fish out of water

Esox Essentials : Don’t Fish For Long Fish Without These Items

Nick Granato

Being prepared and on point while fishing for esox is paramount. Over the years here is a list of essential items that I keep accessible and ready at all times while fishing for Tiger Musky.

William Joseph Hemocuts – Great for cutting leader, tightening knots and removing hooks.

William Joseph Hemocuts

Fluorocarbon and Hard Mason (or Hard Mono) – Fluoro for leaders and  bite-guards, I usually have 20 – 80 LB on hand. Mason for use as a breaking section in your leaders, I use 20 and 25 LB. My typical leader set up is 60lb fluoro butt section of 2′, 20 lb section of hard mason of 2′  and 2′ of 40-80 LB bite-guard. Since hard mason is much thicker, 20-25 lb can easily be tied to 40-80 fluoro, resulting in a powerful leader that can turn over large flies easily.

Fluorocarbon and Hard Mason

Jaw Spreaders – Having two on hand for difficult hook removals is always a good idea.

Jaw Spreaders

Large Landing Cradle Or Net – I usually tail most of the fish I land but having one of the two is always nice to have as a option. Which ever one you decide to use make sure it’s rubber or has a coating since traditional nets with knots can seriously damage a fishes fins and eyes.

Large Landing Cradle Or Net

Rising Lippa – Great for lipping a fish when needed and does not damage fish like a Boga Grip. It’s also a good idea to tie a strap with a float to the handle because eventually you will drop it in to the water.

Rising Lippa

Long Nose Pliers and Berkley Hook Remover – I always have 10” long nose pliers and a pistol style grip hook remover on hand for hook removal. I use the the Berkley hook remover mostly since it’s easy to use and is gentler on flies.

Long Nose Pliers Berkley Hook Remover

Super Glue, Scissors and Markers  – I often color, enforce, trim and repair flies on the water. Sometimes a trim and color job can make all the difference in the world.

super glue scissors markers

A Pliable Tape Measure – Easier to handle and on the fish in addition to measuring the girth of the fish more accurately.

A Pliable Tape Measure

Hooks Cutters – Sometimes the best choice is to cut the hook instead of removing it. Make sure you have something strong enough to go through heavy gage hooks.

Hooks Cutters

Two Small Bags – One bag for all your retying and rigging items and one for all of your handling and releasing tools.

Two Small Bags