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West Virginia Wildlife
Catching Musky
Patrick McMurtry It Takes Knowledge And Patience...But Worth It

July 3, 2013
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


Whether you're throwing a plug the size of a nice crappie, or cruising the lake with four poles out trolling, catching musky takes time, patience and knowledge. We wanted to get some tips on catching these big guys, so we went to the state's chapter of Muskies, Inc. and talked to Jim Moore the chapter president.

"It's a great activity. Musky can be caught, years ago they called them the fish of 10,000 casts-that's not true any more." says Moore.

Jim knows as much about musky as anyone around, and more about catching them than anyone you'll run across.

He says there's basically two methods to getting a 50 inch monster musky to hit your plug.

"Two main tactics, casting and trolling. most of the time, in winter months, you're casting is probably most effective. Fish tend to be shallower, especially early in the year when they're spawning and move up to shallower water and they follow bait fish. Trolling, you mostly troll in the summer months, especially in lakes, they move out to deeper banks." says Moore.

We're going after musky one a hot June morning, so after doing this for a couple of hours, we decide to put out some line and troll. There's five or six boats in our group, and that means five or six different types of bait and plugs-this is a sport where individuality counts for something.

"It's up to the individual, we tend to use smaller baits in colder waters, you notice today we're trolling some and we might use 8-10" baits. This lake, Stonewall Jackson, because of all the shad around, we tend to use smaller bait even when we're trolling around." says Moore.

The bait these guys use are pretty cool. Some are pretty expensive, hand carved out of wood and then painted by hand. Others are cast out of plastic. All are prized possessions these guys use to try to lure a prize 50 inch musky. As luck would have it, one of the guys in our group hauled in this bad boy right after we left. Good luck, have fun, and if you catch a state record, let me know.

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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