The muskie is a solitary fish. He lurks in weed beds or other protective cover. Anglers usually have the best luck catching him during the day. Large plugs, spoons, and bucktails are the best artificial baits. Live bait (10-12 inches long) is also good.
Spawning occurs from late-April to late-May, with the peak occurring early in the season. Optimum spawning temperature is about 55 to 59º (F). Eggs are usually deposited indiscriminantly over several hundred yards of shoreline. There is no parental care. Adult spawners return to the same spawning ground in consecutive years.
Our guides have been fishing Upper Manitou Lake for years so if you are after a trophy muskie, our guides would love to set you up with the right lures and show you their favorite spots. Although many anglers associate muskies to weeds, these fish also roam in deeper water. Just because the water is deep, does not guarantee that the fish will be on the bottom.
Muskies will chase schools of baitfish suspended in deeper water. These open water fish can be caught with a variety of methods, from trolling crankbaits, casting jerkbaits, or jigging large plastics. When in deeper water, look for shoals, reefs and drop offs. You can frequently contact fish in shallow water, even in the fall.
Green weeds are the key to shallow water muskie angling. Fresh weeds are a hiding place for bait, and muskies will not be too far away. Weedbeds that are also located in close proximity to deep water are prime areas for the shallow water angler.