5 expert anglers reveal their secret—and unconventional—tactics for walleye, bass, trout, pike, muskies & channel cats


Gord Pyzer says snags can often lead to big results (see next page for more)

One hot evening this past summer, I was casting for muskies at a favourite spot with two expert anglers, my grandson Liam and our friend Jason Matity, when out charged one of the biggest muskies I’ve ever seen. She was easily 54 inches long, and she had her nose planted right behind Liam’s glide bait. Liam performed a text-book figure-eight, picking up speed on the turn while twitching the bait, but the mammoth muskie sank out of sight.

The three of us frantically scanned the water to see where she went, while Liam hung his lure dead still, three feet down alongside the boat. That’s when we may well have heard the theme song from Jaws build to a crescendo as the muskie reappeared, opened her mouth and nipped the tail of the lure.


Although Liam performed another picture-perfect figure-eight to entice the muskie to keep chasing, she disappeared again. He managed to raise her a few more times, but she would only bump his bait every time he hung it motionless over the side of the boat. That is not how you’re supposed to catch the fish of 10,000 casts when it’s hot on the heels of your lure. But this fish—like so many others—had clearly not read the rule book.

In the end, we didn’t catch that muskie, but we did learn a valuable lesson: sometimes you just have to forget everything you think you know about how, when and where to catch fish, and break the rules instead. Just ask some of Canada’s most accomplished expert anglers. Here are a few of the lessons they’ve learned, where experimentation or unorthodox tactics resulted in success. But first, let’s start with one of mine.