Muskie fishing is very good in the Detroit Lakes area of Minnesota. You will find a variety of lakes that offer anglers a good chance to catch a muskie as well as a shot at a trophy fish in the 50 inch range.
Detroit Lake (Becker County, MN)
Detroit Lake is known for having a variety of species to catch. Game fish include muskie, walleye, largemouth bass and northern pike. Panfish include bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch. This lake gets a lot of attention from muskie anglers. The stocking efforts have been successful and muskie up to and above 50 inches are possible.
Lake Sallie (Becker County, MN)
Lake Sallie is a popular lake. It gets a lot of fishing pressure, but it keeps producing quality fish. There are a variety of fish to target on the lake, but the northern pike fishery is what really stands out here. Northern pike 24 inches or greater in length have been protected from harvest by an experimental regulation since 1996. This regulation was intended to allow more pike to survive to larger sizes and to reduce the number of small pike. This has helped this lake grow some very big northern pike. There are good numbers of walleye in this lake. Other fish include largemouth bass, muskie, bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch.
Using Leaders for Muskie
Muskie have some serious teeth. Use quality steel leaders to avoid bite-offs. If you are fishing clear water, you may need to go with a fluorocarbon leader to get bit. Most anglers will not go any lighter than 100 lb. fluorocarbon for muskie and don’t be shocked if you lose a big fish due to a bite-off. Some anglers go as heavy as 140 to 150 pound fluorocarbon. Ideally, you want to be as stealthy as you can so you can get more bites, but if you go too light with the fluorocarbon, you risk losing fish and possibly killing some big fish due to the lures getting stuck in their mouths.
Best Baits for Muskie
There are many types of baits to target muskie. Anglers don’t have as many options when using live baits since many of the fish that muskie eat can not be used as bait. Suckers and big chubs are usually the best options for most anglers that want to use live bait. For artificial lures, there are a variety of big baits to throw. Most anglers fish with bucktail spinners, some type of swimbait, topwater lure or jerkbait when chasing muskie.
There aren’t too many different rigs for muskie fishing because you only have so many options for throwing some of the gigantic baits needed. Also, most anglers use lures for muskie or big sucker minnows, so you really don’t need too many rigs to target muskie. However, there are still several rigs you should know about, especially if you are going to be using live bait.
Our muskie fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.