Legal Musky Spearing? – Knapp Study Update – Biggest Pod Episode Yet

Category: article

 Feb 26th, 2021 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Feb 26th, 2021 at 10:28 AM

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Back Lash Podcast
Gotta shout out Brad & Jeff for kickin’ out 100+ hours of high quality musky fishin’ audio content over the past 21 months.

They just dropped episode 100, and it didn’t disappoint!

They spent 3.5 hours talkin’ musky baits that have “changed the way we fish” with 11 excellent guests:

Dick Pearson
Spencer Berman
Mike Keyes
Steve Herbeck
Steve Heiting
Rob Manthei
Ashley Holmgren
Dave Slain
Jeff Van Remortel
Jeremy Smith
Josh Borovsky

That’s a serious lineup, and there were some A+ tips shared throughout.

We’ve been listening to the Back Lash pod since the first episode and would 10 outta 10 recommend checkin’ it out if you haven’t already – sure as heck beats listening to the radio!

Unless you’re hangin’ out with this crew…. 😉

Couples that fish muskies together….
Stay together!

Musky Mayhem just dropped another cool pro-staff profile, featuring husband/wife musky chasin’ duo John & Ashley Holmgren:
Doesn’t take long scrollin’ down his or her IG pages to see they spend a TON of time on the water hunting big fish together, whether it’s monster muskies in the boat or plus-sized panfish on ice.

Honestly, feels weird calling pannies big…. but some of the gills and crappies these two catch are impressive. Almost makes you want to pick up one of these 😂

One of our favorite tidbits from the video was this quick tip from John:

“Make sure to think outside the box. Try new spots every time you’re on the lake. On the pressured lakes that I fish, a lot of my best spots are actually secondary spots. A lot of the primary spots are pretty easy to find with today’s advanced electronics. Fish are getting pressured in these areas and are moving out onto the secondary spots.”

This idea is especially important with the insane levels of pressure south-of-the-border musky waters are seeing with everything going on right now….

(Btw, we just read an article that said the US/CAN border might open up in early July. We’re not holding our breath, but still… 🤷‍♂️)
Presentation is another super key variable when targeting pressured fish. John and Ashley mentioned they like to use newer, unique bucktails like the Trigger and the Detonator to help get a few more bites:

“We are always looking to diversify our approach/presentation. Ashley and I got to witness first-hand how throwing a different style bucktail than the rest of the crowd can make all the difference in the world.”
Everyone’s got their favorite go-to baits, but you’ll never be ahead of the game if you’re not pushing the limits and trying new things. #fact

Knapp Study 2.0

Anyone else remember the “Knapp study” from way back in 2012??

For those of you who don’t follow fisheries research, the Knapp study looked at the impact of muskies on other fish populations, before and after stocking.

They did their research in Minnesota and published their results in 2012, BUT it looks like they updated the study with some fresh up-to-date data/findings.

….and like a fine wine, the results just get better with age!

Here’s a few interesting quotes from the MN Muskie Alliance post:

First of all, let’s address the walleyes….

“We observed a significant increase for Walleye CPUE in stocked lakes relative to the reference lakes when a 15-year gap was used.”

Alright, now that that’s outta the way…. 😂

“Northern Pike CPUE was significantly lower and mean weight significantly higher following Muskellunge introduction across all 36 lakes relative to the reference lakes.”

Larger pike and less of ’em is 100% a good thing for SOOO many reasons.

Based on the study results, sounds like less hammer handles = rebounding perch populations:

“While reference lakes mirrored the statewide decline in Yellow Perch CPUE (Bethke and Staples, 2015), it is noteworthy that Yellow Perch CPUE was significantly higher relative to reference lakes after Muskellunge introduction even in lakes without Cisco, a scenario where potentially more predation may be directed towards Yellow Perch. It appears that Yellow Perch CPUE was influenced more by reduced predation from Northern Pike than direct predation by stocked Muskellunge.”

Obviously, we’re preaching to the choir here…. but more research = more evidence that muskies aren’t eating/devastating all your favorite gamefish.

Every. Single. Time.

Legal Musky Spearing

Did you know that anglers can legally SPEAR muskies in the state of Michigan?

I feel sick to my stomach just typing that out….

Honestly, didn’t know a ton about it until we stumbled on this pic on FB and decided to dig deeper:
According to the Michigan DNR’s website, it looks like there’s a legal spearing season from December 1st through March 15th for pike & muskies.

There are some spots where it’s not allowed, including Lake St. Clair.

Could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Michigan is the one of the ONLY states/provinces that allows non-tribal musky spearing. Not cool….

Makes ya wonder if the MDNR knows how this makes them look to everyone else livin’ in the 21st century.

I just read that Washington state has one million acres of land designated as an official Sasquatch Protection and Refuge Area because “if Bigfoot exists, it would be an endangered species, and therefore in need of protection”…. and that still makes more sense than Michigan’s stance on musky spearing. 🤮

– Thorne Bros is doing a virtual musky expo (link)

– Four musky morning in MN w/ Doug Wegner (video)

– “Cabin in the Woods” w/ Keyes Outdoors (video)

– Summertime musky action w/ Luke Swanson (video)

– Musky fishing on Cave Run Lake in KY w/ Slime Quest TV (video)

– Ontario musky chasin’ w/ Fish’n Canada Show (video)

This Week’s Monster Muskies:

Congrats to Luke Stewart on landing this down south beauty, castin’ a homemade fluke from shore 🔥

Look what Sam Wheeler caught while fly-flingin’ an undisclosed river in Ohio 👀

This blonde pork-belly from Luke Ronnestrand hasn’t been skippin’ any meals – and she’s got the love-handles to show for it.

Btw, Luke will be one of the speakers for the Thorne Bros virtual musky expo (March 5-7). If you have any questions for Luke, click this link and leave ’em in the comments 👍

Check out the belly on this hefty NW Wisconsin bruiser Bobby Walsh boated this past fall in the Northwoods:

Wanna be featured on Musky Insider? Send in your recent trophy musky photos by replying to this email. You might just see your pic in next week’s newsletter. 🤙
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