Christmas, New Years Eve, and your prom; that’s what the opening of musky season is like for those of us afflicted with the addiction. Isn’t it great! You just might get some awesome presence and there’s going to be a party atmosphere all day long. Or at least until you get you keister handed to you with a no fish day while you bake under 90 degree blue sky sunshine……
In Canada we have seasons for muskies and they are designed to open two weeks after a normal to late spawn. Having a successful spawn is of paramount importance to musky populations in Canada because we very rarely stock muskies and populations are maintained by natural reproduction only. If we didn’t have closed seasons in Canada there wouldn’t be two Christmases……..
I didn’t sleep much last Thursday night. I just played with tackle until it got really late and then tossed and turned until it was go time. Same same for going on 40 years…. The season opened for me 10 days ago fishing off the Detroit skyline with Dave Curtis and PMTT champ Jason Quintano. I’ll put those pics in the next post here. But the real opener isn’t on Planet Clair or the Rideau or anywhere else, it’s here on the Big O. This is a special place like no other.
I headed out with my friend Birket armed with spinnerbaits and looking for shallow water. The three most important factors to consider on day one are weeds, water temperature, and bait. The warmest water grows the first weeds. The first weeds hold the bait fish. Muskies must have weeds to spawn as their eggs need to land and stick to emerging vegetation in order to hatch. They generally recuperate close to where they spawn but with water temperatures just into the 60 degree range and muskies spawning up to 59 degrees (peaking at 55) there will still be some fish on the spawning grounds. In short, find emerging weed, preferably coontail or cabbage, and you will find muskies.
The warmest water on most systems in on the north side and at the mouths of any tributaries as they warm up faster. Warmer water grows weeds quicker and is more likely to hold muskies.
I am pleased to report that it took only three hours and fifty minutes to capture the first fish of the year. To honour the passing of my life long musky partner Ed Lalonde, I have decided to catch a few early season muskies on his creation to start each year. Eddie invented the River Rat Spinnerbait and Sam Hill carries on the fine tradition. River Rats and Rob Dey spinnerbaits are especially good baits in the spring as they let you search out emerging weed while trolling and looking at your finder and by letting you cast snag free into the shallowest of places. And one foot is not too shallow in the first two weeks of the season!
A funny thing about this fish is that we caught it less than 60 seconds after turning on the rock and roll – yup sound was added to the mix. We had trolled for most of the morning without a sniff just noting the new conditions. When the pink River Rat got hit we knew it wasn’t a monster but she’s as pretty as a fish gets because she’s number one on the home water for 2016.
Here’s hoping it’s a great one for all of us.
Busy week and month coming up so stay tuned for lots of pics, tips, and stories. Just filmed the first installments of the new ‘how to’ section of the site and hope to have it up shortly.
ps With over a week of sky high temperatures, blue skies, and high pressure we will cover fishing in tough conditions.
John M. Anderson
We produce BIG fish!!
be good, do good, live well
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