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Old 08-19-2017, 10:21 AM
DVL JON DVL JON is offline
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Default Muskies spawning

Is there any video out their which shows the spawning of Muskies. Where and when does spawning occur? What water temp. is the best time to look for them?

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DVL Jon
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2017, 04:16 PM
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WallyWarrior WallyWarrior is online now
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I don't think they spawn. Pretty sure they are just planted to ruin the future of the lake selected.


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Old 05-14-2018, 08:26 PM
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Spring Muskie Fishing

Musky are late spawners, seeing as they like their water a little warmer than pike and walleye.
They move into back bays, around shallow sides of islands, creeks and sandy flats to spawn. They prefer to have some kind of access to vegetation and like to be in anywhere from three to six feet of water.
They seem to spawn in the same areas as the pike, only a little deeper. This keeps their fry a little safer from pike that have already hatched and begun their veracious eating patterns.
After the spawn, muskies don't move far off of these areas as they are a fish that go dormant for the winter months and need to begin feeding right away to restock energy levels and get ready for another cold winter. What better spot than a shallow bay or rock pile flowing with minnows, pickerel, smallies and yes, even ducklings?
Key areas to zone in on post-spawn include sandy bays, as musky enjoy sun tanning in the warmer water, thus hanging out with the kiddies in most swimming areas, especially ones in bays that have warmer feeder creeks running into them.
Bays like this support schools of baitfish during late spring and early summer, in turn bringing in other fish as well as muskies.
Rocky points or boulder flats holding some type of weed growth are sure spots to produce early-season muskies. If you can find locations like these close by with deep water, muskies will use these as an ambush point to hide and nail unsuspecting prey moving up out of the deep.
As fall approaches, this same spot will be effective, although how it works may reverse. You may find in colder weather, muskies may sit on the deep edge and ambush from the other side.
Lastly, passage ways through islands and shallow weedy sides of islands are one-of-a-kind spots to fish for June and July muskies. Don't leave any place unfished when cruising and casting through these areas.
It is not uncommon to pull an early-season musky out of less than two feet of water. This is a great time of year for sight fishing. A good pair of polarized glasses are key for this.
Now by sight fishing I don't mean drive around all day until you see a musky, but keep your eyes peeled as you are casting. Look for dark shadows in the sand bars and gravel flats, and if you do see one, keep your distance and make long casts past him.
Another thing to keep in mind for big fish early is to not always throw big baits. Sure, there are some days when bigger is better when it comes to musky, but not early-season musky.
Downsizing your baits on a slow day could make the difference between a successful trip and a dismal one. Also, if fish aren't snapping at bucktails and crank baits, try slowing it down with jerk baits and soft plastics.

Post Spawn & Early Summer Muskie

Musky are late spawners, seeing as they like their water a little warmer than pike and walleye.
They move into back bays, around shallow sides of islands, creeks and sandy flats to spawn. They prefer to have some kind of access to vegetation and like to be in anywhere from three to six feet of water.
They seem to spawn in the same areas as the pike, only a little deeper. This keeps their fry a little safer from pike that have already hatched and begun their veracious eating patterns.
After the spawn, muskies don't move far off of these areas as they are a fish that go dormant for the winter months and need to begin feeding right away to restock energy levels and get ready for another cold winter. What better spot than a shallow bay or rock pile flowing with minnows, pickerel, smallies and yes, even ducklings?
Key areas to zone in on post-spawn include sandy bays, as musky enjoy sun tanning in the warmer water, thus hanging out with the kiddies in most swimming areas, especially ones in bays that have warmer feeder creeks running into them.
Bays like this support schools of baitfish during late spring and early summer, in turn bringing in other fish as well as muskies.
Rocky points or boulder flats holding some type of weed growth are sure spots to produce early-season muskies. If you can find locations like these close by with deep water, muskies will use these as an ambush point to hide and nail unsuspecting prey moving up out of the deep.

