How to Catch Post-Spawn Muskie with Smaller Baits

When the winter comes and goes, many anglers are anxiously waiting for the spring opener for muskie. During the first few weeks of the season, specifically during the post-spawn, muskies are usually found hanging out in the shallows looking for prey. So how do you catch these amazing fish during this time? Let’s go over a few post-spawn tactics to help you land some muskies. 

Use Spinnerbaits to Start

One of the most effective lures during this time of year is the simple spinner bait. While almost any color can work, the key is to choose a smaller size in order to more easily get in and out of weed beds and cover as much water as you can. The smaller size will also allow you to fish this much without getting tired or fatigued. 

When you first get to your fishing area, try out a few different spinnerbaits to see how the bite is. Make sure that you check out all of the shallow flats and points where the muskie could be hunting. If you don’t get any luck, try going on to a different lure!

Switch to a Trolling Bait When the Fishing is Slow

If you are not having any luck with the spinnerbaits, you can always go and switch it up. Try switching to some trolling baits such as a Llungen 22 short, and troll with it to try and entice a bite. You can also cast this bait around and focus around rocks, wood, and other points and structures. This lure can cover a lot of ground very quickly, and the rattle that it has helps to attract predatory fish just like a muskie. 

When using bigger trolling baits, it is important to couple them with a sturdy and stout rod that can handle them. Make sure that your rod has enough backbone to effectively throw them and retrieve them. Of course, sometimes not even a good trolling bait can seem to get you a bite, so what do you do then?

Try Out Some Topwater Lures

There are few things as exciting as throwing a topwater and having a big fish hit it. Muskie are predatory fish that will attack topwater lures when provoked, so make sure that you bring along a few topwater lures to try out. Bring a few different sizes to test, and the conditions will most likely dictate what to use and how you fish with it. 

Topwater lures are most effective during the last few hours of the day before dark, as well as when there are overcast conditions that give you a break from the sun. When using the topwater method, stick to areas with weeds, current breaks, points, and other similar spots where these baits seem to really shine. 

Final Thoughts

Catching a muskie is one of the greatest feelings in the world, and luckily post-spawn seasons can be just as effective as any other time of the year. 

For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.