Manitowish Waters

If there was a body of water in the State of Wisconsin that will give you the opportunity of catching a lot of muskies with a legitimate chance of landing a big fish, of 35 lbs. or more, then the Manitowish Chain of Lakes has to be on any anglers short list. The Manitowish Chain consist of 10 lakes with the maximum depth of 63 fet and over 4,000 surface acres. The water is fairly clear with enough weedbeds, islands, points, humps, and shoreline to keep a muskie angler very busy.

Concentrate your efforts in the spring at the mouths of, and even up, the rivers and the many creeks that feed into the lakes. The shallow water weedbeds along with the many backbays that warm up quickly in the spring are also good bets to make contact with the mighty muskie. Neutral colors of brown, black, white, blue, purple and silver work best in these clear waters of spring. Smaller twitch baits, bucktails, and jerkbaits worked slowly will be more productive most of the time, but during low light conditions, don't be afraid to break out your bigger baits as long as they can be worked in a slow finnesing manner.

As the season progresses into the summer pattern, the muskies have transitioned to their summer haunts. Look for them to position themselves on the weed flats and deep weed edges, along breaklines, on midlake humps, on points of islands and the mainland, and look for suspended muskies that follow the schools of cisco. During this season of plenty, muskies can be caught both shallow and deep, or somewhere in between, on small and large baits, on neutral or bright colors but the common denominator for catching more and bigger muskies on the chain during the day is to work your baits fast and erratic.The Manitowish muskies metabolism is at its peak and their mood is very aggressive. This faster presentation will atract and trigger a number of strikes, making an action packed outing for the muskie angler.

Diring the summer and into the early fall, night fishing can produce some of the best muskie action from some of the biggest muskie in the system. Even though the Manitowish Chain doesn't see as much boating traffic as some of the other chains and popular lakes in the state, the pressure is enough to program some muskies to feed at night and make fishing very interesting for the angler who wishes to venture on to the water at night. Fall fishing on the chain can produce the "fish of a lifetime" for the persistent angler. When you notice an explosion of kingfisher birds dive-bombing for food in the shallows, you know its time to be bombing your big baits there too. Many species of baitfish make a move to the shallows in fall and the muskies follow and so should you. Crawl your big fluted spinners, pull and pause your jerkbaits, slow crank your twitch baits, finnesing your lures on the inside weedline, on points and along quick dropping rocky shorelines to produce some very exciting action. If you are lucky enough to be on the chain in mid-fall when they are lowering the water level, fish the current breaks in the channels connecting the lakes, especially where they begin at a lake or dump into a lake. These spots tend to concentrate muskie and the conditions are condusive to active fish.

If you have the time this season, give the Manitowish Chain a try, it can be very productive.

© 2010 Professional Muskie Angler Circuit