Early season muskies can be a challenge, but can still produce some of the best fishing of the year. Here are a couple tips to get you started chasing some early season esox. Choose your water wisely. Find the warm water. Think erratic.
I usually start my season on darker water and smaller lakes. These types of systems typically get fired up faster which makes them a good choice for starting your season. Darker water lakes will generally warm up faster making the muskies spawn sooner and start feeding sooner. Now this is a general rule! There are years when the clear water and larger systems can get going good by the opener. This is especially true in warmer than normal springs.
Finding the warmest water can be very important. I am always paying attention to my temp gauge this time of year. Even a couple degree difference can be significant in finding actively feeding muskies. No matter what type of system you choose to fish pay attention to finding the warmest water. Shallow bays, shallow flats, northern exposed shorelines, and anywhere streams, creeks, or rivers are entering can be slightly warmer. Spend lots of time in these areas.
In general I throw a lot of erratic lures during early season. Muskies can often be lethargic this time of year, especially following the spawn. Try to trigger reaction strikes by throwing smaller jerk baits, glide baits, and twitch baits. Some of my favorites for starting the season include Squirrelly hellhounds, Hellpuppies, 6” Phantom Softtails, and 5” Slammers. Just remember to work these baits erratically with lots of pauses. Once the water warms to the mid 60’s we start to mix in some Rabid Squirrel and Jack Rabbit spinners, TopRaiders and Fat Bastards, and bigger rubber like Magnum Bulldawgs. Good luck this season and get started early!!
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The musky season started with a bang in Northern Wisconsin for musky guide Steve Genson of Fish Hunts guide service. Several muskies up to 48" were caught in super shallow water. As with every musky season nothing stays the same and last weeks pattern will be no different with the quickly rising water temps that have moved from mid 60's to low 70's within a few days. This upcoming weekend expect the post spawn muskies to be a little lethargic. The bite in recent days has shifted from small glide baits (4" and 6" Phantom) and small twitch baits (5" Custom X mini) to Small spinner baits like the Rabid Squirrel and Baby Girl and some limited top water action. Don't be afraid to speed those little bucktails up to get the reaction strike that might save the day. Weed growth is still slow to develop with the late spring so flats and break lines are still holding fish. Make sure to cover water and keep moving along if you haven't contacted fish as the post spawn fish still haven't established their summer patterns. Hopefully a few of these tips will help you this weekend on the water. Steve still has a few openings for June so if your looking to book a trip in the Hayward WI area or MN please check out www.fishhunts.com for more information. (click either picture for a link to that page). Book mark this blog and check back often for more reports on what's happening on the water. Best of Luck this weekend.