Musky America Magazine

just enough speed to keep the frog, big worm or lizard moving on or approaching the surface. It's strange how Musky hit these plastics. They simply swim up, lightly grab them and swim away. Bright lure colors help to keep the bait in sight at distances of up to 50 feet. Use the white/green or yellow/green color combination for best results. Incidentally, monitoring the bait's progress while retrieving is necessary in timing the hook set. Picking up great amounts of line to set the hook is no problem with a rod of this length. What is a problem is getting a good hook set. The best way I've found is to set the hook by striking the palm of your reeling hand, against the butt end of the rod... sharply. The hand holding the rod will act as a pivot point. This fast downward motion on the butt end with your cranking hand away from the body and towards the fish delivers a tremendous hook-setting force. Practice this procedure outdoors with a less forceful movement. Pushing the rod butt only six inches away from the body, propels the rod tip four feet in the opposite hook setting direction. This shock of energy will rip the hook from the plastic body, impaling it into the Musky's jaw. The importance of sharp hooks is also vital with this presentation. When fighting a fish in this skinny water, it is critical to get near the fish rapidly, usually within 20 to 25 feet. Most fish will leave shallow water heading for greater depths when the boat becomes visible. During the fight is when the long rod really comes into its own. Applying heavy pressure on the fish, even with only 12# test line is possible. Taking up slack line from jumps, head shakes, runs and continuing to keep constant pressure on the fish is no problem. One bit of caution must be practiced when landing a fish with long rods. Leave enough line out from the rod tip to enable landing a fish 3 - 4 feet away from