Open Water Tips – PMTT Records Broken – Wholesome Musky Catch

Open Water Tips – PMTT Records Broken – Wholesome Musky Catch

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blue ribbon tackle

PMTT Deets

Here's a look at the  NEW  biggest musky ever caught in the state of Wisconsin during a PMTT event since it's inception 24.5 years ago:

Wisconsin PMTT Record Musky

This 52.75 inch beast anchored Mark Lijewski (pictured) and Nate Ruszkiewicz's three-fish winning "bag" of muskies on the Madison Chain last weekend.

Not bad, considering they started the tournament with a day one goose egg!

For old school musky anglers, southern WI and big muskies go together about as well as orange juice and toothpaste, but times have changed and most anglers in-the-know are NOT surprised that the record was broken on the Mad Chain.

The reason is simple. I'll give you a hint:

Leech Lake Strain

Anyway, here's the story of how the winners got 'em (via PMTT):

"After blanking on day one of the Mercury Marine Summer Challenge, Lijewski & Ruszkiewicz decided to go deep and fish some big fish spots on the second day.

"With less than two hours left in the tournament, while throwing natural color rubber baits over deep water humps, Lijewski and Ruszkiewicz put three muskies in the net of 44”, 45” and the biggest Wisconsin musky ever recorded during the past 25 years of PMTT tournaments at 52.75 inches."

For those interested, here's a look at the top 10:

PMTT Top 10

Next PMTT event is August 18-19 on Lake Vermilion – that's gonna be a fun one!

Mayfly Hatch = Trolling Craziness

It's funny – when you say the words "mayfly hatch" walleye and bass guys run for the hills, but if you're a musky stick, you should be salivating....

Mayfly Hatch

This time of year, open water trolling can be the ticket on many northern musky lakes, and the bug hatch is literally the PEAK of this bite.

....why though?

These hatches attract musky candy (cisco, whitefish, perch, etc.) to somewhat predictable locations in the basin.

That's right.... you can literally use these hatches to narrow down your search in the vast open water area where muskies roam this time of year.

Seems like hard-to-soft bottom transitions create "edges" of bugs, which in turn create an edge of baitfish for 'skies to prey on.

Guys who have figured this out are WAY ahead of the game.

Some have even started mapping the hard/soft bottoms of the basin with programs like AutoChart Live.

Here's what it looks like on a Humminbird:

Autochart Live hard to soft bottom transitions

100% recommend doing this ☝️ if you aren't already.

First 'skie

Not gonna lie, this video sent in by Jim (@Baddffish) is one of our favorites so far this season. It features his 9 year old son Brennan landing his first-ever musky. Bonus points for catching it on a topwater next to the boat – here's the strike:

Muskie Topwater Strike

A couple moments later, you hear Brennan yell, "Get the fricken net!" 😂

Now that's father-son bonding done right!

And a moment like this wouldn't be complete without a somewhat botched celebration, with Brennan going for the high-five and dad going for the hug 😅

Post-catch celebration

Been there! haha

Here's a closer look at Brennan's 42.75 inch paydirt:

Brennan Excited face!

Love it!

This Week's Mashup:

Mashup time!

#1 – The public access at Grindstone Lake in Hayward, WI. Look closely at the side of the dock – pretty cool! (via spvosses)

Musky Dock

#2 – Sweet sticker from Mike Berkel – check 'em out here:

Musky Stickers

#3 – Random thought.... I've heard more stories of black bear encounters the last couple weeks than I've heard in a LONG while.

Not sure why.... but here's a clip sent in by Joe Jerhoff of a big one swimmin' in the middle of the lake the morning of the MN Opener:

Black Bear

Props to Joe for poppin' a 43-incher that same day, startin' the season off right!

#4 – Not a musky, but this pike from Kris Bain is one of the uglies/derpiest little buggers we've seen!

Ugly Pike


– Opening weekend on Fox River Green Bay w/ Todays Angler (video)

– Chris Riebe on Backlash Podcast (link)

– “Musky Snake Bite” w/ Joe Bucher (video)

– Some interesting statistics on boat sales (link)

– Some musky chatter w/ Sporting Journal Radio (video)

Taps & TackleMuskies Inc


Awesome 'skie for Eric Beck on a 4 for 4 day with the biggest going just shy of 53"!

Big Muskies

Awesome 52-inch post-spawn spot-a-saurus sent in by Brandon Guimont – congrats dude!

Mille Lacs musky

Check out the chompers on this plus-sized New Jersey 'skie sent in by Capt. David Vollenweider, caught on the troll 🔥

Musky Mouth

Wanna be featured in Musky Insider? Send in your recent trophy musky photos by replying to this email. You might just see your pic in next week's newsletter. 🤙 Canada

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