Muskie action across the state is heating up and reports of some very large fish have come my way. A friend just got back from a 9 day trip in which 21 fish were boated with the two largest over 55". In addition I have heard of a few fish between 56 and 57" inches being caught and released..... quite possibly state record contenders. The concept of releasing a potential record fish would not even enter the mind of most anglers fishing other species but is common in the muskie fishing community. So we hear about many big fish that never get "officially" recorded.
After a summer which has had below average water temps the recent warming trend is finally starting to get things kicked into gear. The full moon also was a factor the past week or so.... many trophy seeking anglers will plan outings to coincide with either the full or new moon as both have proven over time to kick up fish and game activity...especially the largest specimans.
One commonly held old wives tale is the "dog days of August", now I am not sure which "old wife" coined the phrase but my guess is it was someone wanting to keep her hubby at home instead of fishing. Fish being cold blooded actually process food more rapidly as water temps heat up and require more food...so they have to eat more. Compared to Northern Pike the Muskie is quite a bit more tolerant or warmer water temps, Pike will generally seek cooler temps while muskies actually seem to prefer warmer temps in general.
In general Topwater and inline spinners really start to shine as the temps climb and that is what I have been seeing and hearing as the reports come my way. If you leave the dock right now with only a handfull of those baits you are well prepared.
On last thing to keep in mind is the higher the water temps the more potential stress there will be on the fish during the battle and then the recovery. Warmer water holds less oxygen so do your catch a favor and keep it in the water as much as possible so it can recover effectivly and live to fight another day. If you are unsure how to handle a big fish please review my release blog posted earlier so we all can enjoy successfull outings catching these "recycled" fish.