Chicken liver has proven to be very effective as bait when targeting many fish species including catfish, carp, trout, striper, and bluegill. However, many anglers wonder whether it would be effective when targeting an apex predator species such as muskies.
So, will muskies eat chicken liver? Muskies will eat chicken liver because they’re a predator species and chicken liver produces a strong natural scent in the water that muskies will not be able to resist. It’s very important to rig the chicken liver properly to ensure it remains on the hook long enough to attract muskies.
Keep reading to learn more about why chicken liver is effective as bait and how to use it to catch muskies.
What Makes Chicken Liver a Good Bait for Muskies?
Muskies are apex predators which is why they are likely to bite on all kinds of natural bait.
The main reason why chicken liver is a good bait for muskies is that it has a strong natural scent that will draw the attention of muskies and get them to bite.
You can easily purchase chicken liver from any grocery store or butcher shop and it comes at a very affordable price.
Keep in mind that using fresh chicken liver instead of frozen chicken liver will be much more effective as musky bait. That is because freezing the chicken liver dries some of the blood and reduces the strength of its scent which makes it less appealing to muskies.
The only downside of using chicken liver as bait is that it can be difficult to keep on a hook, however, once you learn how to rig it properly, you’ll have no issue with using it to catch all the muskies you want.
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How to Use Chicken Liver to Catch Muskies?
Using chicken liver as bait to catch muskies doesn’t require any special fishing technique, it’s only a matter of preparing and presenting the bait properly.
To prepare the chicken liver you’ll first need to cut it. Make sure to use a good sharp knife and make a few cuts to keep the membranes in the liver from breaking down.
It’s best to handle the chicken liver as little as possible to keep the bait firm and avoid breaking down more membranes. You don’t want the liver to become too soft or mushy as this will make it a lot more difficult to keep on a hook.
To improve the presentation of your bait and increase its appeal, it’s recommended to add scent attractants and food coloring. You can mix some bright red food coloring with garlic powder and anise oil then leave the chicken liver to soak in the mixture for about 12 hours.
Garlic is a very strong attractant for fish, and you can learn why does garlic work so well for fish here and how you can use it to catch fish more easily and quickly.
How to Cure Chicken Liver Before Rigging it on a Hook?
To make your chicken liver bait more firm, you can cure it before rigging it on a hook and using it as fish.
Here are the steps you need to follow to cure chicken liver bait:
- Lay the chicken liver on a plate and sprinkle both sides with iodized salt and Borax.
- Put the chicken liver in a Ziploc bag and add more borax then shake the bag vigorously.
- Once the chicken liver is covered, lay it out on a surface that allows airflow so it can dry.
- When the bait is all dry, place it back into the Ziploc back and put it in the freezer.
What Kind of Hook Is Best When Using Chicken Liver Bait?
Hooks are the most important part of your gear when using chicken liver as bait. That is because chicken liver can be very slippery and difficult to keep on a hook.
It’s recommended to use a treble hook as it will keep the chicken liver more secure. You can also use an octopus hook if you’re targeting a large-sized musky. You can learn about hook types and sizes here.
How to Keep Your Chicken Liver Bait on the Hook?
As mentioned before, chicken liver can be slippery and many anglers find it challenging to get it to stay on the hook.
Here are some tips to help you keep the chicken liver bait on the hook when casting:
- Keep the chicken liver bait as cold as possible, but do not freeze them to maintain their scent. You can store them in a cooler and take them out right before putting them on a hook.
- Wrap an elastic thread around the chicken liver to secure it firmly on the hook.
- Some anglers prefer to encase the chicken liver in pantyhose or gauze bandages. This method can be more effective as the material will soak up the blood which will maintain the scent and it will add structure to keep the bait secure on the hook.
Do you want more tips? Check out this video with 6 ways to keep chicken liver of your fishing hook:
Ready to go Muskie fishing? Check out this guide to using cut bait for Muskies as it can also help you greatly with catching more Muskies more quickly!
Also, don’t forget to check out if you need a fishing license in your state/area, how much does it cost, and where to get it. You can learn all of this in this guide to fishing licenses in the US and Canada.
Can Chicken Liver Be Harmful to Fish?
Chicken liver is not harmful to fish. It is soft enough, so the fish will be able to swallow it and it will pass easily through their digestive system. However, fish might also swallow the liver-baited hook when they bite. Removing the hook from their guts might cause them harm and kill them.
Can You Catch Muskies Using Hot Dogs as Bait?
You can catch muskies using hot dogs as bait. Hot dogs might not be as effective as live bait, however, they can produce a strong natural scent and flavor which makes them more appealing to muskies. Hot dogs are also easy for anglers to obtain and rig on a hook.
You can learn how to use hot dogs to catch fish here.
What Other Kinds of Liver Can Be Used as Bait?
You can use turkey liver as bait instead of chicken liver. Turkey liver can be more effective as bait because it’s tougher than chicken liver so it will be much easier to keep on a hook without using threads or gauze bandages. However, turkey liver is not as widely available as chicken liver and it might be more expensive.
What Kind of Gear Setup is Best to Catch Muskies?
It’s recommended to use long fishing rods. You can use an 8 to 9 feet rod with medium-heavy power fast action paired with a Baitcasting reel. For a mainline, it’s recommended to use a strong line that can carry the weight of musky fish. Most anglers usually go with a braided line with a line test of 50 to 80 pounds.
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