How Muskie Trolling Works

Muskie Trolling Rigs and Lures

We've all had that friend. You know, the one who will eat anything. He's the one who finishe­s your leftovers and pays no attention to expirations dates. You could say he's the muskie of your friends. Muskies aren't picky. They'll eat just about anything, so it's not necessarily about enticing the fish as much as it is about putting the bait in the right place using the right methods. And unfortunately, there's no way of knowing just what method will work on any given day, so patience is key.

­You'll need to spend time testing baits at different depths to see how they'll run because there are no one-size-fits-all answers [source: Reel Fishing]. As far as lures go, green and yellow seem to be the best bet for any water, no matter the body size, weather or clarity. Just be sure to keep them within 20 or 30 feet (six to nine meters) off the boat. You can cast them farther, but don't exceed 50 feet (15 meters) [source: Devine]. This is especially true with homemade baits, which can't take the hard life of deep fishing.

Crank baits are great for trolling, and straight baits might help you find success during the early or late season, or right after a storm.

As for boat size, it appears most small to mid-size boats would be appropriate. Just make sure your boat won't agitate the water too much and scare the fish. As long as you've mastered the essential smooth drag, it's more about the speed and depth as you cruise the open waters.