Musky America Magazine

By now, some of you may be thinking, here we go again, another night fishing article. Yes it is, but this time covering dark-water flowages and learning to recognize windows of opportunity for big fish after dark. While in recent years much has been written on night fishing, there are many anglers who believe dark water flowages just do not produce well after dark. This is just not the case! Many of the same effects that high boat traffic and fishing pressure have on clear water lakes also occur on stained water flowages. It's just that as the water clarity decreases, you have to fish a little differently to consistently score on Musky. When it comes to night fishing stained water, I believe choosing your spots, lure selection and how you work that spot becomes even more important. SOUND IS IMPORTANT Musky are sight feeders and on clear water, where visibility is high, they still rely heavily on sight to hunt down and strike prey. However, as water clarity decreases, even during the daylight, sound becomes increasingly more important for Musky to be able to locate prey. How does this affect night fishing? Simply put, a Musky can't strike your lure if he can’t find it or can't respond to it. Here are a few things that can help you be assured of putting your bait in front of more Musky on dark water after dark. First, start by choosing your night spots carefully and then trying to narrow them down to a small area where you have higher odds of contacting fish. While many of the same areas you fish during daytime hours will be good after dark, I feel that the Musky hold tighter to specific spots on structure and move less. Typically, on many flowages, some of the best, and often popular, Musky spots are located adjacent to deep water in the original river channels and lake basins. Along with these popular spots, don't overlook small "knobber" spots either. While you will find many bars, points and shorelines adjacent to this deep water that produce fish, some of the best big fish spots will often be near large, open areas of deep water. Once you find some of these potential big fish spots look for small points, fingers, or troughs on that spot protruding into deep water. If these have cover like small patches of Musky cabbage or stumps, they can be good both day and night. On larger weed beds, points and inside turns in the weeds are the key areas. Just try to narrow your spots down to as small of an area as possible.