Pineview rates of tiger muskies make it one of the best tiger muskie fisheries in the Western U.S., but the recent closure of it made some anglers assume that it’s not legal to fish for tiger muskies there anymore. That’s not true; you can still catch tiger muskies at Pineview. The next question would be: how?
How to catch tiger muskie at Pineview? To catch a tiger muskie at Pineview, you need to target springtime with an 8-to-9 ft heavy fast action rod, a 6-to-8 gear ratio reel, bucktail, or crankbait for lures, sonar units, and a musky net. You need to cast your lures in shallow waters and near baitfish schools.
Coming below is your guide to catching tiger muskies at Pineview, so keep reading to get all the answers.
Table of Contents
How to Catch Tiger Muskie at Pineview?
If you’re planning to catch a tiger muskie for the first time at Pineview, imagine a fierce fight with a predator creature that can grow up to 50+ inches and can weigh over 30 pounds. Been there and done that, and let me tell you, it’s not easy. You need to get your gear, timing, and tactics right to guarantee that catch and that feeling of victory.
Rod and Reel
The fishing rod and reel are the most important parts of your arsenal. Choosing them according to how fast you can work them is an important key to maximizing your chances. The medium-heavy fast action rod and the 6-to-8 gear ratio reel will allow you to be fast and in control.
Most anglers prefer to use 80 lb braided lines with a 100 lb fluorocarbon leader when fishing for tiger muskies. The leader acts as a bite guard, so you wouldn’t worry about losing your favorite bait to a muskie’s sharp teeth.
You can check out my recommended braided fishing lines here, these are the ones that I always use, and they have never been anything less than perfect for me.
Crankbaits, bucktail, spoons, and jerk baits are all great options when you’re pursuing tiger muskies. The colors imitate their favorite fish and entice them to chase your lure till they catch it.
Topwater bait is your go-to when you’re fishing in calm circumstances. It proved effective when used in a calm reservoir with no heavy boat traffic. The Whopper Plopper is your best choice, and you can find it on Amazon.
For more recommendations, check out my guide for the best musky lures.
Some people ignore this tool or think of it as a luxury, but it’s definitely not when you’re fishing for tiger muskies. These game fish love to fight their way out of a lure. Musky net provides great control and ensures both the fish’s safety and yours as well. It’s advisable to put the caught Tiger Muskie in the net and keep it under the water during the measurement process not to stress it out.
Release tools are important, especially in catch-and-release reservoirs like Pineview, where you have to release the fish unharmed. You’ll need:
- High-leverage hook cutters
- Jaw spreader
- Long needle-nose pliers
- Rubber gloves
Unhooking can be a harmful procedure to Tiger Muskie if not done properly. You have to make sure the hook is not hurting the fish while releasing it. This procedure is also preferred to be done while the fish is in the water. The DWR recommends using long-nosed pliers to help to remove the hook safely.
Tiger Muskies have sharp teeth and may cause cuts on your fingers, so make sure to have your rubber gloves on.
I recommend the gloves from BIG WORM FISHING. They are super affordable, and for the price, there really aren’t any better-made gloves out there.
Best Spots to Catch a Tiger Muskie at Pineview
The best spots to catch a tiger muskie in Pineview are everywhere near weeds, main lake points, sand and rocks areas, depth breaks, flats, drop-offs, and transition areas. The prime spots change according to what season you’re fishing in.
Anywhere near weed edges, flats, drop-offs, and rock structures is a prime zone to catch a tiger muskie in Pineview. If you’re able to use sonar machines that detect fish markings, your mission will be much easier. Once you locate baitfish schools, your job of finding muskies is half done. They’re usually found there hiding in ambush, waiting to attack these fish.
Muskies are curious but very unpredictable, and sometimes it takes a lot to get them to bite, so if you didn’t have any luck in these areas, move closer to the shoreline or try casting in open waters until one of them decides to strike.
Best Times of the Year to Catch Tiger Muskie at Pineview
The best time of the year to catch tiger muskies at Pineview is during spring. Tiger muskies are more active during this season but looking for an easy meal at the same time. You’ll find them roaming the basin at modest depths, maybe 10-to-15 feet (3-to-4.5 meters).
