Musky America Magazine June 2023 Edition

off to their favorite Chippewa Flowage Muskie water…sometimes the fish is as close as your own "front door". The water temperature was up to a respectable 64 degrees and at that temperature every lure is a potential Muskie producer. Muskie anglers have had success with everything from plastics to surface lures. Since I was covering the shallow shoreline, I decided to use one of my toppers to emulate a small varmint patrolling the shoreline for an easy meal. I am a supporter of the concept of ‘matching the hatch’ as part of a hunt strategy and anyone who has fished in the early Spring has observed that behavior for the animals that make their living at or close to the shallows. The shallows are also the first place where emerging weeds will provide a Muskie ambush cover. As I rounded the point of the resort shoreline heading toward Bay 1, I was getting ready to pull up the trolling motor and head on down the road. I thought to myself, "Just a cast or two more to be sure that I fished the shoreline clean". As my topper hit the water, a Muskie exploded on it. In all honesty, I never had time to even set the hook. Lucky for me, the Muskie hit the lure and turned away from the boat rather than toward it…he actually set the hook on himself. This was not a big fish, but it was the first fish of the Muskie season. It hit about 15 feet from the boat and did a little dance on the water trying to dislodge the topper from its jaw. I kept the line tight and slowly coaxed the fish toward the boat to be netted. With rod in one hand and the net in the other, I