Fall Musky Game Plan
Musky Hunter|October/November 2020
BIG CHANGES OCCUR AS THE WATER COOLS IN OUR LAKES AND STREAMS. STAY A STEP AHEAD OF THE FISH
Matt Raley

Musky fishing in northern Wisconsin during fall changes just like the leaves on the trees. With that, many would also rate fall musky fishing as some of the best the area has to offer for the season. Trolling, casting, jigging and livebait all have their place during this time. The biggest factors to success are keeping up with water temperatures and following the Solunar table.

Early Fall

At the start of the month, the larger lakes in the area will not have turned over and will be in what I call the early fall pattern. Water temperatures average in the upper to mid 50s to start October, and generally the muskies will be located in the shallows. I position my boat on the weed edge and cast up into the weeds. If the weed flat is particularly large, you may have to do several passes to cover the entire flat. Many times the fish will be buried way up in some of the thickest weeds and the tough part about this type of fishing is just getting baits through it.

My personal go-to is some type of jerkbait for what I call “slop hopping.” The key to success is hitting the holes in the mess of weeds. The muskies will be positioned there and you need to work your bait through them. I find using a shorter, stiff rod to be best for this application. My rod of choice for this application is Tooth Tamer’s eight-foot XXX-heavy Jawbreaker. Make short casts and keep your jerkbaits up, and fish them with small hops. You don’t want to work your lure too fast through the holes.

My preferred baits are Shallow Regular Medussas, Mid Medussas, and dive-and-rise baits such as 10-inch Suicks and 11-inch Martins. When weeds are not as thick, rolling swimbaits like the Shallow Swimmin’ Dawg, as well as double nine and ten spinners, works well.

On the right days as well as during low light periods, topwaters will produce fish. I like a little slower-moving variety like the Nimmer Wolly Pog and flaptails. Faster-moving propbaits work when weeds are not as thick.

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