During the winter, muskies are dormant, staying close to the bottom and moving very little. During the spring, the warming water awakens them and directs them to spawn. As the water temperature continues to climb, so does the musky’s activity level. By July and August, muskies are hungry, waiting to pounce on your biggest musky baits.
This summer, take advantage of the heat and spend some time fishing for musky. Wisconsin offers arguably the best musky fishing in North America. Top musky destinations include Vilas County, particularly the area around Boulder Junction, and Oneida County, particularly around Rhinelander. Other musky hotspots include Lake DuBay in the Stevens Point area and the Flambeau, Chippewa and Jump rivers in Rusk County.
Summertime is when the musky angler should reach for his biggest baits. Baits measuring 12 inches or more are appropriate. A musky is happy to eat a fish that is one-third of his length or longer. That means a 50-inch fish would be happy to eat something about 16 inches long. That’s one healthy appetite!
Bucktails have long been a favorite among Wisconsin musky anglers. During the summer months, bucktails should be ripped through the water to trigger the highly active musky. Remember to be ready to do a figure-eight with your bait should one of these toothy predators follow your lure to the boat.
Crankbaits are another good summer option, especially on deeper lakes where muskies stay down deep near the thermocline. The key with crankbaits in the summer is big: choose the biggest crankbait you have in your tackle box. Be on the lookout for underwater islands, holes or any variation in the bottom structure that might attract fish.
Jerkbaits are another option. Slowly work a jerkbait over a deep weedbed and you have a good chance of triggering a strike.
This summer, get out on the water on one of thousands of Wisconsin musky lakes. There are some big fish out there just waiting to be caught.