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In the last decade, the world of musky fishing has entered into a veritable age of reason.  Musky fishing philosophy has become highly scientific, logical, and pragmatic; however many of us are still caught up on secrets, most of which don’t exist in my opinion.  For years, books containing information about fishing often contained the word “secrets” in their title, no doubt a solid marketing ploy.  This is not as prevalent as it used to be, but it seems that there is still the under ground world of secret seekers and hoarders.  I often can’t decide which is more lame, those who seek out secrets or those who think they harbor a wealth of them.

Little Know Water, Yes. Secrets, No.

Little Know Water, Yes. Secrets, No.

Maybe it is my definition of secrets that makes me doubt how many really exist.  To me a secret is a piece of information I will take to the grave with me, that no one else will ever know about; and since humans have a distinct desire to get things off their chest and share with others, little of that information is ever kept completely to one’s self.  It is as if the information was a glowing ball of fire burning them from within, of which the only way to extinguish was to confide to find relief.  Therefore, I think there are very few real secrets out there.  There is certainly a plethora of little known information, underutilized water, little used effective lures, and other resources only slightly tapped, but no secrets.

Secret bodies of water are the most laughable to me.  Every body of water in the musky’s range in North America can be looked at on a map, yet many anglers will treat a body of water as if it had been viewed by no other human eyes aside from theirs.  I have seen people who I once thought of as reasonable act like they had a secret musky lake, when in fact it was clearly documented in one of those popular “best musky lake” type books.  To me this says a lot about the human condition.  Our desire to keep and take secrets from one another is so strong that it often not only defies logic and reason, but often spits directly in its face.  This desire of secrecy also contradicts the before mentioned desire to confide.  I think it is human nature to possess many strong and directly conflicting desires, and that these conflictions cause most of the world’s problems.  But I digress.

All maps are basically public record, and with the proper resources any angler can access the same public waters as anyone else.  Some waters and the fisheries within are underutilized for a few or even many reasons, but in the modern era of advanced communication and travel there are no secret waters.  If a guide is willing to take me to his “secret” spot, I am fully aware of the contradiction in terms and am at the very least a little weary.

In the same light, a secret lure that is for sale is by definition no longer a secret.  Are there anglers out there who have home made lures that no one else has ever seen, lures that the creator of takes great pains to keep secret?  I am sure there are, but such scenarios are few and far between.  However, this is no reason for concern because such a lure maker would never let another angler use his lures, and even if he did the chances of said lures being more productive than any quality lures available on the market are slim to none.

There are always a handful of musky anglers out there thinking outside the box, pioneering new tactics and waters, showing the muskies something different and usually they are doing pretty well with it.  However, the real secret of successful musky anglers is that they really have no secrets.  Those who catch large numbers of muskies and/or big muskies put in lots of hours, work hard, fish with skill, and work off of a solid knowledge base.  All of those are gained only through practice, experience, and gathering of knowledge, all of which take time.  There are no secrets or any other short cuts.

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