Guide Lines from Matt Ross: Northwest/West Central WI
To say that this year has been a strange one in Northwest/West Central WI, is an understatement.
Record high temperatures in early June had surface temps up to 83-84 degrees in the first week of June.
We typically don’t see that around these parts until we get into July. Normal early season patterns went
out the window pretty quick and it was tough at times but with a littler perseverance and tactical
changes, fish were still hitting the bag.
Typically we get a very good topwater/bucktail bite from memorial day when the season opens up into
the middle part of June. Opening weekend was pretty successful putting several fish in the bag up to
45” using small gliders such as phantoms as well as top water walk the dog baits like suick weagles. This
early season pattern literally lasted about a week as fish really started to stage up on the primary breaks
off the weeds. Pull pause baits like suicks, medussas, red October tubes, and lake x toads started to get
the majority of the work load.
The past few weeks now, most fish are coming off deep structure and suspended bait balls with regular
size medusas, red October tubes and magnum bull dawgs. Most fish have come in depths of no less
than 15’ and have really been keying in on bait, especially bait related to deep cribs. Current water
temps (July 19) are surging to 83 degrees day time.
Again, not a typical year but we as musky fisherman have to learn to adapt and overcome and not fall
into tendencies base on history. Letting the fish tell me what they want as well as paying very close
attention to what the main forage is doing has kept us on fish the majority of the year. Looking forward
to cooler nights and fall days ahead!
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