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By David Christian

Muskies can be one of the more stubborn of our aquatic friends, one of the techniques we use at Cave Run Muskie Guide Service to trigger strikes from these viscous fish is a move commonly called the “figure eight”.

This technique will trigger strikes from following fish right at

the side of the boat with only a few inches of line out. It is very exciting to see a fish appear from the depths and attack a lure at boatside. Our fishing logs indicate that over thirty percent of all muskies are taken on the figure eight.

The figure eight is nothing more than ‘drawing’ a sideways eight in the water with your rodtip. The erratic action of the lure will give the appearance of a frantic baitfish trying not to be eaten. A muskie has followed the lure because it is curios and in a neutral mood, now that the lure has done something different it appears more realistic and triggers the final strike.

The proper figure eight begins as the lure comes in to the anglers sight, look a foot below and a foot behind the lure for a follower. As you go into the first turn of the figure eight it

must be smooth and quiet as not to spook the muskie. Don’t stop the lure or the fish will turn away knowing it is not real. A smooth figure eight will continue into the second and third turns as you look for the muskie. If a fish was sighted continue doing a number of figure eight's in the water, I have captured muskies on the 10th figure eight, they will sometimes reposition themselves to get a better attack angle.

     When muskie fishing it is required that you perform at least one figure eight at the end of every cast, insuring that there is not a fish following deep and out of your site. Thirty-percent odds are pretty good, don't give them to the musky.


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