Night Bite Muskies

We all know that trophy muskies are tough to catch. Some musky fishermen have put in considerable time on the water and are still looking forward to catching their first trophy. Whether your fishing for your first trophy or your next, night fishing could easily be the answer.

Night fishing can be incredibly effective on most any body of water. However, there are some bodies of water where night fishing is not effective; these bodies remain on the uncommon side. Certain factors help determine how good the night bite may be: water clarity, boat traffic, current, weather, and fishing pressure. The most important factor may be water clarity, with clear water generally producing a better night bite than stained water. Not to say stained water does not have a night bite as there is certainly a possibility. If you are not aware if one exists the best thing to do is give night fishing a good try. Who knows, you may discover a new frontier! Certainly an increase in daytime boat traffic and fishing pressure relate to a better night bite too. Weather has a huge impact no matter what but when fronts are rolling through at night, all the better.

Total Solutions Technique

Even though most any presentation and location popular for daytime fishing can be applicable to the night bite, fishing shallower and more aggressively, like targeting the inside weed edge and using noisier lures, can be a real plus after dark. Muskies at night are not afraid to cruise around in less than 3 feet of water! Keep in mind you don’t have to use a noisy lure … a plastic “quiet” lure can be deadly especially on high pressured waters. After all, with all of the sensory perception the muskie has they don’t have any problem finding and eating quiet lures. The time of the year to night fish is only limited by the season, but I have found in spring the night bite does not get consistent until the water temp’s hit 62 degrees or so. In fall they will hit until freeze up. One critical component on night fishing is the figure 8 – definitely more important at night because they are more apt to hit near the boat versus during the day. Moonrise 🙂 One year 70% of my night muskies came on the figure 8; the nice thing is you don’t have to do it deep; they just seem fearless at night. Since the early 80’s I have tracked moon phases and times and determined they certainly have a permanent place in my book. Without getting into statistics, most all of my trophies have come within 3 days of a full/new moon and close to moonrise/moonset. One final note: For safety and consideration for all anglers, please leave your lights on! (It’s the law too!)

Total Solutions Equipment

Musky fishing at night requires top notch equipment. Problems and equipment failure are all the more difficult to handle in the dark. With today’s superlines not requiring large spools a baitcasting reel such as the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 5500C3 fits the bill nicely, plus the smaller reel can be palmed as some angler prefer. These reels have a super smooth drags and dependability to last for many muskies.

An economical way to go for leaders is to make your own with Berkley 90 lb 7Strand Wire, Berkley Cross-Lok Snaps, Ball-Bearing Swivels and Sleeves. Easy to do and you have the advantage to make them any length you desire and pick out the components you want. Another advantage to “Do It Yourself” leaders is you’ll always have the components around to use for other things such as jig leaders, quick-strike rigs, and your own trailer hook ideas.

Abu Garcia® Ambassadeur® 5500C3

7Strand® Uncoated Wire

Berkley® Cross-Lok® Snaps

Berkley® Ball Bearing Swivels


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