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Musky Fishing…The Weather Is In Charge
By Craig Sandell © 2010


If there was ever any doubt that weather and Musky fishing are inseparable, this Musky season has removed all doubt. This year an early ice out in Wisconsin combined with early drought conditions in the North of the state had Musky prognosticators scratching their heads as to the effects upon Musky patterns.

I spent 3 weeks in early June beating the water and at almost every turn, my efforts were stymied by the weather. In a single week, the water level rose almost a foot due to heavy rain and the water temperature dropped from 78 degrees to 68 degrees. The fishing was tough.

My fishing partner, Rob Meusec, and I were on the water every day attempting to entice our Musky friend into an assault on one of our lure selections but to no avail. The fish were turning off at the boat or hitting short. There was no perceived pattern and we were both crestfallen by the adventures with the fish that did hit but soon spit our lures back at us.

While driving back from breakfast, we noticed that the recent heavy rains had swollen the creeks feeding the Chippewa Flowage. We were desperate for some success on the water and theorized that the fast moving water might have some fish camping out in the creek areas.

With that in mind, I took a look at the map of the Flowage and found an extensive weed bar that was fed by one of these creek run offs. Our plan was to fish the outer edge of the weed bar at the drop off into deeper water; hoping to locate a Musky that was waiting for an easy meal to be swept its way by the current.

I loaded my rod with a bucktail and Rob put a Best American Topper on his rod and we began to slowly reposition the boat with the trolling motor as we cast along the weed edge of the bar. About 20 minutes into our casting, Rob was rewarded by a Musky that hammered the topper. This was no timid nip but a serious attack. The Musky rushed the boat moving it into shallow water and with no where to go but up, it breached the water as if it were shot out of a cannon. With gills flaring, it shook its head from side to side trying to dislodge itself from the lure but without success.

After a couple more skyward launches and an inspection of the boat bottom, it was finally ready to be netted. Rob led the fish to me but at the last moment it bolted to make another run. Again, Rob maneuvered the fish toward the net and this time we had him.

After some frustrating time on the water, this was a welcomed adventure. As with most catches, the lure came free from the Musky once it was in the net. We readied the camera and the measuring rule before the fish was removed from the net which was still in the water to minimize the stress on the Musky. A quick measurement, 37˝ inches, and a quick photo or two and the Musky was back in the water and on its way.

In all honesty, I cannot say that this catch was anything other than the luck that goes hand-in-hand with Musky fishing. Our theory made sense and, in this instance we produced a fish. We tried other creek areas but lightning did not strike twice. Regardless, it was a memorable adventure.

Tight Lines