July?August? Those are some words that come to mind when referring to the weather that we have had the past couple weeks. This weather has warmed our lakes and rivers incredibly fast and water temperatures are five to ten degrees above average for this time of year. This warmer water has made Musky fishing above average in southern Wisconsin, Indiana, and other southern states with spring seasons. This Saturday the Northern Zone of Wisconsin will open to Musky fishing and is much anticipated this year in part due to the warm weather.
Look for fish on weed edges and reefs adjacent to spawning bays. I will be fishing a river and will start out by fishing bars and shelves that gradually drop off into deep water with cabbage and other green weeds in the shallow areas. Start out fishing deep weed edges anywhere from 10-20 feet. Baits that will be thrown in my boat at these depths include deep running jerkbaits like regular sized Bulldawgs, midsize crankbaits like Depthraiders, and slow-rolling big blades like Jr. Double cowgirls and Double Cowgirls. When moving up into shallow water, side to side topwaters like jackpots and weagles will get the nod at dusk and dawn. Smaller, traditional bucktails and spinnerbaits cast through the weeds is a consistent producer. Subsurface jerkbaits like Gliding Raps and Phantoms usually work well on lethargic spring Muskies, and will probably get the most time in my boat tomorrow.
Minnesota Bass Opener
Bass fishing should be very good this weekend. A couple weeks ago, while on Crane Lake for Walleye opener, Bass fishing had opened in the far north. After we had our Walleyes for supper, my brother and i pitched jigs and cast jerkbaits to rock shelfs and caught good numbers of Smallies and a 4 lb largemouth that fell to my jig. Two of the Smallies exceeded 4 lbs as they were prespawn and put back in the water quickly. My usual standby for Minnesota bass opener is searching with X-Raps in 5-12 feet of water. When I find them, I usually slow down with a 1/4 ounce skirted jig with a craw trailer. Also, don't be afraid to throw a topwater like a Scumfrog or Skitter Pop as Bass will be agressive with the warm water.
Whether your travelling to the "State of Cheese" for Muskies or staying near home for Bass, it should be a good weekend fishing, so get out there and good luck!