Alright, so we want a muskie and we want one now! Go to your local bait and tackle and pick up a 10-inch, 3/8-ounce Double Cowgirl. This lure might scare you just by its size and PRICE alone (weighing in at a hefty $25 +/-), but trust me - this is what you want. So again, don't be frightened by its size, its not like you're going to have to impart much technique, its basically a cast out and steady retrieve type of lure.
There are most likely other lures you could purchase, such as the Magnum Boo Tail or the Shumway Giant Flasher, but to avoid any confusion if you're new to this, just pick up the Double Cowgirl and you'll be satisfied if you follow these tactics and tips.
So no we have our lure, but we're definitely going to want some rod and reel power. If you don't own a heavy-action rod, now's the time to invest in one if you plan on actually landing a muskie. Go with a long rod - 8- to 8 ½ feet - heavy-power, combine this with a reel with a low speed level-wind built for power.
The Abu Garcia 7000 is great for this type of fishing; a very powerful bait casting reel with a great rate of retrieve that will definitely last you quite a few years. 80-pound test Spiderwire Stealth is a great choice of line; steel leader is optional, but not recommended.
Once you're all set on gear and tackle, it's time to get to work. As the title implies, the best time to make use of these tactics is at night. Check your local fishing reports at www.weather.com and look for the top menu bar that says "Outdoor Activities", scroll over it, click on "Fishing", type in your area code and you're good to go. This will show you the best times that you'll want to start fishing, but even without your local fishing report, if you head out at about 8:30-9:00pm you'll be in good shape to get started regardless. Start by targeting an area about 5 to 10 feet deep, cast beyond your target and crawl your lure back to the boat (this can be done on shore as well but might not be as effective) slowly.
You know you're going the perfect speed when you're reeling in your lure just fast enough to allow the blades to spin. When the blades start spinning, they create suction behind the lure which imparts a life-like action to the tail. Work the lure over submerged structures such as sand and rock bars. If you just so happen to excite a muskie and you see it follow your lure back to the boat, stay calm and do exactly as I say: when the lure is but a few feet away from the boat, plunge the tip of your rod into the water and start working it in a figure 8 motion. If the muskie didn't strike before, he's almost bound to after the figure 8. Work the figure 8 for as long as you can hold the muskie's attention, and if nothing happens, then cast out and repeat.