Musky America Magazine

Clear Water Tactics Spawning areas are the key. If you can find shallow bays with remnant vegetation, you’ll be on your way to finding fish. Musky will spawn in water temperatures from 48-56 degrees. Spawning usually takes place in shallow bays on bottom muck, preferably in an area with sunken logs and stumps. Eggs are dropped in 6-18 inches of water. My first area to check out would be these bays. Keep moving out to the edge of the bays where drop offs occur. If the fish have vacated the bays, look for them in the nearest green weed patch where the weeds are 24 inches high or more. In all cases, 5-7 inch minnow baits and small to medium bucktails are good lure choices. A good approach is to use Crane, Slammer, or Hi Finn Sidewinder lures twitched on the surface and reeled or jerked 12 feet…then let them rise to the surface. My favorite is the Skimmer bucktail. This bait accounts for some of the most consistent action. Perch color on clear lakes and purple or gray crappie on dark water. Plan B If, after trying the shallows with out success, it may be that the fish have moved temporarily to deeper water because of weather of boat traffic. A trick that has saved the guide day for me on more than one occasion is using a feather tailed lure like the Mepps Marabou. I’ll locate fish cribs on my electronics, and using the rip/flutter method, jig this bait around the cribs. Musky hanging around these underwater ‘fast food buffets’ can be triggered into striking by the erratic action of the bait.