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  • Writer's pictureSteven Paul

Tennessee Musky Fishing Monster Musky Strategy

What Now? You moved a Monster Musky…


It happens out of now where, one minute you’re gabbing with your boat partner or looking at a squirrel and out of now where a creature emerges from the depths. We are not talking about a mere trophy class fish, oh no my friend we are talking about a follow from a true giant, the things of muskies dreams and nightmares. If luck is on your side this muskie of a lifetime will instantly inhale your lure and end up snuggly secured in your net. But when your knees are shaking, and your palms are sweaty mistakes happen.  

While your pulse may rise, and words might flow from your mouth more fit for sailors and ne’er-do-wells, don’t panic. The second that a monster musky fades from sight it becomes your job to formulate a logical strategy regarding when to tangle with this beast. Let’s look at a few strategies for reengaging and hopefully getting a bite from these rare muskies that dwarf bump boards and tip the scales.

Don’t immediately cast back with the same presentation. Monster muskies are seen far more often than they are caught and the kiss of death in this scenario is lobbing Hail Mary casts in hopes that a hawg will make a mistake…they won’t. Your first course of action is to take a pause allotting enough time for the muskie to re-stage. This also allows a moment for you to gain composer as well as select a seasonally appropriate cast back lure. Keep in mind at times muskies will stage in open water after a follow.

I have found success on this initial cast back by making a switch to a lure that runs in the same depth range but has a different action. For example, switching from a bucktail to a swimbait. A tail prop bait to a walk-the-dog or a rubber jerk bait to dive and rise appropriately weighted.

While the hope is to get the hook up on re-engagement it is crucial that we do not “educate” or “harass” a giant. As hard as it may be DO NOT bludgeon an area holding a monster with cast after cast. If you reengage and get another follow it is prudent to repeat this process. However, if on your initial cast back nothing happened it is time to back off and formulate a secondary game plan.  Being patient and strategic at this juncture will be the difference between a big musky story and the catch of a lifetime.

The next step after an initial cast back effort is to determine when you should make a second attempt. Numerous factors can and should be considered such as solar lunar events, weather changes etc. Over the years I have seen numerous muskies in the upper forty and low fifty-inch range fall for second attempts when solar lunar majors took place or just at sunset. However, I would note that all my personal experience with muskies of behemoth proportions and second attempt success has been weather related. Approaching storms and intense shifts in weather have been present when bites took place.

While most of us cannot summon a thunderstorm when needed, we are left to sort this equation out based on what is at hand. Evaluate solar lunar data, possible weather or time till sunset and plan your return accordingly. Focus on events that have been successful in previous days. If majors have been productive, then the choice is obvious. Applying some basic logic and reason to when your make your return is critical for success.


I would state that if you have moved a true monster on even slightly pressured water you may want to stick around and simply not fish. Nothing is demoralizing like moving a giant and hearing that someone else caught it while you were chasing thirty inchers. Dropping an anchor or spot locking to block other anglers from the area is a “dick move” but is totally understandable given the circumstances.


It is arguable how long a monster will stay in an area. I have seen muskies well over fifty that can be found on the same reef for multiple days while others are seen once and disappear never to be seen again. I would be reluctant to advise waiting too long to revisit a true giant, but some patience is necessary. If you are unable to connect on your follow up attempt, I would advise waiting for nightfall and the cover of darkness. I tend to believe that these giants are rarely in casting range so staying out on the water as long as possible is advised.

While I wish I could give you a “silver bullet” that guaranteed success is this scenario encounters of this caliber are so rare they where are merely reacting, and more is known about what not to do than anything else. Opportunities with top end muskies are rare and hopefully luck is on your side. Regardless of luck, keeping cool and strategic will increase your chances of landing a true monster musky


Steven Paul





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