Make The Most Of Musky Winter
Feb 4th, 2021 by Keith Worrall
Modified Feb 4th, 2021 at 11:28 AM
by Jim Saric
As musky hunters, we are pretty fortunate that every winter there are six musky-specific sport shows. No other fish has such passionate anglers gathering in large numbers to check out the latest musky gear, hot lures, lodges and musky seminars. Musky anglers are in constant pursuit of getting better at catching muskies and finding that secret Lake X or magic lure. Musky sportshows are the center of winter socialization and where we revel in our musky fishing addiction.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has shut down the musky shows this winter. How are we going to survive and make the most of our time until we can hit the water again? Here are a few tips on making it through musky winter.
GO SOUTH SOON
Although the majority of musky anglers don’t begin chasing muskies until May or June, there are some legitimate musky fishing opportunities that exist now and get better in March. West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky all have rivers and reservoirs with no closed musky season, where anglers are catching muskies right now. Certainly, musky fishing at this time of year is weather dependent. However, if you want to get out, there are musky guides in each of these states that can put you on muskies. A little social media research can get you in touch with them. You’ll be surprised how many muskies are caught during the winter months.
PLAN YOUR TRIPS NOW
While researching your summer trip via resort and guide websites and/or social media channels, pay attention to the time of year when most of the big muskies are caught. Typically there are a couple weeks every year when the big muskies are more susceptible. That’s when you should plan to go. Likewise, focus on the weather conditions of the big musky catches, and of course take notice of any lure(s) lying on the boat deck. If you see a dominant lure category such as a bucktail or topwater, make a note of it.
With lodges and guides not attending sportshows, they have a lot more free time. So, either direct message them or pick up the phone and call with questions. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the conversation and get all of your questions answered, plus much more. With no crowds or other customers in their booth, they will be all ears. This is a unique opportunity, so take advantage of it.
CREATE YOUR OWN VIRTUAL SPORTSHOW
Lets get down to business. What do musky anglers like to do more than anything in the winter–buy lures! Many of the musky manufacturers are offering special “show” colors on their web sites. Rather than shop for them at a sport show, you can shop from your laptop or phone, from the comfort of your home. Before you go crazy and click and ship away your stimulus check, take a few minutes to make note of what you really need. Think about the waters you fish and the most productive colors. Ask yourself what lures do I need for those waters? You’ll quickly make notes such as black and chartreuse bucktail, or clown-colored jerkbait. Then, ask yourself what “hot” lures have you heard about during the summer or winter. Now, when you visit each of the musky manufacturers websites, you can click on the new products and you’ll be a little more focused on which lures and which colors you need. However, I recommend budgeting about 50% more, because if you are like me, it seems like there’s always one or two more colors of a particular lure that I “need”. If you want to start your sportshow now, just check out the Chaos Tackle and Musky Frenzy new products below.
If you need a new musky rod or reel, stop by your Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas or local tackle shop. There’s no substitute for getting your hands on a rod or reel before you buy it, as it’s difficult to determine rod actions through a website.
GET SMARTER AND FIT
Now is a great time to learn more about musky fishing and to get yourself in better physical condition. Exercising and strengthening at this time will prevent injuries during the season and allow you to focus on fishing rather than the elements. While you are at home, spend time learning more about muskies. Watch The Musky Hunter Television show, read Musky Hunter Magazine, read a few musky books, and watch some YouTube musky videos. There’s lots of musky fishing information available, so take advantage of your time.
Musky winters can be long, especially this one. However, you have options to pass the time, and with a little thought, you might be able to make this the most productive off-season ever!