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Look For Muskies This Weekend In Shallow Bays: DNR


The season for the prize fish of Wisconsin waters...the muskellunge...opens Saturday and a DNR fisheries spokesman says prospects look good for some large fish.

Northern Fisheries Supervisor Mike Vogelsang says the weather this spring has put a twist on things...

"....the unseasonably cool weather might be a challenge to anglers out there. My recommendation is to seek out the warmest water you can find, the shallow bays, newly emerging weeds and scale down your baits a bit. I'd be throwing smaller baits, definitely...."

In Wisconsin, the season south of Highway 10 has already opened, but opens this weekend in the north to reflect the post spawn period for the top-shelf predator. Vogelsang says after years of cutting back on stocking in the late 1990's on the larger bodies of water, they reversed that trend and he says the fruits of more stocking are being seen....

"...in 2000, we pulled back our stocking rates quite a bit because we thought we were overstocking our likes quite a bit. We also thought if we pulled back stocking natural reproduction would kick in more. What we learned is on some lakes that did not happen. A lot of the lakes rely on stocking. We did a 180 and went back and upped the stocking rates on many of these waters. It takes 7-8 years to see a positive response and I think that is what we're coming at right now...."

Vogelsang says the biggest fish come from the biggest waters. He says the fish might be in the mood to bite, as they feed after they spawn. He says they likely will be in the shallower bays looking for a meal.

The minimum length to keep a muskie is 40 inches. Muskie is Wisconsin's official fish and the current world record muskie is a 69 pound fish taken from the Chippewa Flowage in 1949.

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