Summer Muskie

Once the water temperature starts to approach 60 degrees, the post-spawn muskie start moving into summer territories, typically this period is around opening day. Of course an early or late spring may have a dramatic effect on where they are located.
A lot of the early summer musky population will spend most of their time suspended shallow over deep water gorging on ciscoes and whitefish. The best open water areas will have rock humps that top off shallower than 15 feet, muskies will use these rock humps as areas to feed in packs and corral schools of ciscoes. Trolling or casting crankbaits, bucktails, jerkbaits, and large minnowbaits are most effective when fishing rock humps as again the fish are not that deep
Other muskies will remain shallow and in most cases not far from their spawning area. Look for the early season weed growth that is developed well, these are musky hotspots. This early weed growth signifies warmer water and baitfish, plus it offers cover for the musky to hold in. Good lures to fish over and around these early emerging weed patches are minnow baits and bucktail spinners, especially on overcast days with any kind of wave action. Reeds or bulrushes over shallow sand flats also attract early season muskies.

Weed beds near deep water are excellent locations, fish that hang out in deeper water will head to the weed beds to feed on schools of perch. On larger weed beds, work the outside edges first, especially the inside turn, before heading towards the center. Speed up your presentation at this time of year to the ideal speed for your lures. Large spinner baits, bucktails and jerk baits get the aggressive fish. Full sized crankbaits and spoons are also a good bet. Your heavy duty muskie tackle is a must!
As the season progresses and water temperatures reach 65 degrees, muskies will be scattered throughout the lake in their summer ranges. You will find musky on the classic structure that is easy to recognize, such as rocky or weedy points, narrows, island clusters, cabbage weedbeds and rocky reefs near deep water.
At the peak of summer, our lakes surface temperature may reach 76 degrees; with metabolism at its peak in muskies, they will feed more frequently than any other time of the year. During the day, fish will suspend in deeper water. Trolling with large deep running plugs or bucktails, is the best way to cover a lot of water as effectively as possible. Troll with a long line and troll fast, 3 to 6 mph along weedlines near deep water, narrows and reefs.
With high water temperatures, early mornings and evenings are prime fishing times to fish the shallow water weedbeds, deep water muskies move in to feed on the baitfish. Night fishing with topwater lures or large spinnerbaits can be a deadly tactic. Cast out and slowly retrieve your lure over submerged weeds or along the edges. This technique is not for the faint of heart, as you can expect a heart-stopping explosion from beneath the surface at any second!
Strong winds, warm surface temperatures and sunny days can be a productive time to fish** bulrush points close to deep water. Because of the strong winds, these reeds will quite often hold schools of baitfish; creating a perfect ambush opportunity for the aggressive musky. The best lure to use are spinnerbaits with Colorado blades, the silver or gold blades thump hard and create incredible flash.
A stretch of stable weather during the summer period will produce some of the best fishing of the year. If water temperature quickly drops several degrees because of a severe cold front, muskies will be much more fussy and difficult to catch. Using smaller lures and slower retrieves will increase your chances.
By late summer, the nights are cooler and water temperature has dropped back into the mid 60ís. This transition to fall is a high activity period, musky are on the move from their summer feeding patterns, being versatile is now your greatest asset, when fishing for muskie.
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  #4  
Old 05-14-2018, 08:35 PM
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Here is some valuable information as explained by Bob Mehsikomer, host of Simply Fishing Television Series. Check out his website and many videos on Youtube.

Jim Saric is another great source of information.


Seven Degrees Of Muskie Fishing By Bob Mehsikomer and Kyle Brickson

For years, we at Simply Fishing have attempted to educate viewers and attendees of our various seminars of the specifics of musky fishing. The information we offer is grounded in science and experience and we try to reserve unnecessary comments or conclusions until our experience has demonstrated the true and relative nature of our findings.
In this context, we have found that water temperature and its effects on the prey/predator relationship should be one of the most valuable assets in any musky hunterís arsenal of knowledge.
To keep this as simple as possible, weíve conjured an easy-to-remember system which we refer to as "7 degrees of musky location" or simply "the rule of 7ís." This process addresses the variable stages of water temperature and how these changes affect musky movement. Most importantly, where we expect to locate fish within specific temperature ranges.
Understanding the effect water temperature has on musky locations is arguably the most critical dynamic of successful musky fishing. After all, if youíre not fishing where the muskies are, you wonít catch them. Each water temperature benchmark in the "rule of 7ís" signifies an identifiable and significant change in the fishesí behavior. These rules apply primarily to the northern regions of the muskyís range, but with slight modifications of extreme periods, fishermen anywhere can apply these guidelines. The observations are based on surface temperatures, realizing that during certain circumstances, surface temperatures are indeed relative to only a few inches of the water column. (i.e. severe fronts). Therefore, be prepared to apply some common sense in this approach to fishing.

