Muskies are supposed to be the fish of 10,000 casts. Ten years ago, I decided to target them and planned a trip to where I knew a friend had caught several. On my third cast I hooked and landed a 35 incher. Beginners’ luck I suppose.
Ever since then, when I've targeted them with huge swimbaits, oversized jerkbaits and topwater prop baits, I've come up empty. Don't get me wrong. I've seen my share of river musky including a thick Susquehanna River 45-inch that I bear hugged into a jet boat for my buddy who hooked him on a 3 ½-inch tube while smallmouth fishing. That's kind of been the pattern though. Go smallmouth fishing, catch a musky. Start hucking a 2 by 4 with trebles out there, and you just strain water.
For some reason I recently decided to target them again. I ordered some 10-inch long jerkbaits, hopped on my cataraft with my buddy Juan and went to town. I managed a 20 inch smallmouth that day, but it was Juan, fishing with a 2-inch long soft plastic on a light jig head that hooked and landed the Appalachian mountain gator.