Good reports from musky opener

Amongst my fishing friends, most are just happy to get out there and catch a few fish regardless of the species. But most have a species of fish that they enjoy chasing the most, that they put most of their efforts towards. In addition to the efforts and time on the water, these anglers will spend most of their money and shopping time gearing up for said species as well.
Bass anglers, especially those who compete in tournaments often buy the best tackle that they can for bass. Because of their different seasonal movements and the fact that we have both largemouths and smallmouths in our region, the tackle that we collect really is endless. Walleye anglers get off a little easier since you can often get by with some jigs and then maybe some soft plastics and trolling equipment.
Serious musky anglers are a rare breed, but my friends who have the affliction usually have no interest in fishing for smaller fish and they are not afraid to spend $50, $75, even over $100 for a new bait that could trick the biggest fish in our lakes into biting. Often, these musky anglers have caught the bug after watching one of these giant fish follow their lure and then explode on it through a figure eight around the boat.
While I have plenty of experience musky fishing, fun fishing with my friends and guiding for them at various resorts over the years, I am by no means a musky expert. When I go musky fishing, sometimes we catch them, many times we don’t. I catch more of them incidentally while I’m bass fishing or that have latched on to a walleye that I was reeling in, than I have actually fishing for muskies. It’s just all about what you want to spend your time doing.
A number of my friends who dedicate a lot of their time to chasing these large predators catch big numbers of these fish throughout the season, which just happened to open up this past weekend across Sunset Country. Muskies spawn in the spring, in shallow weedy areas that warm quickly. These areas also provide some cover for their fry to hide around during the first few weeks of their lives.
Typically the best fishing areas for muskies early in the season are near these shallower bays and areas, then as the season progresses, muskies make their way to main lake areas and deeper water in most cases. Some muskies will be found shallower throughout the summer, while others will move quickly to deep water. One thing unique to Lake of the Woods and some of the other good musky waters around our region is that you can catch muskies on a variety of techniques, both shallow and deep throughout the season.
In catching up with a few of my buddies that got out over the opening weekend, the fishing reports were good. Most of the anglers who spent the day musky fishing on Saturday caught four, six, even one report of ten muskies. When I asked them for a tip for people who want might have some interest in getting out over the next few weeks, they all said to concentrate on points, rock piles and channels heading out of the shallower bays.
Smaller lures can be good this time of year as well, as muskies are maybe a little bit lazy as they recover from their spawning process. In-line bucktail type spinners and topwater baits are good because they can be fished shallow and they are known producers. As we get into summer and then fall, in addition to finding fish around shallow reefs and weed beds, muskies will show up in areas with current where they’ll feed on smaller bass and walleyes. They are also known to live around specific pieces of cover in the summer months like docks or trees in the water. In the fall, much of the focus becomes feeding on spawning cisco and whitefish that show up in rocky main lake areas.
If you haven’t already, I hope you get the opportunity to catch a musky this summer and catch the bug!