47 Degrees and Rising: Spawning Cycle

At 47 degrees, muskies experience the first of two compression periods because changes relating to everything will occur very quickly. Muskies are generally in the spawning cycle during this period. For the most part they are utilizing very shallow water, absorbing the warmest water available in the system. Areas offering the most direct sunlight, such as those in the northern or (better yet) northwest sections, generally receive the most direct sunlight and will warm fastest. They are also influenced by the stacking of warmer water due to southerly winds and are somewhat protected from the effects of harsh cold fronts often associated with this period.
In most cases the female musky will simply roam favorable areas in preparation for delivery, often escorted my as many as two to five males. Under the right conditions the male will engage the female by bumping, nudging and in some cases even biting the ripe female. This ritual entices the female to drop her eggs which are then fertilized by accompanying males. The ritual is random at best, which is exactly why nature has hard-wired the males to work in concert, to achieve satisfactory recruitment. In most states and provinces this occurs during a closed season and anglers are prohibited from fishing for muskies. In the rare circumstance where fishing might be legal, you should be aware of the negative implications of pursuing these fish during the spawning process where the fishery is dependent on natural reproduction. After all, a big female is carrying some 250,000 eggs, which in most cases will seldom yield 1 percent survival in the wild.

57 Degrees: Post Spawn Transition

At this water temperature, muskies will still be shallow and in most cases not far from their spawning locations. This is a prime time to seek them out in the systemís first emergent weed growth. Prime areas are shoreline associated weedlines both inside and out, shallow rockpiles and rock/weed combinations. All are prime territories for recovering females. They create a sanctuary for everything during this period. Other forage species are staging in the these areas in preparation for spawning, and combined with crayfish provide muskies have a virtual smorgasbord.
However, beware that things soon change drastically. Shortly after exceeding the 57-degree benchmark, at about 59 degrees, tracking studies have shown a sharp increase in movement toward summer ranges. Keep in mind on a small lake this might mean a few hundred yards of travel, but on a big lake this may mean many miles of travel! Itís all relative. This is referred to as the post-spawn transition period. As a calendar point of reference, this temperature will often meet you at the boat landing on opening day. So plan accordingly, an early or late spring may have a dramatic effect on fish location.
During this move to summer ranges fish will often hang up in transition areas. Transition areas are spots such as soft tapering points and flats that can hold numbers of fish during this period, especially during warming trends where the need to seek immediate depth is not desired.
An often overlooked area during this time of year is the open water transition areas. Muskies seeking shallow water will often suspend shallow over deep water. Open water areas just off these transition areas, or confined open water areas, are prime for casting and especially trolling techniques.

