Wisconsin Opening Day Musky

The picture above I painted says it all…..

Musky Hunters!  Please don’t take this short article the wrong way.

I’ll start by saying that over the years I’ve fished most of the Musky Lakes in the Musky belt in Wisconsin.

Every year, opening day was on May 10th, which always conflicted with Mothers day celebrations. Never the less, my buddies and I made the 6 hour trip from the suburbs of Chicago to the Musky belt almost every year from 1968 to 1975.  Most of the time we started at the Minocqua Chain because it was on the way to the other good musky lakes, like Trout lake, big & little St. Germains, big & little Arbor Vitae’s,  just to name a few. We usually left our homes early on a Friday morning, so we had Friday night, Saturday and most of Sunday to pound the waters.  If things where slow(which they usually were) we moved from the Minocqua chain to another lake on a Saturday morning. The smaller lakes wormed up faster and usually were a little more productive.

Now comes the point of this article. Early Spring up north can be really cold and sometimes it even snows. The big females are usually spawning and are reluctant to hit any size fast running lure. Small lures, even small Trout spinners were the way to go. Big lures were not effective at all.

Over a seven year period of time, with four of us pounding the water, the best we did was three legal sized Muskies and lots of small undersized babies. We used every lure know to man including some home made ones. It seemed like none of us would ever land a trophy sized Musky. Back in the day if anyone caught a Musky over twenty pounds was a rare feat. Actually, we caught more good sized walleyes than Muskies. There were some trips we never even raised a good sized Musky.

The moral of the story is don’t waste your time and energy going Musky fishing on opening day, unless you just like the adventure of being away from your old ladies.

After those non-productive fishing trips we started going to places like Lake-of-woods Min. and the mighty Chippewa flowage, in June or July. The weather & water was warmer and the big mom-mas where through spawning. These bigger lakes were not as heavily fished, and it wasn’t that difficult to catch a trophy sized musky. My biggest was a 32 LB-53 Inch beast I caught at Lake of the Woods, Min. on a Mepps Giant Killer, color black.

One thing to remember: Any Giant Killer color can be used to land a trophy musky, as long as it is black!

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