The Hackensack area is very close to Leech Lake, which is known for its excellent muskie fishing. If you want to fish some of the lakes for muskie in Hackensack, try Baby Lake and Mann Lake. Both lakes have muskie in them, but don’t expect to find many large fish in these lakes.
Baby Lake (Cass County, MN)
Baby Lake is a 705 acre lake located near Hackensack, Minnesota that has 11.73 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 69 feet. There is a state owned public access on the southeast shore. Baby Lake is a good multi-species lake with muskie, northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass all here in good enough numbers to target them. Panfish include bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch.
Man Lake (Cass County, MN)
Man Lake is a 445 acre lake with a maximum depth of 93 feet. There is no public access on the lake, however anglers using small fishing boats may be able to access the lake through the inlet channel from Baby Lake, which has a state-owned public access. Man Lake is a good fishing lake for a variety of fish. Good populations of muskie are available to go along with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye. Northern pike, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are here in good numbers too. Walleye have a history of having low to moderate numbers of walleye, but there are some quality walleye in this lake. Other fish include bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch.
McKeown Lake (Cass County, MN)
McKeown Lake is a smaller lake that is connected to Man Lake via a small boat channel. Like the other lakes in this chain, there are a variety of fish to target. Muskie, northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch are available in this lake.
Woman Lake (Cass County, MN)
Woman Lake is a 5496 acre lake with a maximum depth of 54 feet. It is one of the better lakes in this area with several species of fish to target. This is a good lake for walleye and northern pike. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskie, bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch are also available in the lake.
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.