67: Home is Where Your Heart Is

By 67 degrees, you should expect muskies to be established in their summer ranges. And the saying "home is where your heart is" holds especially true for muskies. Although fish cover some water, they tend to use areas that suit their biological needs. Muskies often revisit several structures within these areas ‚ÄĒ often several times a day ‚ÄĒ depending on day-to-day weather patterns and forage availability. Others remain homebodies and will travel very little. Remember, this will be relative to the size of the water youíre fishing.
This period is generally marked by the beginning of musky fishing pressure. For the most part muskies are now on classic, easy-to-recognize structures, such as points, saddles, aprons, weedbeds and sunken reefs. In other words, they are at home everywhere. A few fish get hung up in the shallows continuing to take advantage of post-spawn panfish. A few fish will gravitate to the extreme shallows which in some systems will in fact become their summer haunts ‚ÄĒ primarily in darker systems. As the days progress, warming water will cause an increase in metabolism, thus causing more frequent feeding periods (Ed note ‚ÄĒ see Bobís article, "Itís A Matter of Attitude" in the February/March 2001 issue of Musky Hunter). However, the areas in which they choose to feed will primarily depend on more localized weather patterns and, of course, are relative to existing water temperatures.
During this period anglers will constantly be tested, simply because the fish are located throughout the system and concentrations will be loosely defined. During such periods, if the temperatures have been in a constant warming trend, they will often utilize large, tapering points. However, that same fish which resides here will act very differently during cold front periods. With a drop of a few degrees in their environment, most fish will relocate to the more dramatic edges of the structure, such as sharp vertical breaks, or suspend away from structure. They will make it a habit during these periods to become very vertically-oriented. They will escape the cooling trends by simply dropping down in the water column, exerting almost no energy in this effort, unlike the energy necessary to navigate a larger tapering area to accomplish the same goal. If nature has done anything, it has instinctively conditioned these fish to conserve energy whenever required. This is evident when the pursuit of muskies becomes an obviously one-sided event, painfully witnessed by the absolute absence of fish.
Saddles and aprons are without question among the muskiesí most preferred locations for activity during warm or improving trends. These are also areas where in the past we have connected with large numbers of fish under such conditions, providing the locations have adequate characteristics such as forage and diverse structure. The fish will generally vacate these areas during cold front periods, generally because of the smaller and somewhat shallower water nature associated with the more productive saddles and aprons. Look for these inhabitants to seek deeper water sanctuaries until things improve or until they have simply adjusted to the conditions. If these are your only options for fishing under severe conditions, expect to utilize patience and persistence.
Weedbeds are easily located, but are seldom fished properly despite being incredibly paramount. They can be comprised of any number of aquatic plant types and will often be comprised of two or more plant types in a single location in more fertile waters. Look for transition of weed types as the spot on the spot. Weedbeds are also one of the few elements that will actually house muskies throughout the entire summer peak. By that, I am referring to the ability to hold complete societies from week to week. Knowledge and proper approaches to such areas will greatly improve your hour-to-fish ratio.
The canopy effect produced by healthy aquatic plant life will cool the waters when necessary. The presence of healthy growing vegetation will provide valuable oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. When cover is required by the predator, little offers more value than a healthy weedbed and, in fact, nothing will house a more complete and diverse population of potential forage. These are all key considerations.
Weedbeds in lakes such as Wabigoon will collectively hold up to 80 percent of the total musky population and can be productive three to four times as long as other prime structures, opposed to those found on Lake of the Woods which may only house 40 to 50 percent of the musky population during limited periods. While fishing Wabigoon back in the 1970s I stumbled on some idiosyncrasies of which I found most interesting and still apply today. During the periods of 67- to 77-degree water temperatures, it can be very difficult to entice fish activity in clear water systems under bright sunny conditions, so I started to seek darker water systems to overcome this apparent problem. Knowing I couldnít change the weather conditions to those I preferred, I decided to adapt, by temporarily changing locations. In doing so I realized the darker the water, the quicker it warmed. As well as warming quicker it also promoted development of vegetation much earlier and quicker. So in fact, if I were to arrive at my chosen clear water system and was faced with bight conditions, I would trailer to a darker lake, in this case from Eagle to Wabigoon. What was most interesting was the fact in the case of the ĎGoon, the calmer the water, the brighter the conditions, the better it was. The sediment so profound in Wabigoon would stir up very easily under windy conditions, and settle under calm periods, which actually enhanced my results. The point is, wether you are moving around a very large system such as Lake of the Woods, or moving from lake to lake in northern Wisconsin, you can circumvent existing conditions to some degree by relocating.

77: Peaking out

Summer peak is defined by the pinnacle in water temperature for the season, the temperature you can hope to expect in midsummer across northern regions of the musky habitat. Some years, like last for instance, many waters never attained this surface temperature. However, at 77 degrees, muskies will feed more frequently than any other time of year, possibly as often as every eight hours. Combine a stretch of stable weather during this period and you can expect multiple daily catches and numerous follows likely on the right water. If you are fortunate enough to experience this anomaly, suffice it to say, fishing can be as good as it gets!
On the contrary, during unstable weather expect the musky to be more finicky than at any other period of the season. They will make very dramatic moves during this peak period based on changes in their environment. Periods of cold fronts will force the musky to adhere to harder breaking areas more consistently than they would during more favorable conditions. Again, history will tell us they like it warm. If the water temperatures reach or exceed say 77 degrees and rapidly fall back into the high 60s, obviously due to a severe cold front, larger female muskies will simply escape by going vertical and dropping below the negative influences until things improve, at which time she will again make another vertical move, ascending to her preferred comfort zone. This will hold true throughout the muskiesí natural range.

