The Dog Days of Summer have arrived, ushering in a sweltering summer that has water temps running in the red. With many lakes in Wisconsin already reporting surface temps in the high 70’s prior to July 1st, the trajectory towards higher water temps looks all but guaranteed. Most years this would be of little to no concern as much of the musky angling pressure in July and August are laser focused on Canadian waters, but as we all know 2020 is far from normal. With the extended closure of the Canadian border, Wisconsin and Minnesota now must absorb most of the pressure from the “Musky Fishing Tourists”. This combination of increased fishing pressure and extreme surface temps could be a recipe for disaster according to conventional musky knowledge.
The Figure Eight. Most Musky fishermen and women are intimately familiar with this term for the boat side maneuver to trigger muskies. The Figure Eight maneuver is absolutely critical to improving your overall catch rates each year. In this article I am going to break down the Figure Eight in detail and offer some great advice to improve your boat side catches. It’s a major accomplishment to bring a big musky to the boat. You have placed your boat in the right place and made a great cast, and now a nice musky comes screaming in behind your lure. Use these tips to help get that fish in the net.
When musky anglers refer to the term jerkbait, we think of lures like the Suick, Bobbie Bait, Reef Hawg, GlideRaider and such. Yet bass anglers see jerkbaits as sinking/suspender style minnow baits. Muskie anglers usually call these same lures minnow baits or twitch baits. I tend to agree with the musky fraternity on this. So, jerkbaits mean different things to different folks. But, in order to keep things somewhat in line with how I adapted a bass/walleye tactic to the muskie game, I am going to refer to sinking/suspending minnow baits inside this article as jerkbaits.
I sit here wondering if it is just me, or does every tournament fisherman question their fishing ability in the days and weeks before a tournament? I feel like I know how to fish as I have won numerous tournaments over the years and placed in the top five of numerous others, but in the days before a tournament I find myself searching Musky 360 and reading articles on what to throw, where to fish and how deep.
Canada is set to extend a ban on non-essential travel through late July as both countries seek to control the spread of the coronavirus, according to sources familiar with the matter. Source : OTTAWA (Reuters)
Several of my most recent youtube videos have featured comeback/castback tactics with Musky 360 editor Steven Paul and Tyler Andrews, The Musky Guru. Consequently, a deeper conversation about these techniques and strategy is in order. Musky anglers are really the only group of freshwater anglers that refer often to follows as part of their overall fishing experience on any given day. The musky follow is certainly a huge part of the sport’s dialogue for sure, but it can also become a key tactical strategy once you fully understand how to capitalize on it. Here’s how I attack it.
Time and time again you’ve heard musky experts like Joe Bucher, Chas Martin and others talk about the importance of shallow water and the sun’s thermal effect on muskies during the early part the season. Its undeniable that post spawn muskies will seek refuge in “hot spots” like bays and coves that are at times only slightly warmer than the main lake basins. These “hot spot” muskies rarely venture far from the comfort of the shallow bays until a bit later in the season. But catching these shallow water fish can be frustrating as they are often more finicky than fired up.
Early spring muskie fishing is always an exciting time. Many of us enjoy ice fishing in the winter months, but it is muskie fishing that we truly live for. It is the most challenging but also the most rewarding type of fishing. Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time chasing these beasts knows what it is like to experience a slump. It seems like no matter what you do, sometimes you just can’t seem to put one in the net. You might go hours, days, or even weeks without a fish and when this happens early in the spring, it can be very disheartening. We spend months dreaming about it, and oftentimes come up short, but don’t be discouraged! Even the pros have been there! I am going to share some of my tips and experiences to help you this spring.
Just a few short weeks after the musky opener, the excitement of the early season can turn into frustration for many anglers. As the water temperatures start to increase so will the amount of boating traffic. Those peaceful afternoons on the water are quickly gone leaving behind an aquatic hellscape as every imaginable terror of the deep descends on our pristine musky lakes. Morons on jet skis, pontoons loaded with scantily clad geriatrics and pleasure boats with screaming children in tow are just a taste of the horrors that await.
With the muskie fishing opener quickly approaching in the northern zone, most of us LUNGE fanatics are eagerly prepping gear, cleaning out the boat and reviewing lake maps! It is certainly an exciting time of the season for all of us and, as much as we all enjoy a day out casting on our favorite waters, hoisting a muskie out of the net for a photo makes the experience that much better!
After a long off season, the opener is finally right around the corner. If you are anything like me, you are probably chomping at the bit to get out on the water and cast. We all know that good things never last forever, especially when it comes to the short musky season here in northern Wisconsin. With that being said, the first step to a memorable musky season is to start off in the right direction. As many of the waters are cold this time of year it is not always the easiest to catch muskies as they are not the most active yet. This means it is imperative to fish areas that are most likely to hold active fish in the early season.
Most musky anglers have run through the same progression of goals. First you just want to catch a musky…any musky. Then you want to catch a bunch of muskies. Finally the hunt for big fish is on. While you are sharpening your skills at catching muskies, you start to realize what it takes to catch a real trophy. Often the “numbers lakes” you are fishing offer little opportunity to bag that 50-plus incher, so you start zeroing in on noted big fish waters; usually bigger bodies of water where the fish can grow and thrive by not being as pressured as much as they would have been in smaller waters. Next comes the strategy of when may be the best times to pursue the quest of your trophy fish. After your game plan comes together and you are on the water, now comes the hard part…finding the bigger fish as fast as possible.