Wisconsin Southern Musky Opener – SATURDAY!!!

Wisconsin is divided into two parts with two separate dates for the opener to go Musky fishing in the state.  North and South!  

The Southern Zone opens the first Saturday of May each year and the Northern Zone musky season begins the Saturday nearest to Memorial Day.  

So, that means this coming Saturday, May 6, 2023, kicks off fishing season in Southern Wisconsin for the State Fish – Muskellunge.  (Picture above is from 2022 DNR Fishing Guidelines Book). May 27, 2023 (Only 3 weeks later) is the opener in Northern Wisconsin. 

The muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) is one of Wisconsin’s most important and unique trophies. It is so highly valued that the State Legislature proclaimed it the official State Fish in 1955. More world records have been landed in Wisconsin than anywhere else. The current state and world record is a tremendous 69 pounds and 11-ounce fish taken from the Chippewa Flowage.

Things to consider before Saturday morning: 

  1. Get your fishing license for the State of Wisconsin through the Wisconsin DNR Go Wild! (Residents 16 years and older for annual fishing license is only $20.00, first time resident buyers can get an annual license for only $5.00, Non-Residents 16 years and older for their annual fishing license is only $50.00)
  2.  Prepare your boat for the first launch trip of the year.  Find a Pre-season checklist like this one – 12-Step Pre-Season Boat Preparation
  3. Pre-check and prepare your rods, reels, fishing line, lures, hooks, electronics, etc… 
  4. Check local weather and wear appropriate attire – rain gear, layered clothing, hat, gloves, footwear, etc… 
  5. Have snacks, drinking water, and other personal necessities for the boat trip.  This will allow you to stay hydrated and fueled to continue fishing longer.  
  6. Make sure all batteries are charged – electronics, boat batteries, phone battery, camera if separate.  
  7. Make a true plan and tell a friend those plans in case you become distressed or stranded.  

Know local and state legalities. For State Regulations use this link to the Wisconsin DNR for Musky – Wisconsin’s state fish: the muskellunge | Fishing Wisconsin | Wisconsin DNR!



Enjoy the video below of a Fall Wisconsin Musky Trip with Guide Austin Wiggerman!

This was an absolutely gorgeous fall day from 2022 chasing muskies in southern Wisconsin. Perfect conditions and with an adjustment in patterns the day came together beautifully. The fish were acting extremely strange. Their boatside interactions were nowhere near classic but at the end of the day they would not let the Musky Mayhem Detonator pass them without eventually coming unglued. I threw a handful of explanations and tips in there to hopefully compliment the raw footage but enjoy watching a few fish eat next to the boat on this beautiful fall day! For more information on booking a guide trip with me for the 2023 season and beyond, I offer trips in Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and areas of Minnesota. More details can be found at austinwiggermanguideservice.com or text/call me directly at (815)575-3468.

Gregg Thomas

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