67: Fall Transition

On the back side of 67 degrees is when the fall transition generally begins. Fish are now more likely to be found on vertical sections of structure, where easy access to deep water is generally available. Sharp vertical points leading into inside turns are fish magnets. The cool nights have begun. Day to day fluctuations in water temperatures will dictate absolute depths fish use. On warm days fish may still be found shallow, but in cooling temperatures fish again tend to drop down. Always keep in mind, for midday peak warmth during a cooling trend may quickly reverse this process and again bring fish shallow. Itís important to recognize that during this early fall period, frontal systems move through quicker as the region loses itís stronghold on summerís more favorable weather patterns.
On natural lakes in the Midwest or throughout Canada, the more intuitive anglers will be tuned into the process of identifying and following roaming forage during this key period. Between now and the 57-degree benchmark, baitfish such as crappies, ciscoes, tullibees and others will start to congregate in the course of their normal daily activities and will often come into contact with prime musky structural elements as they travel throughout the system. Itís during this period that the predator will begin to show signs of conserving their energy supplies by dramatically reducing their daily movements and closely adhering to the art of ambush, tending to use vertical structure more frequently. Casting and trolling the more vertical structures, adjacent prime summer locations, should be a primary consideration.

57: Fall

The benchmark water temperature of 57 degrees signifies entry to fall and coincides with the turnover period. Muskies have again begun to travel away from their summer home ranges. This marks the period when much of the available vegetation begins to die. Fish will again set up in transition areas. Sharp vertical points, shorelines and walls become prime candidates. This is the time multiple forage species begin to stage off breaklines. Although casting these areas can be effective, trolling now becomes a prime consideration. Active fish will primarily be at the mid-depth levels at 8 to 15 feet, although on days following turnover they can be at any depth. However, during warming trends fish again may move shallow.
This is the period when conservation of energy falls into second place as they endure the relocation process. Fish this period much like you would the spring period of the same temperatures. Forage is on the move, selecting their primary comfort zones, and muskies follow. Any warming patterns have produced some of my largest fish while casting surface lures on existing outside weedlines. Kyle, on the other hand, has reported many multi-fish days trolling. As long as the muskies are on the move, they are using energy and will be feeding, but they are not necessarily using defined, prime, spot-on-a-spot structures and you will have to cover water to find them.

47: Fall Trophy Hunting

When water temperatures plunge to 47 degrees, muskies are well-entrenched in the fall season. Fish are well-established in transition areas again utilizing vertical structure. They are now in the process of energy conservation and some of the larger females may even experience the beginning stages of egg production. Muskies are feeding and focusing on forage with high fat content, like suckers and ciscoes. Fish will most often be at their peak weight. Trolling these areas is now a primary consideration. Again fish may still respond during warming trends by moving shallow. Fish utilizing shallow structure and remaining vegetation make casting an effective option.

37: Break Out The Parka

Fish are now usually found in deep water in their established wintering zones. Once the water temp drops to 39 degrees the upper level of the water column sinks and as the surface of the water column continues to cool, fish will seek the warmer deeper layer. Deep trolling and casting becomes an effective tactic. Muskies will often relocate to areas previously void of fish and may use open water far removed from any defined structure. Trolling areas out and away from structure is an effective tactic during this late fall period. Locating baitfish that have often pulled away from structure is the key to
success.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:21 AM
Bill Krejca Bill Krejca is offline
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Reminds me of the experiment by the DNR on LOW in the late 1950's or early 1960's (don't remember exact time). In the southern portion of Whitefish Bay, LOW, they placed large stationary pound nets in many of the bays. The idea was to thin down the pike population. Since pike spawn before muskies, the theory was that removing a bunch of pike would expedite increasing the muskie population - young pike, due to being hatched earlier, tend to potentially feast of the smaller later hatched muskies. I never read of the results of the experiment, other than having personally experienced a substantial reduction in numbers of pike caught during that time period. Since i have not heard of further exploits along this line, I assume the netting effort was less than fruitful, at least for the intended purpose and effort expended. It did, from my observation, lend credence to the results of netting, however. Different subject.

Bill
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:29 AM
Bols23 Bols23 is offline
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Thanks for all the helpful info, LOTW. Got any guesses what the water temp will be for the musky opener on LOTW?
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