Posts Tagged ‘Muskie fishing’

Ladies and gentlemen of the Northwoods: Start! Your! Bucktails!

And after a long hiatus from MLO, I’m back with a vengeance. And this time, that vengeance is focused on one thing: boating my first true northern Wisconsin Muskie.

(Insert jokes about an outdoorsman from Wisconsin who has never caught a Muskie.)

But the truth is, I’ve never really taken the time to seek out muskies. If I was going to be on the water, I was going to be fishing for ‘eyes. Plain and simple. But all that changed when my parents bought a cabin last fall on a lake known for its muskie fishing. And as tonight at midnight marks the beginning of Wisconsin’s northern zone’s muskie season, I figured now is the perfect time to start this series.

I really began being drawn to the concept of muskie fishing when I started to really analyze its core. At its most true concept, I realized muskie fishing wouldn’t be like bass fishing, it wouldn’t be like walleye fishing, and no, it wouldn’t even be like northern pike fishing. No, this new endeavor I was contemplating, this new pursuit I was mulling over wouldn’t be fishing, at all. Fishing is far too passive of an activity to properly describe the pursuit of the elusive muskellunge. No, this new journey would have to be a hunt.

Becoming a muskie hunter, I knew, would require not only a new arsenal of equipment, but an entire change in fishing philosophy. No doubt it would be a challenge, but it was one I decided I was ready to tackle.

Making the switch from a primarily walleye fisherman to the ranks of the musky hunter will not be easy, but in the next few weeks I’m going to chronicle my journey to boat my first ‘skie.  I’m going to be talking about how, where, and why I’m fishing the way I do. This is meant to be sort of a fishing log of the novice muskie fisherman.

If you’re a seasoned musky fisherman and see me doing something wrong, please, give me a comment. If you’re a new musky fisherman like myself, realize you’re not alone! Use these next set of posts as a tool to learn from my mistakes. I know I’ll probably make some huge (and stupid) rookie wrongs, but that’s part of what this is all about—the journey through trial and error to becoming a better a musky fisherman! There will be no guides, no cut-corners here. Just a fisherman and his quest to catch his first muskie.

Now, seeing as I’m quite the novice at musky fishing, I’ve been doing my homework and research over the long months of hard water. I think I’ve developed a fairly basic, but decent plan for fishing these first few weeks of the season.  I’ll be mostly fishing a deep, clear lake with a lot of points, mid-lake humps, and break lines. These first few weeks I’m going to concentrate on fishing shallow water (the water quickest to warm) and searching for new weed growth. I’m going to be throwing a lot of smaller bucktails with slow retrievals for cold water lethargic ‘skies. I’ll probably also be tossing quite a few shallow jerk-baits and top-water lures, as well.

Why, you may ask? Because, from what I’ve understood, in this colder section of the season, muskies tend to relate to the shallows. Zooplankton (the bottom level of the food chain) will be drawn to shallower water because it’s the first to warm. This, in turn, attracts the bait fish which feed on zooplankton, which, in turn, attracts the bigger fish which finally, brings in the top-dog prey fish. And it’s my goal to catch that ultimate prey fish—the water wolf of the northwoods.

So join with me on my journey. There’ll be times it’s going to be frustrating for me (and probably a lot more frustrating for you guys who know what you’re supposed to do) and there’ll be times of elation (I hope). But no matter what’s going on, I hope you enjoy reading the next installment of Mitch Larson Outdoors: The Muskie Curve.

Good fishing!


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