Do this right now for early spring muskies.
Right now, ice is off just about all waters in the Midwest – except for the northern states – that muskies call home.
If you are like most muskie fishermen waiting to launch your boat for the first time of the year, a little strategy check might be in order. Gary Enos, a famed Indiana muskie guide, breaks down exactly how to put some spring muskies in your boat on your first trip of the season.
“Once the ice is off, it’s time to hit the water. By now, Muskie fever is at it’s peak,” Enos said. “So, head out to your favorite Muskie lake and find the warmest water you can.”
Typically, shallow water is the key. Any sort of shallow bays, feeder creek areas, and weedy areas tend to produce. The shallow water warms up faster in early spring which starts the cycle of life. Muskies are right there enjoying the warm water and putting the feed bag on as well.
A lot has been said over the past couple years about throwing big baits right when the ice comes off. However, Enos doesn’t agree.
“Now’s not the time to throw big stuff. You’re looking for action,” said Enos. “Start out by going smaller. Rapala J13’s in perch or silver/black is a good option. A rip/pause retrieve seems to get their attention with strikes coming on the pause. Or, a fast moving bucktail in silver/black or gold/black in #5 French blades will get the job done.”
Early spring muskies can offer fast and furious action. A lot of times, the fish are smaller, but every now and then you can luck into a big girl. Enos said it best, below:
“Remember, this is for the aggressive males that are moving into the shallows. However, don’t be surprised if you hook up with a big girl, too”.
Good luck out on the water. Right now is the time to get out there and get after it.