I soon adopted my dad’s obsession with muskies and caught my first one at age 9. I quickly realized that muskies are like no other species.
Most people my age picture fishing as sitting with your feet in the water, patiently waiting for your bobber to go under. These people haven’t experienced what I consider true fishing. The thrill of working your lure back to the boat and having a massive fish with teeth stop it dead in its tracks is one of the best in the world, especially if you’ve fished all day for that bite. Of course, you have to get to that point first.
Casting for muskies at a young age is diffiult for multiple reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that the gear is bigger. Everything you’re casting is heavy-duty equipment with razor-sharp hooks. In addition to that, most of the lures you’re using have to be worked, which requires strength, stamina, and an ability to feel what a bait is doing 30 feet from the boat. However, there are ways to build up to that level.
My dad started me off at a very young age casting crankbaits and small soft plastics with an open-face reel for pike, bass and smaller muskies. From this, I understood the general idea as far as how to cast and work lures back to the boat for the long hours required for musky fishing. As I grew older, my dad and I would go to a field behind our house and set up a bucket in the middle. He’d have me stand at the edge of the field and cast at the bucket with a baitcasting rig and a heavy, soft plastic bait. This taught me how to stop a lure before it hits the water and how to let the rod do the work when casting heavier baits.