Shorter days and cooler nights are a sure sign of fall. As we transition from late summer into early fall you will notice that water temperatures are now on the decline. Our short-lived summer is rapidly coming to an end, and the muskies are starting to make subtle transition movements as the seasons change. As the water temperatures cool you’ll find more muskies relating to shallow cover. There will be an increase in the number of muskies using weed edges. Muskies that have been suspended during much of mid-summer are now making more frequent visits to the weeds. If the water you fish is stained and has thick weed patches, you’ll see some muskies move shallower into the weed flats. It’s amazing how shallow some muskies will go. In fact, on some clear waters with distinct inside and outside weed edges, you’ll find muskies using the inside weed edge or roaming the shallow sand inside the weeds.
This move towards shallow cover means you’ll need to make subtle boat control and lure adjustments to catch more muskies in early fall. Sure it’s important to check the deep, outside weed edge with a crankbait or soft plastic, but more often the muskies will be concentrated on the weed flats or inside edge. It’s time to fish topwater or bucktails over the tops of the weeds. These lures are perfect for covering shallow weed flats. Another great option is a spinnerbait as it can be worked slowly through the thick cover. In early fall, it amazing how muskies will appear from nowhere exploding from the pockets. If you are musky fishing in early fall and not contacting muskies in their normal summer haunts, try moving into the thicker cover. You might just be surprised what you find!