Muskie Marks Wisconsin Fishing Musky Guide Service for Lake Redstone, Castle Rock Flowage, Lake Petenwell Flowage and the Wisconsin River. Fishing reports, musky fishing articles, muskie fishing tips and musky fishing news with professional Wisconsin fishing guide Mark Saemisch.

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by Fishing Guide Mark Saemisch aka "Muskie Mark"

What to do when, while muskie fishing
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What to do when, while muskie fishing


Too many people catch a fish in a spot and just keep going to that spot and casting their brains out. Sometimes this isn't a bad thing to do, when it's the right thing to do. How do I know when this is the right thing to do? Well, I'll tell ya that experience has quite a bit to do with my decision making. The more times you see a situation, the easier you will recognize it. Every body of water tends to have certain things that seem to turn fish on in certain spots. Sometimes I know that when a certain type of wind is blowing into a certain bay at a certain time of year, I should be in there casting the heck out of it. Other times I know that a spot might be where fish are there all summer or year. I just know because of a change that is going on like sun, moon, weather or what ever, I should be casting my brains out in that spot.


What do I do when I'm out looking for fish, and a situation hasn't really presented itself to me just yet? In times like this you must realize that something has presented itself you're just not seeing it yet. The first thing I do any time I go fishing Is to realize what kind of lake I will be fishing. Is it dark or clear? Does it have feeder creeks? Is it a river or does it have river qualities? What does it have for cover, or should I say ambush points? (weeds, wood, rocks, docks, islands, concrete structure, cribs, floating bogs, boats, humps drop offs, flats, shade and where slack water meets fast water from either current made by normal flow or wind) Wow that's a lot of things to consider. How do you pick that all apart? Well you don't have to pick it all apart. Most of the time these things collide together. For instance you might see boats, docks, rocks, drop offs, shade, weeds, wave action all together and it might be near a main lake hump. Up until this time you all might have been thinking of a certain place that had weeds or something. When I mentioned this idea of all the spots together you probably said I know a spot like that. But maybe you were just focusing on a couple of the ambush points mentioned above. Now think about certain lakes you fish, and you'll probably come up with some more places. When you are thinking of these spots you might have already caught a fish or two on one of these spots. If this is the case then this is defiantly a good spot. But if you can't think of any other spots like this, then you first need to learn your water. This takes time, with maps and time on the water with electronics. Get to know your bodies of water! Then you will know more of these spots. Once this is done you then need to figure out how your lake works. When I say this I really mean how it works. This is why I mentioned the question, is the water dark or clear? If your lake is dark, is it dark because of tanic acid or brown algae? When I fish dark water I like to start kind of shallow and work my way out as the day progresses. In most darker waters there is usually weed growth that is mostly shallow. Weeds attract fish. I try to always associate weeds into the mix, even if there are very few. Another thing to think about when on dark water with a lot of brown algae is that there will probably be low D.O. (dissolved oxygen) On some of the lakes I fish I see this as early as June. When this is the case early morning is the time to be in the weeds. Weeds make oxygen, but this only happens when they have sunlight. So at night the oxygen is getting used up. When morning comes there are all kinds of fish near the shallows. This is an excellent time for a predator like a muskie to ambush it's prey. That's why and where you need to be. Being that morning is a good time to be on a spot like this, you want to hit as many of these spots that you can in the morning hours. Plan it out and hit all your spots like clock work.


This was a good summer plan, but how about earlier in the year. What I like to do each year is hit areas where I know muskies spawn, and feeder creeks. I like to throw small baits about 5 to 6 inches until the water hit 58 degrees. Then I'll start to throw a little bigger stuff and move around to transition areas between these early areas and the summer areas. Well now you ask where are the main summer areas after the morning hours. This is tricky because I like to think that there are all kinds of fish, just like there are all kinds of people. Some of them spend a lot of time in shallow and others spend a lot of time suspended in open water, but then there are others that spend their time moving around. So I tend to go after what is moving around. When they are in the shallows then they are by the others that stay shallow and there for give me a better chance at that time, Then when they move away to where suspended fish are, the majority of fish are there. 90% of the fish are indeed in 10% of the water. This is the way you need to think if you want to catch more muskies. All species are like this, even bluegills. Have you ever noticed that during the summer when the gills are out in deeper structure, that there are even some that are still to be caught in close by docks and such? The ones that are left by the docks are the 10 or 20%. the deeper ones that you see all over your screen in a school are the 80 to 90%. This brings me to another item on the list get to know your bait fish. Where are they at when?, and you will find the 80 to 90% of the muskies. Figure out the ambush points for them to get these bait fish and you can get the proper presentation.


When you are sure you did your homework and you are coming up empty handed, maybe you are just trying the wrong presentation, due to fish activity. What I am getting at, has to do with the fact that the musky is a fish that has feeding windows. These are triggered by some things I mentioned earlier like sun and moon and what not. There is plenty of info on this subject in magazines and all over the internet, so I'm not going to go into it on these subjects. What I am going to mention is that when there is a feeding window you will usually see the fish up and feeding when you are in the right area. But sometimes you're in the right area and they aren't up and feeding. They are just not turned on yet. If you think you are in the right area, have confidence and slow down your presentation. Sometimes they will even be on the bottom, provided there is good oxygen like in a current situation. I'm not saying that they will be jumping in the boat during times like this if you fish the bottom, but you will pick up a few more fish.


In this article I touched on a few things not all, but what I want to do is get you the reader to start using your noodle a little differently when you are on the water. You might have all sorts of thoughts when you are out there, but you need to know the right ones from the wrong ones and prioritize your thoughts so that you are able to have accurate execution. Thanks for reading.


Muskie Mark

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