02-23-2002, 12:29 AM
What is the best time of year to catch musky? How early in the spring can you start catching them? What is the Best water temps for musky fishing? How about times of day I know the wheather makes a diff. But are the early a.m. times better or mid day or eve. What are your thoughts Thanks, An eager musky beginner. Jared email@example.com
Stay away from the time when they are actually spawning. If the season is open then, you can try, but I think it is a total waste of time, just like with any other species you name. You can ocassionally murder fish prespawn and again after spawn but during is a bummer. Other than that, fish whenever you want.
Time of day is something that changes during the year. Conventional wisdom says that the colder the temperature in spring, the later in the day the fish get active. As the water warms and pressure from other anglers and boaters increases the more the fish will be active earlier and later. If you don't have the pressure, midday could be good all year, but if you have a lake like that you're fortunate. This is a guide, but you know those fish don't read guides. They do what they want and when they want so there is no substitute for going out there and fishing until you see a pattern developing. There are no sure shortcuts to catching fish other than actually fishing a lot or talking to someone who is currently fishing every day your lake. Fall (October/November)is a time when I don't care for the real early morning. I'll get out there when its light because the days are short, but I have yet to see any number of active fish early in the day. My best fishing then is usually 10:00 til dark. If I stayed out after dark I bet the fish could still be going, but it is physically tough to stay out that long in the cold.
I don't fully go with the guidelines above. Even early or very late in the year I'll give it an ocassional shot at sun/moon rise/set just because. If I had to pick a best time of year to fish, I'd go with late August. Warm water starting to cool, fully developed weedbeds just starting to go downhill, stable weather patterns just starting to change all seem to get the fish stirred up. I'll take after-turnover for a second choice. You can fish the big suckers along with any lure you want, and have a shot at a big fish plus the other boaters really thin out then. A more relaxing time to fish is hard to find. You get to appreciate you surroundings more when you are fishing slower. Just remember the later in the year you fish, the more important it is to have good clothes so you can enjoy the day, instead of shivvering your butt off. Hope this helps you. Good luck in '02!
Steve @ G & S
02-23-2002, 11:17 AM
This is going to sound something like a cop-out, but I've found the best time to catch muskies is when you have time.
For numbers, June was great for me last season, there was a three day period when clients and I caught 31 muskies! But, none of them were very big, the largest was a 42 inch fish.
I'm sure you know that late in the fall, the muskies are the heaviest that they're going to be for the year, so if you're looking for bulk, that's the time to go.
As far as time of day? Man, I've had action at all times of day, from early morning to late evening. It all depends on when a muskie decides that it wants to eat. Actually, some of the best times have been right in the middle of the day, during the hottest, brightest part of the day.
One thing I've learned over the years is that the more I know about muskies, the less I think I know and the more questions that I need answered. It seems that as soon as I say, they do this because....Those &*^%$$$(* things do the exact opposite!
As far as water temps, it seems that they become more active once the water temps get over 50 degrees.
But that's just my experience, your milage may vary,
Steve @ G & S Guide Service and Custom Rods. http://www.herefishyfishy.com
I am not certain if this is the 'best' time of day to fish, but I usually fish around 2- 2 1/2 hours before dusk and fish until dark. As far as a time of year; I have had a greater number of muskies caught in July, and I have caught larger muskies later in the year (late Sept./ early Oct.) when they are fattening up for winter.
Just my two cents here, but I think that Muskie Activity is a mixture of air pressure, water temp, air quality/cloud cover (I've caught more muskies when the humidity is high), wind, and time of day. I wouldnt be suprized if the moon had something to do with it too! (solar/lunar tables)
Hope this helps!