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Interview with Musky Addict Matt McArthur
Musky guys are such a unique breed. They cast after cast without even a follow. Yet, they seemingly never get discouraged. When they get that reward, it makes all of us impressed. Matt McArthur from Ontario is an example of a true Musky guy. Looking at his Instagram, you can't help but be impressed with the fish he lands. Matt took some time to share his pursuit of big muskellunge.
GFN: Your Instagram page is a musky trophy case. What is the thrill of musky fishing for you?
The thrill of musky fishing to me is the chase! I have been an avid angler my entire life and only recently started to mainly target musky. There’s just something about putting in hard work to land a very sought after species. The reward itself is something that can quickly become very addictive, I’m not totally sure what it is but it is a very addictive fish to chase and catch!
GFN: What are your three favorite Ontario waters to cast for muskie?
Living in southwest Ontario, I mainly only spend time on Lake St Clair, yes I’m very lucky and don’t for one day take if for granted that I have a world-class fishery at my doorstep! Lake St Clair speaks for itself as to why it is so special; as I mentioned I have only been targeting musky for 1 and a half years but St. Clair holds a very good number of fish and a very good number of BIG fish; your shot at a 50”+ fish is a very realistic shot every time you go fishing! Still working for mine!
GFN: Muskie have been called a fish of 10,000 casts, which is something that keeps a lot of people from targeting them. What are the mental techniques you use to keep you focused in between fish?
Staying positive is key; you have to think you are going to get bit and always be ready…. Like mental toughness in other sports, the moment you doubt something it just wont happen. I stay very positive between fish and know from experience the only way to catch another one is to just keep fishing and believe in what you are doing!
GFN: What are your favorite muskie baits?
Lake St Clair is a predominate Rubber bait fishery. That being said I do own and catch fish on buck tail type inline spinners and am actually a Pro Staffer for a local Ontario based company Kelly Kustom Musky Lures...he makes some killer blades!
My go to bait would be the Chaos Tackle Medussa, Musky Innovations Bulldawg, and Waterwolf’s Shadzilla – these three baits probably make up 90% of my tackle when I go out.
GFN: What is your favorite muskie rod and reel combo?
Chaos Tackle Shock & Awe Assault Sticks – I run both the 9’ and 9’6” models – as for reels I pretty much only run Shimano.
GFN: What is your favorite month of the year for musky fishing?
November – big fish start moving into shallow water chasing bait fish, and they are feeding to fatten up for the upcoming winter. Pretty much Oct-Dec is GO time for musky fishing, were not like the average summer fishermen who puts the boats and gear away when the leaves start to fall, musky guys only get more excited as this time of year approaches!
GFN: How do your techniques change through the different seasons on the waters you fish?
Is mainly worked around water temperature/depth to locate fish – oddly enough you can have the same success in a very similar area any time of year on Lake St. Clair. Typically spring/summer we work baits fast fast fast….tend to slow down a bit in the fall, as well as the size of baits. In the spring/summer you can downsize to a smaller bait, in fall you tend to use bigger baits and work them a bit slower.
GFN: What is your biggest muskie?
My biggest to date is an honest 46.5” as mentioned I have only been targeting Ski’s for just over a year. I manly fish with 1 partner and have landed 3 over 50” for him on various outings! Mine is coming this fall!
Story behind my biggest fish; my partner Dave had landed 6 fish throughout the day we were fishing to my 0! – by 8-830pm the sun was setting and I kept on casting, as mentioned I stayed positive the entire day each and every cast and was ready for it at any moment….then all of a sudden after a long bomb cast, BOOM! My line stops and I was on!
I knew shortly after it was a good fish, conditions were wavy and we have a smaller boat so it made it a challenge! After a few short but tender minutes I got it to the boat and Dave executed a perfect net job and bang! After 9 hours of casting I was finally on the board for the day, made for a nice sunset ski picture as well!
GFN: Yup, that my friends is a musky addict. I have to add that in pohto after photo Matt demonstrates great musky handling techniques preserving the fisheries he targets to grow trophy size fish. You can follow Matt on Instagram to see his 50 incher that he will be catching this fall! Thanks Matt for the interview.