Ontario Muskie Fishing
Through the Seasons

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Muskie (Maskinonge)

Spring (Start of Season)
Musky are a fierce and cunning predator, yet are not as hard to catch as most people think. The start of June signals the beginning of 'ski season in most parts of Ontario, and offers a tremendous shot at connecting with numbers of fish and quality fish too. Weedy bays and shorelines are attractive to post-spawn muskies and will find most fish in relatively shallow water. The key concept to remember is the presence of healthy green weeds in the areas you are targeting. These weed beds and clumps hold numerous varieties of panfish and offer cover to conceal the ambushing musky. Start the season off by throwing "bass size" baits in the form of spinnerbaits, bucktails and crankbaits. Baitfish at this time of year will be quite small, and using baits in the three to five-inch range will mimic this preferred quarry best. Work your baits fast in the spring and remember to perform a "figure-eight" with your lure at the end of every cast.

Summer
The summer months will find the majestic musky away from the shallows and in much deeper water. Many of the larger fish will suspend over very deep water at this time of year, and the approach that will help cover water and find these fish quicker is trolling. Trolling may not be for everyone, but it will provide results for those anglers willing to stick with it and pay attention to detail. Summer musky trolling involves running baits through productive structure areas - namely off rocky points, over submerged humps and along sharp breaklines. Varying the depth you run your lures and experimenting with colours are a few of the variables that will increase your chances. Stick with baits in the six to ten-inch size and troll at increased speeds to trigger these fish. Running your lures on short lines directly in the prop wash of the motor can bring astonishing results, and works wonders on shallow fertile lakes that have an abundance of weed growth.

Fall
Fall time is the one season that musky addicts dream of. Big fish gorge on baitfish to put on extra weight for the winter months, and are relatively easy to catch at this point in the year. Big sturdy jerkbaits are the number one choice for fall musky as they offer a large profile in the water at a slower speed that excels in the cold water. Use jerkbaits that are at least eight-inches-long for these monster fish, and do not be afraid to upgrade that bait to one in the 12-inch range. Healthy green weedlines in water from six to 12-feet will hold the majority of fish that a caster can reach, as deeper water will call for large trolling baits to be dragged through the area. Stick with natural coloured baits at this time of the year, and keep those hooks needle sharp to ensure their effectiveness. Stout tackle is necessary at this time of the year, and the use of wire leaders will be paramount to your success on landing these top predators.

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