How to Get Out of a Summer Muskie Drought: Part 1 of 6: Night Fishing

News & Tips: How to Get Out of a Summer Muskie Drought: Part 1 of 6: Night Fishing...

Pete Maina catches MuskieMuskies are never easy. We hear all kinds of things about what makes them tough to catch – and one of them is warm-water, dog-day summer conditions. But actually, in many ways, summer is my favorite time of year for muskies. Though it’s often feast or famine, there are so many things to try, it can be very high speed and it’s always challenging and fun.

And if they’re not bitin’, you can always go swimmin’.

Allow me to offer a quick six-pack of solutions that often work for myself and others. To get to six, we’ll look at presentations that just might be something new to muskies’ eyes. We'll begin with Part 1 of 6 and include links to to the other five fishing solutions at the end of each part.


Part of the general problem with summer is simply traffic. It’s both angling effort and recreational. While the recreational is actually more aggravating to deal with, it is, in reality, far less of a factor with regard to angling success than specific muskie angling pressure. Even though night fishing for muskies is nothing new, by far, most of the effort exerted on muskies and prime structures is in daylight hours. During the summer, and especially so on the busier lakes, this is a great way to target muskies and is often much more effective and certainly quieter.

pete maina 1With pressure, eventually some muskies get trained to just avoid prime, shallow structural elements in daylight – with the possible exception of excitable weather conditions and a flexing barometer. In steadier weather, they learn they have far fewer bad experiences after dark – and they can’t see as well. These things work in the angler’s favor.

This isn't rocket science. If there is a misconception about night fishing, it’s certainly in how to go about it. Many will say topwaters only; or maybe bucktails and slow-moving cranks. Nothing changes really, other than the fact that it will be varying degrees of dark, and headlamps will be needed and
spotlights appreciated. Muskies see better than most realize and are pretty efficient night feeders. Any lure types will work, even jerkbaits.

Trolling will work and not just at a crawl – they will react to fast-moving baits, too.
Simply seek out the primer structures on the water. These are the ones that are receiving pressure during the day. And there’s a reason they are, as they are good spots. In summer, they are generally much better after dark.

Interested in more summer muskie fishing tips? Check out links to parts 2 - 6.

Part 2: Summer Muskie Drought: Windy Conditions on the Water

Part 3: Summer Muskie Drought: Fishing the Open Water

Part 4: Summer Muskie Drought: Topwater Presentations

Part 5: Summer Muskie Drought: Speed Trolling

Part 6: Summer Muskie Drought: Fishing Lures

Note: If you have questions or comments on this or other articles of mine you may have read, contact me through the website

Read part two.