some type of structure is close by. By maintaining the ideal course that keeps your muskie lures working right along the edges that you find, you are sure to catch muskies consistently while trolling. Having the best electric trolling motor for sale makes this task far more simple.

Trolling Locations

During the summer months I typically focus on tiger muskies roaming in the open water along the shores of Jean Klock Park, where there are schools of small baitfish. When fall rolls around, however, I focus on areas that have a little more current, which I have found usually attracts baitfish. Causeways and bridges also tend to attract fish. Having a good electric trolling motor makes it easy to troll both downstream or upstream from any position, while you look for the best areas which hold the most baitfish.

Trolling Water Temperature

Lastly, as fall approaches and water temperatures start to drop near 45F, I have more success trolling for muskies at nighttime near baitfish-rich areas, and trolling at a speed of about 1 mph. Granted, trolling for muskies on Lake Michigan at night should only be left to anglers with many years of experience.

Check out this neat video I came across of two guys explaining some of the basics of trolling for muskies.

Tiger Muskie Fishing In Lake Michigan

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tiger musky fishing luresLocated along the shores of Lake Michigan, Jean Klock Park is one of Michigan’s great treasures. Growing up in the area, I can remember dad taking me out in the boat in Lake Michigan along the shores of the beach of Jean Klock Park. Out on the lake, we would fish primarily for salmon, which is what most fishermen of Lake Michigan aim to catch. But, did you know, that Lake Michigan is also home to some rare musky and even rarer tiger muskies? Although, muskies are rarely caught on Lake Michigan, as very few anglers actually set out to go tiger muskie fishing in Lake Michigan. Grab one of your favorite muskie rods and get ready as we explain more about tiger musky fishing in Lake Michigan.

According to the Michigan DNR, Michigan is home to two types of muskie – the Northern musky and the Great Lakes muskie. In 2011, the state shifted it’s focus more towards raising Great Lakes muskie. Tiger muskies, which are a hybrid between muskellunge and northern pike, used to also be stocked in Michigan. However, tiger muskies are no longer being raised in Michigan fish hatcheries. While more abundant in in-land lakes with more northern pike, naturally-produced tiger muskie are very rarely caught on Lake Michigan.

tiger muskie

The reason that muskies in Lake Michigan are so rare, and almost always caught by “accident”, is because the lake lacks something that most smaller lakes offer. Structure. You see, Lake Michigan is essentially a giant sand box under all of that water. In order to thrive in larger numbers, musky require weed beds, rock piles, and steep edges. The flat bottom and lack of structure make Lake Michigan less ideal for tiger muskie than smaller lakes.

The Great Lakes muskie of Michigan are by far most common in the Detroit River and the very popular Lake St. Clair. Lake St. Clair features world-class tiger muskie fisheries, and offers an extensive fleet of musky charter boats that aim to catch muskellunge by trolling for muskies. Additionally, the number of smaller, private boat anglers that jig or cast for musky also continues to grow. The Lake St. Clair musky season opens the first Saturday in June and closes on December 15th. The later tiger muskie season is because the water system is fed by much colder, Lake Michigan water.

Interest in fishing in Michigan is likely to increase thanks to the focus on Great Lakes muskie and the number of lakes that have been stocked with them. This is great news for the state’s economy. The shift to muskies is anticipated to lure anglers in from other states, like Wisconsin and Indiana. Although, it will take several years before the muskies are more common in the catch. Using Lake St. Clair’s musky fishery as a guide of what to expect, muskie fishing in Lake Michigan is something worth waiting for.

Check out this video of awesome tiger muskie fishing in Michigan. If this doesn’t get your blood pumping, or make you want to help to preserve Michigan’s natural wonders like Jean Klock Park, then we don’t know what will.

Back in February of 2014, Howard Meyerson wrote a great article describing the musky stocking efforts of the state. The author doe s a nice job of explaining the details of the state’s muskie stocking program. We encourage you to give it a read. You can also learn more about tiger muskies at TigerMuskie.net.