Outdoor Life - - FISHING - Ja­son Hamer­nick Muskie Breath Guide Ser­vice Lake Ver­mil­ion, Min­nesota

▶ Hamer­nick’s take on top­wa­ter fish­ing bucks the mind­set of other muskie hunters. “I’ll tie one on when the wind is crank­ing,” he says. “These fish can get re­ally amped up when there’s a sur­face chop. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen them go af­ter a bait three or four times.” When Hamer­nick sees 2-foot waves, he tar­gets the shore­lines and rocks that are get­ting most heav­ily pounded by the wind. He says the muskies often feed in the most tur­bu­lent wa­ter tight to the bank. “If you’ve never seen a muskie jump straight through a wave to hit a top­wa­ter, it’s quite the spec­ta­cle,” Hamer­nick says. He prefers prop­baits for their abil­ity to surf the chop and make more noise than the kicked-up wa­ter is mak­ing. Hamer­nick’s top lure choice— which he says can be fished in the nas­ti­est weather—is the Drifter Tackle Pace­maker.

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