By Adam M. Glickman
After a streak of very hot weather in Early June, air temperatures moderated and so did elevated water temperatures. As of 7-2-17, water temperatures were low compared to the same time in recent years prior. In many of the musky rivers I frequent, water had been holding steady at 69-70 F, and Action had been good.
As of 7-10-17, a warmer stretch of weather had caused a rise in water temperatures shifting feeding windows to morning in many cases and causing feeding muskies to move a little deeper.
The musky topwater bite has been rock solid since mid June, and that has given us a great opportunity to test and prove the Scarface, a new topwater musky lure made by my friend Tony Martin in Eau Claire WI. The lure meets all the criteria of an excellent topwater musky lure: It has a short and stocky profile which is productive, but also keeps the through wire from bending which improves durability. It has a great deep pitched “clup, clup, clup, clup” sound signature on the retrieve. It has excellent color patterns and never rolls. It might tangle once out of 50 casts. It rides low on the surface with a thin skim of water washing over the top, which helps its sound and avoids “blow outs” (the water pressure of the approaching musky pushing the lure away from the musky’s mouth just prior to the strike). It is well built, tough, and works effortlessly and effectively at a medium retrieve. In the short time it took us to test it, it produced great muskie action, the video of which can be viewed on its Facebook page: search Facebook for “Scarface musky bait”.
Panfish action has been good, and in most waters bluegills and crappies are either out of their bedding areas or in the process of exiting. In some cooler waters and/or those to the far north some are still sitting on beds, but that will come to an end very soon. As crappies and bluegills move to main lake cover and structure, where they will usually hang very close to or suspend nearby, they become much more dispersed than during spring. Once isolated schools are found though, they are very catchable and are usually feeding the heaviest and most aggressively of the entire year. Fathead minnows, night crawlers, leeches, 1/16-1/8 oz. jigs with 1 1/2-2″ plastics, and mayfly larvae imitators are my favorites. I also abandon the the # 10 an 12 hooks of spring for # 8, 6, and even 4 for bigger minnows and large crappies. On most days, good size panfish are aggressively inhaling offerings and the increased hook gap means better hook ups and less lost fish.
I haven’t been out for trout much since the musky season opened, but larger streams with less ground water volume by percentage will be getting warmer at this point and action will be slowing. From now until September, the most consistent trout action will be in the smaller streams with higher ground water volume by percentage that are able to maintain lower water temperatures during the heat of summer and thus the highest activity levels in cool water species. I was out on 7-3-17. Larger streams were as warm as 65 F and produced poor action. Smaller streams were as cool as 49 F and produced good action. Temperature is they key.
Tony Martin, Creator of the Scarface, with a 49″ giant caught on his lure in June ’17
Xander Teske with his First Brook Trout, 7-3-17
Adam Glickman with a 47″ Scarface Musky from June ’17
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Adam Glickman is an independent agent who shops across 9 different A rated insurance companies to best meet your MN and WI home, renters, auto, life, boat, and commercial insurance needs. For more information, contact Glickman at 612-750-0546 or at firstname.lastname@example.org