The Muskie Minute: Open the Window

Andrew Slette

By Andrew Slette

With the hot days, rising water temps and high skies, muskies have been seeking shelter in the deep weeds.  There is a small window of opportunity in the mornings and evenings that has fish out actively chasing baitfish during those low light periods. Muskies can be found suspended over deeper water or up on top of the flat, although these bites seem to come and go fast with the high skies. The fish on the flats and inside the weed edges can be cast for with topwater baits, bucktails and smaller crankbaits.  The suspended muskies have been hanging close to structure and can be targeted by trolling crankbaits, casting rubber baits or jigging Bondy Baits or tubes. When the day is at its warmest, the majority of fish head back to structure or cabbage but can turned with the right lure selection.

That cabbage has been the most consistent place for a bite so far this season. This will likely be the case for the next couple of weeks. The muskies in the cabbage can be targeted with bucktails or topwater lures in the mornings and evenings. Rubber baits, such as Bulldawgs and Medusas, can be used once the sun is up. The bucktail and topwater baits are still a go to for the morning and evening bites.  If you want a big fish though, you may have to dig a little deeper in your box and pull out something you would not normally throw.   Your best bet would be keeping your boat off the structure and landing your baits in 10-to-12-feet of water.   

In the early morning if you position your boat in 20 feet of water you can effectively cast the structure allowing the second person in the boat to cast into the abyss.  A side imaging graph will help immensely in locating the suspended fish this time of year. Otherwise, if you are fishing without side imaging, you will just have to take my word for it and cast until you hook one or see a follow.  The further we get into June the better the fishing should get as the big females recover from the spawn. Soon muskies will start chasing baitfish around in the basins and the bigger fish will start to show more interest in feeding.

Andrew Slette is Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a Hawley, Minn. based fishing guide specializing in muskies in Minnesota’s west-central lakes countryHe held the Minnesota catch-and-release muskie record from 2016 to 2019 with a 57-inch fish.

Featured Photo: Large plastics like Bulldawgs and Medusas will entice muskies into biting as things warm up in lakes country. DEO Photo by Andrew Slette.

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