Musky HunterApril/May 2020

Unlocking The Reservoir Pattern Code
Chad Harmon

Lakes and reservoirs tend to hold high concentrations of forage fish for muskies. Identifying the forage base and tracking its movement in the water you fish, and then targeting those areas with specific techniques, can yield phenomenal days of fishing.

Do Your Homework

I guide on Ohio lakes and reservoirs which have gizzard shad as their primary forage. Muskies eat more than shad, but that’s the prominent species so that’s what I target. I tell my clients all the time, “If you find shad, you’ll find muskies.”

Gizzard shad spawn during the April/May timeframe in Ohio. When shad spawn, they use shallow muddy flats, shallow weeds, and often push up tight against the banks in bushes, timber, and rocks. So, right there I eliminated 90 percent of the water. Once the potential fishing spots have been narrowed down, I put my eyes on the water and my sonar. I’ll be looking for splashing shad on the surface and for grouped-up schools of shad on my sonar.


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April/May 2020