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  • Writer's pictureNew Wave Fishing Academy

A Review of "The Complete Guide To Musky Hunting 2nd Edition" by Jim Saric

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Jim Saric, The Musky Hunter, a renowned authority in musky fishing, guide, & television host first published "The Complete Guide To Musky Hunting" in 1999 and re-vamped it in 2006 with all new diagrams, pictures, and stories!

This book offers readers an inside look at some of the patterns Jim & colleagues have used to find, target, & catch musky all over the Canada. While there are a ton of recognized patterns described in this book it is written in a way of recollection of stories of past fishing adventures, "this one time the weather was like this and we caught a fish doing this". While we find his information incredible to study and elevate our refine our own strategies the beginner or average angler may find it harder to get the same benefit out that we have if taken at face value. Patterns are great, they help us become more efficient, be more successful. However, patterns can be hard to remember and even harder to know when to apply; especially when it comes to fishing when there are hundreds of variables that can impact each other in even more ways.

Obvious lessons from the book:

- Big Musky Are Lazy, Travel Routes Are Obvious (Boating Routes)

- If Fish Show Themselves But Don't Bite Return At Prime Feeding Windows (Don't Camp)

- Look For Most Windblown Spot On The Spot

- In Stable Weather Hit Same Spot Fish Seen At Same Time Next Days

- Night Time Is The Right Time For Weary Fish

- Condition Changes Make Fish Bite (Wind, Sun, Cloud, Moonrise, Moonset, Etc)

- Speed, Depth, Size In The 8 Is Key, Minimum of 10 if Fish Followed & Flared Off

- Jerkbaits (Twitching Minnowbaits/Crankbaits) Are Hot All Season

- Post Front, Current, Shallow, Warm, Hard Vertical Structure, Last Light

Other lessons from studying the data

- Muskies Are Warm Water Fish; Look For Quick Access To Warm Water In Tough Conditions Especially But All The Time (Post Weather Front, Cold Front)

- Muskies Suspend A Lot More Than Others Think (At The Same Depth As Structure / Cover Using Just Out Away From It) If you don't get them on the spot cast out over open water nearby

- Current (Wind, Natural, Seich) Increases Bite, Stronger Better

- If Slow Bait Doesn't Trigger Lazy Fish Burn Bucktails Or Topwater

- Obvious & Complex Are Muskie Hotspots, Don't Look For A "Secret Hotspot" Rather The Spot On An Obvious Complex Area

While the patterns in this book are an incredible study tool we did not find it offered the reader an explanation or true understanding of the "why's" of muskie behaviour. Interpolating based on the results and patterns discussed as well as general muskie knowledge gets you a lot closer but it takes a considerable amount of knowledge to get this level of value out of the book. Without understanding the "why" we at New Wave Fishing Academy find it hard to be successful day in and day out as the patterns become random rules to remember. Once the "Why" is understood the random dots between the patterns become a path leading you to the fish every time you hit the water. To learn more of the "why" of muskie behaviour and how to develop a strategy based on this be sure to take the "Targeting Muskie" module as part of our Zero To Hero Masterclass.

If you or someone you know is looking to get into fishing or you just want to become a more successful angler be sure to check out our "Zero To Hero Fishing Masterclass" for courses on everything fishing! The masterclass is built to help you learn how to find and catch fish like the pro's by providing all the information you need and a clear development path! Don't miss out check it out now at

Have you ever wondered why lures don't come with instructions and wanted to know how to fish them? Look no further than our "How To Fish" series where you will learn what each bait is, how to use it, when and where it excels over other baits, our preferred setup to use it on, and the common mistakes anglers make when using it.


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