During the long months of winter, anglers should have had plenty of time to oil their reels, change their line, sharpen hooks and straighten out their tackle boxes. With the equipment ready to go they should be prepared to hit the water and get their musky fishing started for the year.
The first tip to keep in mind is that the musky will not be as aggressive in spring as they will be later in the year when the water is warmer. While large plugs might be the rule at some points in the year, try smaller lures for spring musky when the water is cold. A general rule of thumb for musky might be to consider water less than 60 degrees as cold. Lures cast into waters less than 60 degrees should be fished slowly with varied retrieves.
While a musky might well take a small bait retrieved steadily, a retrieve mimicking an injured prey fish may be the trick to produce a bite. Small prey fish, especially those that are damaged, make for tasty meals with little energy outlay for spring musky. When using large lures, it is especially useful to fish them to mimic an injured fish.
Just as fishermen and fisherwomen might want to consider presenting smaller lures to spring musky, they also may want to use lighter rods and reels. While smaller rods and reels can make fighting the musky more challenging, shorter rods and reels can also help to feel lighter bites and to more accurately cast the small lures more suited to this time of the year.
Spring musky anglers should target shallow water that is being warmed by the sun and other sources of warmer water. Those fishing for musky might also choose to fish shallower lakes in the spring as the smaller bodies of water will more quickly warm than the larger ones. Tributaries coming into larger bodies of water are often another source of warmer water. Hit the areas around creeks, drainage ditches, and other sources of water for musky feeding in the warmer water.
The musky is known as the fish of 10,000 casts. While this may be an exaggeration, you aren’t going to catch musky in the spring (or any other time) without hitting the water and giving it a try. The best tip for spring musky fishing is to hit the water as often as possible and learn what works for you in your area.