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River Monsters: How to Tangle with Moving-Water Muskies

3 surefire techniques to put more toothy fish in the boat this spring.

River Monsters: How to Tangle with Moving-Water Muskies

Early-spring muskies holding in deep pools are fairly inactive, but will respond to smaller offerings dropped in front of their faces. (Photo by Jeff Knapp)

My 4-inch tube jig, dressed over a 1/4-ounce insert-style jighead, had barely landed along the sun-drenched bank when I felt a sharp tick. Following the reactive hookset, my medium-action spinning rod doubled over.

In water that barely scratched the 40-degree mark, the fish put up a strong but admittedly lethargic battle. A few minutes later, a 44-inch musky was safely in the bag of the Stowmaster net I keep on board for just such an incidental musky encounter when the primary targets are walleyes and smallmouths.

That experience took place nearly two decades ago. In the time since, I’ve come to learn that such events aren’t necessarily incidental. In rivers that...

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