Hi Everyone! The time of year we have all been waiting for is finally here in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Musky Season begins at Midnight on May 27th Wahoo!
So far this spring, our weather has been a bit cooler with quite a bit of rainfall. Thus many of our lakes and flowages are at a peak stage for water levels. Our water temps are in the low to mid 50’s currently.
A few things to consider to aid in being successful for the opener and early part of the Musky season are as follows.
Consider looking for the warmest water on any particular body of water you may be fishing. The highest concentrations of fish usually gravitate towards the warmest water and Muskies will be there as well. Search for bays that are in the northernmost sections of the lake or flowage you may be fishing. These waters tend to warm a bit quicker and usually hold more fish. Shallow dark water lakes will warm quicker than deep clear lakes. Here in the Northwoods we have a huge variety or lakes and flowages. Some systems are shallower with darker water, and some are deep and clear. Both are good, but for early spring search for the warmest water on any system. You will also want to search for good weed growth near shorelines or the initial breakline. For the most part baitfish and Muskies will be here. Now if you are fishing a body of water with more rock structure that can be good too, but if you can find any weed growth nearby or where rock and weeds are together that can be great.
Some tackle to consider for early season.
The old adage small baits in the spring can really hold true. But don’t be afraid to try medium to large baits as well. Muskies movements and reactions can sometimes change quickly so always be flexible. Start small and if small isn’t cutting the mustard then work your way up the ladder in terms of lure size.
A quick story. Last year on the season opener I was not having any success with smaller baits so I upsized and went to an old standby, the famed 10″ weighted Suick (original sucker) but we’ll keep that quiet. I found that working it really slow over a large weed bed on the northern part of a lake where the bait would dive and rise slowly was a definite trigger. I caught 4 muskies and saw a few more. I know if I had been in a hurry and worked the bait too quickly I would not have had any success. So my point is that being flexible can and will make a big difference in success or failure.
Bucktails, are good all year round but particularly good in the early part of the season. With the water still being a bit on the cool side usually a slow to moderate retrieve will get the most action. But there again, be flexible. Some good early season selections would be Mepps Musky Killers, Musky Mayhem Baby Girl, Figure 8 Mini Boss, Windel’s Pike Harrasser, Musky Safari French Hypnotizer, and Shumway Baby Flasher.
Suicks, Bobbie baits, Smity Tracertail, Martins are all a good choice. Manta’s, Hellhounds, Phantoms, Smity Mercer Creek. All of these are great working in and over weeds or rock.
Soft plastics such as Red October tubes, Waterwolf Shadzilla’s, Musky Innovations Swimmin’ Dawgs and Bulldawgs, Chaos Medussa’s are all excellent and will want to be part of your arsenal.
Crankbaits such as the Smity Shortail, Bucher Shallow Raider and baby Depthraider, Tony Grant Rattlin Shad, Big Fork Reef Diggers, Jakes, and Grandmas can all be very productive.
Surface baits that will want to go along and be part of the action would be Suick Nightwalker, Cat’s Tails surface buzz, Tyrant Tackle mini Crusader, Bitten Tackle Buzzer, Lake X Dr Evil. All of these are great early season surface baits.
Our hope is that the above mentioned information and gear will help you get off to a successful start to your Musky season. If you are in our area here in the Northwood’s and need a guide, we have several great guides that would be happy to meet your needs. For more info visit our Musky Shop Guide Service page.
All of the gear mentioned can be found in our store, on our website www.muskyshop.com, or in our print catalog.
We also encourage you to visit our social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to send us photos of your catch and we will be happy to post as many as we can. Photos or inquiries can be directed to [email protected] */// –>