Gord Pyzer’s 50 best tips, secrets and tactics for catching monster muskies


Tip # 31

#31  When I troll for fall muskies, I pick a shoreline, shoal or structure and work the 10- to 15-foot contour zone first. Then I troll the 15- to 20-foot sector before finishing up on the 20- to 25-foot stretch. It’s critical to troll as precisely as you cast.

#32  The problem with marquee muskie waters is that everything looks like it should be holding fish, but that’s not the case. It’s important, therefore, to stay mobile and test a variety of structures and cover. If you’re not seeing fish, it’s because they’re not there, so keep moving.


#33  I wear down the lips, bills and noses on my trolling baits to the point where they become unusable. If I’m not constantly banging bottom or frequently hanging up, I feel out of the game.

Tip # 34

#34  In my early years of muskie fishing, I brought along so many lures that I was overwhelmed. These days, I carry just one box with two dozen carefully selected confidence baits that let me cover every depth and speed option. It’s actually underwhelming, but I catch more fish.

#35  Muskie anglers tend to only fish the edges of weeds, but the big toothy critters will bury themselves in the middle of the grass, making you swear they’ve vanished. If you cover the mid-section with a surface bait, however, you’ll discover they’ve gone nowhere.


#36  Many muskie lakes experience algal blooms, leading anglers to throw up their hands in dismay. But the fish have spent eons in these systems and rarely miss a meal, algae or no algae, so keep fishing.

#37  A trick I learned from the late Bob Vander Velden, the inventor of the Bobbie Bait, is to never leave a spot where you raise a muskie. Bob would troll his namesake bait for hours, back and forth, until he caught the fish.


#38  I always try to establish a pattern, but I don’t hook enough muskies to do it the same way as I would with walleye and bass. Just seeing a muskie follow, however, is good enough to add the specific location, depth and speed details into my pattern-building database.

Tip # 39

#39  Since muskies are curious apex predators, few things frighten them. I use that to my advantage by casting my lure—especially a Bondy Bait—into the air and letting it splash down to catch the fish’s attention and give it a target to zero in on.

#40  Sometimes, I’ll drill a hole in the bottom of a jerkbait and pour in lead to get the bait down deeper. More often, though, I’ll add a bell sinker to the front split ring. That way, I can swap out the weight to match the depth and mood of the fish.