The Park Rapids area is known more for its walleye, pike and bass fishing in its numerous lakes, so you don’t have a lot of muskie options.  Mantrap Lake is solid and Leech Lake is about 30 miles away from Park Rapids, so depending on where your lodging is, a drive to Leech Lake may be worth it for you.

Mantrap Lake (Hubbard County, MN)

Mantrap Lake is a 1,618 acre lake located near Emmaville, MN that has over 26 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 68 feet. There are two Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) public accesses, one is located on the south side of the west basin and the other one is located on the south end of the north Arm.  Mantrap Lake is one of the better lakes to fish in this area, especially for big toothy critters.  This lake is known for producing big muskie and northern pike.  Muskie up to and above 50 inches are possible on Mantrap Lake.  Other fish include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch.

MN DNR Lake Information Report

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.

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Live Baits for Muskie

Lures for Muskie

Best Rigs for 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.

The Carolina rig, drop shot rig and quick strike rig are some of the best rigs for muskie.

Best Techniques for Muskie

Anglers use a variety of techniques for muskie.  Casting is most popular, but jigging and trolling are also very effective techniques.  Learn more about some of the best techniques for muskie page.

Learn More About Muskie

Our muskie fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.

Visit our muskie fishing website to learn more.