This year, we are likely to see earlier algae
blooms and early migrations of Musky into the cooler water of a lake or
flowage. This will likely mean that our fishing approach will need to, more
than usual, be in tune with the water temperature.
Early weed growth will also affect our approach on
the water. It may be more difficult to find those areas where weeds are far
enough below the surface to be able to pass a lure over them and trigger a
strike. Your productivity on the water will require some good scouting of
weed growth and dictate an approach that has you fishing the weed edges more
often. There are a few lures out there that bill themselves as "weed free"
and which could be candidates for fishing in the weeds…but, beware the hype.
Since the warmer water is likely to encourage
Musky to find a cooler water comfort zone where they need less oxygen, the
use of deeper diving crank baits and deeper running bucktails and jigging
lures may be more effective during the day. Remember however that when the
Musky are in the deeper water they are widely distributed and therefore,
harder to locate.
As in years past, weather will play a large role
in our fishing approach. Cooler evenings and moderate day time temperatures
should make early morning a prime time to fish. The evenings may also be a
productive time. Whether a night bite will be in effect will likely be
unique to a body of water, so talk to as many folks as you can regarding
late night productivity.
Rain and stormy weather will help to replenish
oxygen and mix the water column a bit. Rain, if it is a cold rain, will help to
cool down the water that is higher in the water column, making it more
‘attractive’ to Musky.
A Closing Comment
This year, more than in years past, it will be
important to ‘keep you finger on the pulse’ of the waters that you plan to
fish. Fishing patterns will likely change quickly as water temperature and
oxygen levels change. Also, increased weed growth may give rise to abundant
growth areas on lakes and flowages that make it almost impossible to fish
If you are an accomplished Musky angler, it may be
worth your time to get a guide for half a day. If you are new to the Musky
fishing cult, hire a guide for a whole day and be sure to have him mark up
you map when the day is done.
I am looking forward to an exciting Musky season
this year. This year will challenge us Musky anglers to put into practice
much of the information that we have acquired from years of Musky fishing. I
hope to see you on the water.