Simple Tip for More Muskies – Mayfly/Musky Connection – PMTT Recap
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More Bait = More Muskies
Let's kick this week's newsletter off with a good reminder for those of you who get stuck in the mindset of fishin' your maps and not your 'lectronics.
Here's how guide Ryan McMahon has been finding & catching more muskies down in the MN Metro area:
"The first half of the musky season has become more and more about fishing the bait than it is about fishing “spots”. For the longest time my brain was geared towards picking out what prominent pieces of structure I’d fish when I hit the water. Points, humps, or shoreline edges would be racing through my head.
"Which one to hit first? Which spot do I want to be on during the moon major?
"Right now, I try to look less at my map and more at my sonar and imagers. I’m looking for the bait. On the Twin Cities Metro area waters that I’m fishing at this time, I’m usually dealing with panfish. I want to be fishing in and around the bait at all times. Sometimes this means I’m in the weeds and other times it means I’m out in open water.
"On lakes with high fishing pressure it seems like getting follows can be difficult at times. Often times the fish are only showing when they’re ready to bite. Without these tells, it can be hard to know where you want to be at key moon times. My confidence is fishing where the baitfish are highest in the water. Find the bait, find the muskies!"
BTW – The nice Metro musky Ryan is holding in the photo above was caught on a weed edge that was loaded with bait, which was there thanks to some wind the day before. The open water was totally void of bait that day.
The more you can understand how environmental factors (like wind) impact baitfish, the more muskies you'll put in the net!
The results are in on the Eagle River Chain and a couple of locals, Phil Hahn and Dan Wojtusik, are taking home the bacon ($17,000 😳).
The team boated three 'skies (35 incher, 36 incher and a 43.75 incher) casting and twitching Grandmas.
In their post-tournament interview, they talked about catching fish in the weeds and in/around basin areas. In their opinion, the rip-pause retrieve helped them catch fish that were conditioned to seeing baits cruising by on the troll.
Here's a quick peek at the fish & baits for the top 10 finishers:
Even though Dan and Phil won with Grandmas, you'll notice the vast majority of the top 10 finishers were on the bucktail program.
Here's a link to the Fish List if you were interested.
Everybody loves the big fish pics, so here's a shot of James Carlson Sr. with the biggest musky of the tournament, a 45.5 inch shovel head 'skie:
James and his partner Tim Carlson actually took 2nd in this event with this fish and another 44.5 incher.
Not trying to be a social media musky scout, but looks like chartreuse & orange were some key colors for the second place crew.... 😉
It's that time of year again – time for the early summer mayfly hatch.
Here's video evidence of the carnage from Jeff Andersen earlier this week in MN:
Bug hatches really congregate muskies this time of year, as they follow the rest of the food chain to mud basin areas where these little buggers are stacked up.
This is a PRIMETIME window for open water trolling, especially if you've located those hard-to-soft-bottom transitions in the basins. They literally create "edges" of bugs and baitfish that muskies will actively patrol, looking for an easy meal.
You can find these transitions by watching the bottom color/thickness on your sonar unit as you troll throughout the basin. You can also flip on AutoChart Live and map it out automagically – ie. this screenshot from Josh Borovsky:
Like we said before, the mayfly hatch is the absolute PEAK of the trolling bite, so here's a few monsters that were caught this past week on the troll.
What do these three fish have in common?
First on the docket is a long, mean 51.5 inch bruiser from Isabelle Bogen that crushed her bait at low light – that smile says it all! #stoked
– Mayfly Madness w/ Musky Hunter TV (video)
– Study: Musky movement in simple & complex glacial lake (link)
– Muskies Inc t-shirts for sale until July 16th (link)
– MN fishing numbers extremely high during COVID (link)
– Lake Audubon, ND muskies doing well (link)
– Eastern South Dakota musky fishing (video)
– Tying a musky streamer with squirrel hair (video)
– A little something for fall trolling 😉 (link)
THIS WEEK'S MONSTER MUSKIES:
Relationship advice: Find someone who looks at you the way Kaitlin Woodward looks at her new PB musky.
Couldn't say it any better than MN guide Phil Bauerly did with this caption:
"The clean plate club lifetime achievement award goes to....this fish."
Props to Andrew Kline on thwacking this chunk Allegheny River monster shore fishing after hours! #NightTimeIsTheRightTime
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