What’s the key to early season muskies in wisconsin?
this is a huge question that we could likely devote a whole article to. In general though, at this time, new weeds should be the best bet–on top and their edges. And not just the outside edges, try the inside edge too if one exists. Hard to trigger followers on outside edge? Try casting from the shallow side past the break and bringing lures in. Shallow rocks or wood can be key too. In clear water, take the time to go and look for fish in the shallows on bright days … these may be caught later on a weather change.
Also try open water. Deep zones adjacent to known spawning areas are generally best. Realize that fish will suspend high because seeking warmer water. Fish the same baits as you would in shallow, as well as deeper divers like the Ernie crankbait.
For baits, as a general rule, a small twitched crank like a 6 inch Jake works good– so do small spinners. But everything is an option. Surface too. Consider trying the larger baits and possibly faster retrieves on days when water is warming … good time for topwater too.