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We all hear it so often - "fish the drop-offs". So what makes these locations so important to muskie and why are they good locations for us to catch muskie?

There are a number of reasons drop-offs are a hotspot for muskie fishing. Drop-offs are important to many predatory fish. They provide deeper waters which many predatory fish - especially muskie and pike, are more comfortable in. These deeper waters represent the "home base" location for muskie, they're cooler, provide more space and less distraction. However, the baitfish often behave in the exact opposite manner because they want to avoid the predators. So if baitfish are located in the weeds and structure in shallower areas, and the predators prefer the deeper waters, what provides the perfect storm? The answer of course is the drop-off.

A drop-off near a weed bed or diverse shoreline provides the perfect combination to muskie. They can swim a short distance and gain access to good hunting grounds, and then a quick swim in reverse puts them back at home. While muskie can be found in shallower waters, chances are they are only there for shorter periods of time. A muskie will prefer shorter distances to swim and if they have the chance to take a 5 yard swim from the edge of a drop-off into hunting grounds, or a 20 yard swim into hunting grounds, they're going to prefer the first option nine out of ten times.

Muskie will watch these weed edges and prey on the baitfish that look the most distressed. That's were we come in. If you can put the most "distressed" looking fish in the water - you'll get the muskies attention. There are many lures that can accomplish this task but you may need to switch things up depending on conditions. Try shallower waters out with buzz baits and skimmers - some muskie are waiting to pick of the helpless baitfish swimming out of the weeds. You can also try crankbaits that will dive a little for you right along the edges of the weeds or out a little on the dropoff. Jigging a plastic here can have great results as well if done correctly. Remember to switch up the lures speed, depth, and action to look as lifelike and distressed as possible.