Scratch The Itch & Get Bit

Musky Hunter|April/May 2020

Scratch The Itch & Get Bit
THOUGHTS ON EARLY SEASON MUSKY FISHING IN THE UPPER MIDWEST
Joel DeBoer

Let’s face it – to a musky angler in the upper Midwest, winter sucks! The only true cure for our cabin fever is to finally be able to cast our favorite sport show purchases at some big, slimy, beautiful females. Time in the boat indeed cures the soul; however, for the angler looking to get the net wet rather than just catch some rays, attention to details is imperative.

At no time of the musky season is this more important than when targeting early season muskies. Water temperatures, current patterns (where applicable), structural abnormalities and bottom content all play a significant role in not only where muskies will be located during this complex time, but where active fish will be located.

Muskies typically spawn in shallow water when water temperatures are between 50 and 60 degrees, with the mid 50-degree mark optimum. Musky spawning sites are usually shallow and contain some form of aquatic vegetation. This is the typical habitat but cannot be expected in every lake type. When such vegetated areas are not available, muskies seek out alternative areas/habitats for spawning. This could be submerged wood or sand/muck with leaf litter, but shallow water is generally key.

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April/May 2020