Trolling For Muskies Right Now

Trolling For Muskies Right Now

Larry Lucas, Omaha, Nebraska, observed that on a trip to Minnesota right after the muskie opener in June, he saw many anglers already trolling on the three lakes he fished. "Isn't it too early?" he asks. We asked In-Fisherman contributor and muskie guide, Dan Craven, Walker, Minnesota, to comment.

Craven: More muskie fishermen are trolling early in the season. And, in most cases, they're catching fish. Open-water (suspended) muskies are "there" before a distinct thermocline sets up. Indeed, some tracking studies suggest that sometimes muskies spend the majority of their time suspended, until weedbeds develop. The majority of active fish tend to ride high in the water column (upper 15 feet) yet fish located at greater depths (down to 25 feet) can also be caught at times. Medium to large-sized crankbaits like the 8- and 10-inch Mania Tackle Jakes are preferred baits.

Shallow-water trolling can work, too. In this case, anglers run shallow-running crankbaits and spinnerbaits over long stretches of emerging weedbeds. Baits are "skimmed" just above the plants. Fine-tuning lure depth to reduce fouled baits is a key to success.

If you're not connecting by casting into shallower water, move out to open water for a run or two. Look for baitfish. Muskies usually aren't along drop-off edges, but pushed way out away from those edges. On the other hand, if you're faced with large flats with newly emerging weedgrowth and don't know where to begin, trolling might provide a better clue where to concentrate efforts.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

Minus System Crankbaits for Largemouths

Minus System Crankbaits for Largemouths

In-Fisherman Editor-In-Chief, Doug Stange demonstrates the use of DT Fat Minus crankbaits for largemouth bass.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

Giant Walleyes According To Calendar Periods

Giant Walleyes According To Calendar Periods

The search for big walleyes begins with an understanding of their nature, keying on prime locations during specific times of the year.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

See More Trending Articles

More Pike & Muskie

As muskie guide Captain Jon Bondy will tell you, muskies aren't ”most other fish.” Pike & Muskie

Catching Muskies on Bondy Baits

Gord Pyzer

As muskie guide Captain Jon Bondy will tell you, muskies aren't ”most other fish.”

Fish hooked on single-hook lures are easier to handle. Pike & Muskie

Magic with Weighted Swimbait Hooks

Doug Stange - June 11, 2020

Fish hooked on single-hook lures are easier to handle.

Dramatic changes have reshaped Lake of the Woods. Pike & Muskie

Lake of the Woods Muskie Trends, Tactics & Threats

Cory Schmidt - September 26, 2019

Dramatic changes have reshaped Lake of the Woods.

Let's look at what we really know about optimizing our time on the ice for pike. Pike & Muskie

Fascinating Factors for Pike

Gord Pyzer - March 04, 2020

Let's look at what we really know about optimizing our time on the ice for pike.

See More Pike & Muskie

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now