What do I need to start musky fishing?
There is a population of muskies in that lake, but they are quite difficult to catch. Tons of food out there and tons of deep water to hide in.
Have you fished Lac La Belle? I work in Oconomowoc and our previous office was right on La Belle next to the park. Actually in the buildings they are tearing down.
So I fished it alot. Mostly for walleyes. I saw more tanker size Musky in there than anywhere I have ever fished. I also saw very few people ever fishing for them. Just curious if that lake is on your radar.
And you can tie them up yourself, but it takes a special kind of knot. If you can get a good knot on 100-150 pound flouro, then I think you are better off making your own leaders.
Here's an amusing story from last year. My buddy and I were out on Oconomowoc Lake. We pitched Mag Dawgs and DC 10's for about five hours. No action at all, besides a surprise bass.
We pull up to a guy who is bass fishing. He calls us over and shows us a 51 inch musky that he caught a night earlier on a hook and leech.
Jab number one.
About fifteen minutes later, we cruise by a husband and wife who are bluegill fishing. We ask how they are doing and they say it is slow and a muskie at one of their few gills that was on their line earlier in the day.
Jab number two.
After about 6 hours of throwing the big stuff, we headed in. Dejected. All that work for nothing when a bass fisherman and a gill fisherman both had recent muskie experiences.
That is what you get when musky fishing.
Now, all I want to do is get into a nice mess of panfish. Don't get me wrong it's fun catching big fish but it's not why I fish any longer. I'm not an old fogey either...35yrs old.
I've had ski's in the 50" range up next to the boat numerous times. It's cool! But I don't flip out over it.
My main passion is knocking down big bucks with my bow. I don't think anything will ever compete with that.
But I thank all of you for great info to help me get geared up. I plan on hitting the store this weekend.
Once you catch a muskie or two, inevitably you will see a super tanker in the water. Soon it will get into your blood to where that is the only fish you want to go for.
And then you have the days on the water when you just can't get the hooks to stick, or even worse, the days when everything is perfect but the fish just won't cooperate.
It is a maddening hobby to have. And expensive once it gets into your blood.
When I was young, I guided a fellow on his first musky trip. Had to teach him to cast off of the resort dock where he was staying. He landed a 35 incher in the first half hour and he lost a mid 40's about 4 hours later. Of course, he got to see a super tanker in the water towards the end of the trip. The next year he came back, he booked me to now fish out of his new musky boat ($30,000+). The year after that he had me drive up to a different lake where he had just purchased a cabin, and guide him out of his boat on his new lake.
It is crazy what the musky bug can do to you.
Then there are guys like me that only get out a handful of weekends each year. It appears that the OP is thinking about doing it one week. For us, the less expensive options that I listed will do just fine.
I guess one could argue that a lost fish of a lifetime justifies the expense, even for a hack like me. My counter argument is that if you're someone who only plans to fish a couple of weekends per year and are worried about losing the fish of a lifetime using a $100-$150 set up, why don't you just fish with a good guide for the few times you get out. Five thousand dollars will keep you in a guide's boat a few times a summer for many years.
To each their own.
"I'm still humbled, usually on a weekly basis, when the trip just doesn't go well."
Well then the difference will be you having spent $5000 in gear while I only spent $200.
Not sure who's world is hurting more at that point.