Is there a difference patterning early season muskies in clear water vs murky water?
Murky waters are normally a little more productive in the early season, since they warm quicker and have have better weed growth. Fish location is a little more predictable based on standard approaches.
Clear water muskies don’t wait for summer to eat though. And, because it is often written about that murky is the place to be in the spring, clear waters have far less angling pressure directed at muskies. (A definite advantage.)
A few thoughts on clear water in general. First, sight fishing is a big advantage for shallow fish. Simply go look for them in spawning areas and on adjacent shorelines, flats and nearby reefs. Try small speed presentations, hanging twitch baits or hopping jigs right in front of them (right on the bottom with sand or rock). And on that point — check sand and rock too. Many folks have got “weeds only” on the brain. Even if you can’t catch them right away, you’ve located them — come back on a weather switch. Not a bad idea to troll long shoreline stretches adjacent to spawining areas.
Also, try casting for suspended fish. Generally, concentrate on open water areas in front of spawning areas and feeder creeks. With these fish, often the bigger lures seem to work better. Erratic action with pauses generally best. And don’t forget to try topwater, especially walk the dog types like the Doc. These fish are generally suspending real high at this time of year. All lure types apply. Doesn’t necessarily need to be deep divers.