5 pro anglers (reluctantly) reveal their top-secret tactics for bass, lakers, muskies and walleye


Guide Lisa Goodier says a Twist’d Sist’r Clicker (below) is perfect for her slow-troll muskie tactic


TARGET: Muskies

TACTIC: Slow-troll a noisy topwater

Ottawa River Musky Factory guide Lisa Goodier is always looking for new ways for her guests to catch big toothy critters. Her latest favourite trick is to slowly tow a surface lure behind the boat. “I never fish when I am guiding,” she says, “but I will cast a topwater lure behind the boat and put my rod in a holder for my guests. There are times when it’s just crawling behind the boat, and the muskies slam it. I caught multiple muskies last year when the bait was barely moving on the surface.”

Goodier remembers one specific instance at the end of a long, tiring day when one of her guests had no reserves left in the tank. He was sitting on the back seat, twitching a topwater bait behind the boat, while his friends were up front casting. The boat was manoeuvring along a weedline, with the electric trolling motor set at less than 1.2 km/h, when a muskie circled the guest’s bait and devoured it.


“The more noise your bait is making, the better,” Goodier says, noting that metal-on-metal clanking is best. “I think it’s the higher frequency sound that does it.” For example, she says a Twist’d Sist’r Clicker from Big Mama Lures is effective because it has a piece of metal hanging down that hits the prop. Likewise, the hook on a Lake X Lures Fat Bastard will click against the prop right out of the package; if it doesn’t, she’ll add an extra split ring to get the hook further back so it makes the “tink, tink, tink noise.”

Twist’d Sist’r Clicker

As for when to put the tactic to use, Goodier says it works under a variety of conditions. “A lot of people don’t throw topwaters on tough, blue-sky days, but, for me, that’s when it’s all about putting your bait right in front of a muskie’s face,” she says. “If the fish is sitting tight in a weed pocket—even if it’s not in a positive mood—and you drag something slowly over its head, you’ll get a vicious reaction bite.”Ironically, if there’s one issue with this turtle-slow presentation, Goodier says, it’s that the strikes are so visual and vicious. As a result, anglers watching the scene unfold get so excited when the adrenaline takes over that they try to set the hook too soon and miss the fish.