Guide Lines from Austin Wiggerman: Northern IL/Wisconsin
This stretch of cold weather and a good amount of rain has cooled temps to a consistent mid 70 range. Most people usually associate major summer cold fronts and dropping water temps with poor fishing and negative muskies, however our fish seem to respond the exact opposite. Our waters usually experience prolonged summer temps much higher than their preferred level, and with any type of big cool down as we just had happen, the fish seem to respond in much more positive fashion.
The deep edge and basin bite, both casting and trolling, is certainly in full swing. With the water cooling off many of the bait balls and suspended muskies have been much higher in the water column than weeks prior. Because of this, larger bucktails, topwaters, Chaos Tackle shallow Medusa’s and baby beavers have been getting the majority of suspended fish action. Overall, I try to fish in a way that’s to some degree different than the others I share the water with. On these high pressure systems, an easy way I achieve that is to take note of what the majority of other anglers are doing, weather that be casting or trolling, and do the opposite. This is a super easy way to try to stand out from the crowd and the many other baits these fish are seeing.
The cool down has also packed fish back into weed beds and shallow flats. These areas have been great during early morning hours as some of the basin fish have slid in over night and temps are at the coolest from the overnight lows. Moving your boat and baits quickly to cover water, throwing mostly Lake X topwaters, pacemakers, Musky Mayhems Trigger, Rabid Girl in both single and double blade, and shallow running swimbaits have been the ticket to contacting the most active fish.
That said, the fishing has been consistent however there has been a lack of action, in specific the lack of fish following to the boat. This type of fishing can be tough on your confidence however keeping your head down and sticking with it will eventually result in being on the water when the window of biting fish does open. Side imaging has played a big role in allowing me to see fish that may have made a move on a bait, but either turned off early or was too deep to see with our eyes. Keeping a close watch on your electronics will help your confidence during these type of low action days, and can help you know where to go back on when you think they should be eating.
28th Annual Challunge on the Chain – The Oldest & Largest Muskie Tournament of Illinois – All details and rules…
Team & Rules Meeting for the Monday Night Muskie League is set for next Monday, May 15, 2023 – Details…
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