How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Summer Is The Time Of Acute Musky Fever

By Al Denninger

Musky Fever hits Hayward…Hundreds stricken…Tourists bring fever to area…No cure found, only temporary relief for victims…Only heavy doses of fishing can relieve this thing called MUSKY FEVER!!!

Summer signals the start of the hot action for the King of the Freshwater Fish. Musky are spreading out and more likely to be on main-lake spots. Weed beds are reaching for the sky, and the water-ah! The water temperatures are reaching a steady 68-74 degrees. Musky are putting on the feed bag. Big females are starting to show up; this is the time of the season when musky action is at its best. There’s more fish action now than in any other month. September might see more trophy fish, but late June through early July is when the real action takes place.

Below is a list of a few lakes to pound in the first few weeks of summer.

Lake Winter: Lots of good action on this body of water. It has produced some big fish. Purple Bucktails on sunny days and yellow on overcast are the hot ticket in June and early July—both sporting brass blades.

Chippewa Flowage: Bucktails are the best all around bait choice. Many favor fluorescent or green blades with black hair.

First work the weeds, concentrating on the edges. Key weed beds have deep water on two or three sides.

Surface baits are also a good choice. Creepers, Globes, Toppers and Water Thumpers are all in play.

Lost Land Lake is usually solid weeds. Fish the open pockets. This lake is usually clear, but can also be stained depending upon run off. Orange or purple Bucktails with gold blades are a good bet. Also, the Suick has been hot on this lake.

Teal Lake always has dark water, and a brass or copper-bladed Bucktail here seems to produce very well. For surface baits, globes, Hawg Wobblers, or water thumpers.

Spider Lake - Spider Lake produces well on Bucktails with silver blades.

You may also have good luck with Crane, Slammers, and Hi-Finn’s sidewinders with gold and/or silver prism tape added to the sides of these twitch-baits-using silver tape on clear water and gold on stained waters.


After reading the first part of this article, you get the picture that Bucktails are the guides’ first choice, and with good reason.

Bucktails search the water fast. The more water you cover in your allotted fishing time, the more likely you’ll put your offering in front of an active musky.

Remember, these fish are active now; water temperatures are in the favorite range, and females have had ample time to recover from the rigors of spawning. Weed beds have matured enough as to have fish set up feeding patterns.

Many of these active musky will return to the same weed beds to feed. When you locate a large fish, note time, wind direction, water temperature, bait, etc. Try to return the next day to that particular weed bed at the same time using the same bait.

I have also found that fish seem to have a three-day feeding cycle. I’d enjoy talking to anyone who has noticed the same pattern.


The question of line comes up often: mono vs. braided vs. spectra.

No doubt about it, you’ll fool more fish on mono, but I dislike the stretch. I prefer Courtland Micron. The no-stretch factor is a big plus in burying the steel. The same can be said of lines like TUF line.

If mono is the route you want to go, make sure you spool up with 25-30 pound test. Knots wear fast under constant casting pressure.

For those anglers on Pig Patrol and for whom only 30 pound plus fish get your heart pumping, stick with Micron or spectra. Micron is pure white, but don’t let that keep you from trying it. TUF line is salt and pepper.

Most braided–line fishermen use black, but remember the old saying, "Use a black Bucktail, ‘cause fish can see black the best!" So why use black line?

Well, whatever your views on equipment, enjoy your time on the water. Enjoy as Hayward spreads the fishing fever.

Good luck and tight lines.


At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey thanks for the tips ! im hoppin to bag my first muskie this july and yes i second your motion on 3 dat eating patterns .


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