Musky Hunter
Fishing Image Credit: Musky Hunter
Fishing Image Credit: Musky Hunter

Increase Your Hang Time & Catch More Fall Muskies

A prolonged pause by Joe with his GlideRaider over a sunken tree was the hang time needed to draw a response from the cover-tight fall musky.

Joe Bucher

The term “hang time” has been used in the sport of football most often, and it usually refers to how long a punt or kick hangs in the air from the moment a player kicks or punts the ball until a returner catches it. Generally speaking, a longer hang time is preferable to kickers/punters because it allows defenders ample time to run downfield to get in position to tackle the ball carrier before he has had a chance to advance very far. The same term applies to angling, but is used in a different fashion.

In fishing, it is kind of a finesse-style offensive tactic perfectly suited for fall. Hang time in the angling world is associated with a purposeful pause or hesitation during the retrieve. In musky circles, hang time is used with a variety of lures and techniques, and can be particularly deadly in the fall as water temperatures drop and cold fronts become more common.

While a lot of musky anglers tend to focus on lures designed to be retrieved in a constant, straight-forward fashion, fall muskies might not always respond well to this style of presentation. This is particularly true the more water temperatures drop along with constant cold front activity. Quite often, this drives muskies closer to bottom or makes them hunker tighter to cover. Of course, this is when “hang time” catches ’em and most other tactics fail. Allowing a lure to pause, suspend or hang in place next to a likely musky hideout increases the potential for a strik


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