MUSKY INSIDER – Hamernick Tips – Biggest Musky Event Ever? – Key Seasonal Bites
Apr 17th, 2021 by Keith Worrall
Modified Apr 18th, 2021 at 10:56 AM
We don’t get to see Jason Hamernick in front of the camera very often, so it’s always a treat whenever we get to hear him talk musky chasin’.
If you enjoy stories about BIG fish hittin’ the net, you’ll wanna sneak a peek at his Thorne Bros seminar from earlier this year:
Jason talks about some of the biggest muskies to grace his boat over the years, including these big MN mommas:
Here’s a few quotes from the seminar that stood out:
“The biggest fish I’ve ever caught in my career – the heaviest, the longest – they’ve all been on Mille Lacs. That lake was unbelievable back in the day…. I probably lived through the best musky fishing the world will ever see.”
Hate to beat a dead horse here, but Mille Lacs was INSANE back in its heyday. There’s still some “queens” swimmin’ in the Big Pond in 2021, and that’s why Hamernick finishes his musky season out there every year.
Speaking of November musky fishin’…. here’s a quick nugget from Jason on picking the ideal spot when the ciscos are flocking towards spawning structure in late fall:
“Let’s say I’m bouncing between reefs and I come upon a reef that’s just loaded with ciscos, that reef I actually won’t fish, because you’re literally trying to win the lottery there. I’m trying to find reefs that have bait, but not a lot of bait.”
Another quick tip on Bulldawgin’ for late fall leviathans:
“I’ll give you one more little secret here…. When I’m fishing Pounders in the fall, I use a long rod, a 9’3” or 9’4” XH custom Thorne Bros Predator rod. Instead of just pulling the bait and reeling back up, I like to double-pump it back to the boat and the big muskies absolutely love it.”
BTW – The Spring Sale is still happenin’ over at Thorne Bros this weekend – lots of crazy good deals and some cool custom stuff available.
Musky Mayhem will be tying custom bucktails and Supernatural will have some custom colors available if you show up in-store on Saturday.
They’ve also got some virtual fishin’ seminars you can check out on their social pages, too 👍
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that finding baitfish is usually pretty critical when you’re lookin’ to track down muskies. The bigger problem is knowing where to look at different times of the year.
That’s why we brought in guide Phil Bauerly to share some info on a few key forage species that musky-heads should be keepin’ an eye on, especially if you fish big, deep lakes.
#1 – Shiner Minnows
“Large lakes hold huge concentrations of shiner minnows on main lake points, flats and shorelines when water temps are in the 50’s and 60’s. Muskies spawn in specific areas that often warm up just a bit sooner, when temps in these areas are in the mid-to-upper 50’s.
“Before and after the spawn, muskies will often visit these schools of shiners, and feed on them right along side the walleyes. This can explain why historically, just as many June muskies here were caught by walleye anglers, as by muskie casters.
“Paying attention to areas that hold large schools of shiners can give us some insight into what main lake structures and shorelines might hold muskies first in June.”
#2 – Lake Whitefish
“We’ll see basin concentrations of whitefish and tullibee starting when water temps are in the mid 60’s. Softer bottom areas, or soft/hard transitions draw-in whitefish and tullibees that begin to feed on early bug hatches like fish-flies or midge.
“Muskies take full advantage of this high-protein buffet, and it all culminates with the Hex Mayfly hatch when the water is around 72 degrees. Trolling is the classic way to target muskies at this time, though a spot-and-stalk technique has been effective for muskies that are reluctant to hit trolled baits.”
#3 – Yellow Perch
“The classic time to fish for yellow perch on large northern Minnesota lakes like Leech, Winnie and Cass, is in September. Cooler, re-oxygenated shallow water once again draws-in minnows, and the perch aren’t far behind.
“Dirt-shallow reeds, sand flats and random-looking shorelines hold huge schools of perch, and muskies take full advantage.
“Muskies don’t seem to mind wasting a bit of energy now either, chasing down bucktails and topwaters like shallow water missiles. This bite seems to be best during cooling trends, anytime from late-August on, with water temps from 70 degrees, down to about 55.”
Phil guides for ‘skies on Leech Lake in MN and will be one of the instructors for the MN Musky School happenin’ outta Agency Bay this August.
Thanks for the info, buddy!
The crew over at Muskies Canada is taking this “virtual” musky show deal to a whole new level – it’s seriously impressive!
Their flagship event, the Musky Odyssey, is happenin’ this weekend and they’ll be live streamin’ 18 different seminars in two days (Saturday & Sunday), featuring 50 speakers 🤯 (see schedule).
Just think about that for a minute…. #logistics
Sounds like a good weekend to send your family off to the in-laws so you can kick back and binge-watch musky seminars all day…. 😂
They also have a bunch of live auctions (see schedule), with all proceeds going to musky research – super cool!
Pretty sure this is the biggest “musky show” we’ve seen since everyone was forced to go digital a little over a year ago….
Stained Glass ‘Skies
So, last week we shared some really cool musky art we found snoopin’ around on the interwebz, including a stained glass musky (which was the first we’d seen).
Well, a few of you replied to our email and shared your own stained glass ‘skies – so we wanted to share ’em here in this week’s newsletter…. because why not?!?!
Really, really, REALLY diggin’ these beauties hangin’ out above Tom Muntz’s in-home bar…. #ManCaveGoals
This shot also has us wondering how many muskies you could catch with a lively grayling on a quick-strike rig. 😂
We also received a couple photos from Larry Ramsell (the musky historian) showing off his musky-themed glass:
Thanks for sharing, guys 👍
If you have any cool musky fishin’ artwork you’d like us to share in the newsletter, make sure to reply to this email and send it our way – we love this kinda stuff!
– Reminder: “The System” musky class is next week! (link)
– Indiana musky fishing w/ Todays Angler (video)
– Kill-switch now required on federal waters (video)
– “St. Lawrence musky population threatened by gobies” (link)
– 2021 Musky Shootout at Agency Bay Lodge, Oct. 2-3 (link)
– “Coaching Pre-Storm ‘Lunges” w/ Joe Bucher (video)
– Musky fishing the Ottawa River with John Anderson (video)
– Ryan McMahon’s Western MN Musky Outing, Sep. 24-26 (link)
– Vintage “Mighty Muskie” show from 1952 (video)
– Gord Pyzer on the boatside maneuver (link)
– Musky fishing hotspots, part IX (link)
– Painting a musky jerkbaits (video)
This Week’s VMonster Muskies:
Huge congrats to Logan Martin for landing this big-bodied fly-muchin’ toadwagon of a musky! #brute
Wow! Chris Pereira is officially a member of the extra-exclusive New Jersey 50-incher club with this hawg-bellied, bronzebacked ‘skie! 🔥
Dominic took a break from slayin’ the steelies to do some shore castin’ for big Ohio muskies – Mission accomplished: he popped his new PB!
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. 🤙