Skip to main content

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

Recent Videos

In-Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

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 and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now