Tips for Finding your Target: Big Toothy Muskies

Tips for Finding your Target: Big Toothy Muskies

Jodie Paul May 30, 2022

It may seem like a repeat of the same ol' knowledge but since we are face to face with season opener in the North Woods, it's always a good time for a refresher course in locating your favorite predator. 

Since you're fresh out of the gate this Saturday, it's important to take note of a few factors when seeking out the first musky of the season.  Don't blow it by letting another boater get on the best part of the lake.  So follow along for some quick tips to put you on the best fish this season.

Before you settle on your favorite lake, or decide to fish the lake your staying on.  It's highly recommended that you take a look at the Wisconsin DNR site for fishing regulations and ratings for most of the lakes in the North Woods.  The DNR can narrow down your search with lake size, forage, and musky information that you can't find anywhere else.  They break down the depths and let you know if the lake is natural reproduction or stocking situation.

Once you decide on a lake with the help of the DNR, take a minute to download some lake maps and get familiar with the structure of your promised land.  For every cast you must constantly remind yourself that Musky are an ambush predator.  They seek cover to hide from unsuspecting prey.  Often times cover is not always a fallen tree or rocky crevice.  Many times muskies like to hide amongst cover like shallow reeds or weeds, or they wait of of the natural structure of the slope of underwater embankments.  As the lake slopes to it's depths, take note of points and sloping access to variable depths.  These areas usually hold large predators that await overhead forage. 

After scouring your lake map for the best structural elements, take note wind and weather.  Musky might hold deeper depending on what they are up against as far as wind direction and weather changes.  Warm calm days might push them more shallow while rough weather might force them to hang off of the deeper structure. 

Lastly, it's great to always remember that musky, as an ambush predator, are not typically on an eating schedule as much as a forage fish who feed in mornings and evenings.  Musky will eat at nearly any time of day if they are dangled the opportunity.  Hooking into a large predator is just as easy in the early afternoon or after the sun's gone down.  They tend to strike at lures that they find irritating even when not hungry.  So don't come off the water during the heat of the day, stay into the evening and try to catch the fish of your DREAMS.  Good luck this opening season and stop by Musky Shop in Minocqua for all of your musky fishing needs!!!