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Locating Pike & Muskie (3 of 14)

Video Transcript:

Pike and muskie will relate to specific structure, depending on the time of year and the type of water system you're fishing. It's always a good idea to obtain a hydrographic map of your local water system, if at all possible. This map will help you locate underwater structure that's key to finding big fish. Here are some general guidelines on where to look for pike and muskie in different seasons. In the spring, shallow bays and large flats adjacent to deep water are good beds. This applies to both lakes and rivers. Post-spawn pike are usually in these areas trying to put on some weight by eating bait fish. As water temperatures increase in the summer, large pike begin to gravitate towards deeper water. However, they still relate to key structure. In lakes, look for weed beds, especially in areas where there are definable points and breaks; these serve as ambush points. Bulrushes, milfoil, and lily pad areas are good places to key in on. Points, underwater saddles between land, and submerged islands are all good places to find pike and muskie. In rivers, look for ambush points where pike can stay out of the current. Slack water adjacent to boulders, riffles, and fallen logs are all good locations. In the fall, pike get a little tougher to locate, and they tend to be in deeper water. You have to get your flies down fairly deep in the water column when you fish ledges and drop-offs, in any structure, really, that relates to deeper water. The cooling water really slows down their responses, so slow presentations are usually ideal.