I discuss this in more detail in my guide on how to fish for muskies during spring.
The best way to target them during this time of the year is to troll modest-sized crankbaits around baitfish schools. Make sure to use flashy, bright, unnatural colors, as they are more effective during this time of the year.
Lures with colors like chartreuse, hot pink, silver, gold, and other visibly attractive colors attract the tiger’s muskie eye and entice them to attack. You can learn more about what colors muskies see here.
Best Times of the Day to Catch Tiger Muskies
The best time of the day to catch tiger muskies is either in the late afternoon when the water is warmest or in the early morning and late afternoon, as weather conditions will more closely mirror summer and springtime.
During this time of the day, tiger musky can be found at or around spawning flats, transitional areas, and rocky shorelines. Make sure you pick warmer days in spring for more chances to catch tiger muskies.
Best Tools to Catch Tiger Muskies
Many anglers agree that choosing the right tools is your guarantee to win a tiger muskie’s fight. So what are the best tools to catch tiger muskies to get on your boat the next time you go fishing? Here are some recommendations:
- Sonar unit to spot fish marking and help you detect baitfish schools where you’ll find muskies roaming around.
- 8-to-6 feet (2.5-to-1.8 meters) medium-heavy fast action rod to help you catch the tiger muskie with a strong tool that won’t break in half once you catch them.
- Good quality 6-to-8 gear ratio reel to match the heavy rod.
- A 100-pound test (45 KG) braided line and a 150-200-pound test (68-to-90 KG) fluorocarbon leader to protect your bait from being bitten off.
- Highly visible lures with medium-sized and flashy colors stand out among weed beds.
- Release tools like high-leverage hook cutters, jaw spreaders, long needle-nose pliers, and rubber gloves will help you safely unhook tiger muskies and release them back into the water unharmed.
- A musky net.
Pro Tips To Catch Tiger Muskies
Being patient and persistent is something you can’t ignore while fishing for Tiger Muskies. So don’t give up, and be ready to change your technique every once in a while. Here are my 9-pro-tips that can help you optimize your results when fishing for Tiger Muskies:
- Be fast. Speed entices muskies during spring when their metabolism isn’t at its best. Make sure to cast in your lure and reel it fast to the boat.
- Keep the rod tip low and to the side. Don’t vertically pull a muskie.
- Use bright red and yellow lures. These colors work very effectively around weed beds and water plants where Tiger Muskies usually stay.
- Add a rattle to your lure to produce noise. Muskies are visual predators, but they can sense vibrations in the water.
- Change the directions of bait to trigger muskies to chase them. Going in different directions entices hungry Tiger Muskies to go after the bait.
- Vary your retrieve to best ensure you’re using the right speed. Sometimes they go after swift moves, but sometimes they are triggered by much slower moves. The only way to know is to try.
- Pick areas with thick weeds and shallow rock cover where big muskies are roaming. Target weeds in a depth of 7-to-9 feet (2.5 meters), and the rocks are in a depth of 3-to-8 feet (1-to-2.5 meters).
- Try night fishing where the water temperature is suitable for Muskies to stay longer in the shallow water. Night fishing is also a good chance to catch muskies as they find it hard to see your boat, so they’re not easily spooked. Make sure to use a highly visible lure to catch their attention in dark waters.
- Use the Figure 8 technique of drawing the figure in the water to gain more time to catch them before you take your lure out.
Should You Cut off a Muskie’s Fin?
You should not cut off a muskie’s fin. You should catch your muskie and release it safely and unharmed with proper unharmful tools, then use release tools that can’t hurt the fish. Any harm caused to the fish by you may put you in trouble.
How Big of a Muskie can you keep?
The minimum size of a muskie or tiger muskie you can keep ranges from 30-to-36 inches (76-to-91 cm). Some places propose different regulations when it comes to keeping size, so it’s better to check your state regulation before you go fishing.
- Going Muskie Fishing? Get bigger catches quickly with these dead baits for Muskies and these effective lures for Muskies in all conditions.
- New to Muskie fishing? Learn how to make fishing for Muskies easier here.
- Explore the untapped potential for muskie fishing at night in this guide.
- Learn how to use live bluegill for super Muskies here.
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