Musky America Magazine December Edition

CRANKIN' TIPS Close to the end of every retrieve is a point when the crankbait will make a sudden turn upward. This happens as the lure gets close to the boat. With practice you will be able to feel this point of maximum depth and know when the upward turn is taking place. This is the point during your retrieve that you must pay close attention to, "the trigger turn". You can easily notice this turn because the line becomes more vertical. This initial turn upward gives an illusion of prey fleeing for its' life and will generate some tremendous strikes from a following muskie. When the lure comes close to the boat you should be able to see or feel it. At this point start your figure eight and allow the lure to follow behind the rod tip one to three feet, depending on depth. This tactic for Muskies is often overlooked. At least thirty percent of strikes occur at boat side upon execution of the figure eight. The proper figure eight starts with a smooth transition into the initial turn, keeping your lure at a steady speed while going into the second and third turns. A slow, curious muskie will follow your bait to the boat and this direction change can entice a strike from cautious fish. If the lure happens to get hung up in the timber, and it will, slowly give slack line or some light "jiggles" to work it free. Let it float to the surface and continue the normal retrieve. Always pay attention to a surfacing bait. The quick swirls are exciting. If you can't get the hooks free, DO NOT continue to jerk and pull! You will only drive the hooks deeper into the soft timber. Don't make it harder than it has to be to get your lure free, go to the snag and use a lure knocker. Timber is not the place to let Muskies run and tire out. You have to use a lot of pressure when getting fish to the boat and away