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Early Season Strategies

By Jim Saric

With the late ice out and cold spring, many are wondering how to approach those first few trips of the year. Here are two strategies to consider. First with weed growth being behind and limited in many waters, and with muskies spawning later this year, you’ll find muskies located in shallow flats, but there is less cover to hold them. Consider fishing shallow and casting to any form of shallow cover. It could be a fallen tree, a dock or even a thicker patch of weeds. Also, watch for shallow water cruising muskies. Trolling shallow running lures over these flats can be very productive as well, since the cover is limited and the muskies may be scattered.

The second approach to consider is fishing for suspended muskies in the basin adjacent to spawning areas. Often the muskies will return to open water after the spawn, and on years with limited shallow cover, the open water bite is typically better. Don’t worry that you may be casting or trolling over water 30-50 feet deep.   With the cooler water temperatures the muskies tend to suspend high in the water column so working bucktails, minnowbaits and soft plastics work very well.

Focus on these shallow flats and basin areas adjacent to musky spawning locations and you’ll surely be close to early season muskies.

 

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