The Northwoods is open for business. As the boating pressure begins to ramp up and the last graduation is over, musky fishing in the Northwoods takes off for tourists and locals alike. Even the tiniest lakes produce monsters in the North of Wisconsin, so nothing is off-limits for waders, boaters, and kayaks alike.
Though most anglers focus on the 1st day of the musky season, some look to the Strawberry Moon as a neon welcome sign to the new year’s first growth and harvest. Dubbed “Strawberry Moon” by Northern Native tribes, this jumbo golden orb reaches its peak near midnight on June 3rd. Though this Strawberry Moon historically marked the harvest of early spring berries and fresh vegetation, the last full moon of Spring kicks off the fever pitch of musky fishing on today’s calendar.
When it comes to fishing the full moon, don’t put down your rods at dusk on Saturday, as feeding hours will likely last deep into the evening hours. Weather permitting, Saturday will be a bright, well-lit evening with hard-worn musky anglers all around the Northwoods hitting their stride.
Though the last full moon of Spring occurs in June, we will quickly be rewarded with the Summer Solstice on June 21st. This date marks the true first day of summer and starts another wave of vacationers headed North. Snowbirds are already returning home and cozy cabin dwellers will be close behind.
Summer Solstice marks the longest day and shortest night of our calendar year, starting the slow transition of muskies to cooler water. As the spring shallows begin to heat up during the long days of summer, late June will mark a transition to some mid-depth edges to find relief from the beating sun. Summer Solstice also becomes a game of bite windows. When days get longer, the opportunities to feed become endless.
Under the water, muskies will wait for the most perfectly aligned temps, pressures, fronts, etc. before they venture out to snack. The opportunities to catch muskies start to narrow after the summer solstice, not because they aren’t hungry, but because they remain patient for the best opportunity. Finding daily bite windows in June will be the name of the game after the 21st.
June is a big month for closing the chapter of cold and cooler weather for longer days and warm evenings. The transition of the moon in June and making the most of your hours and days will always make or break your musky season, so get your hands on a moon phase calendar and plan ahead for the best shot at making your summer count.