As I write this, the water has reached and exceeded the 80 degree mark in Northern Indiana. We are at a time where I generally stop fishing for Musky and begin preparation for the September bite, when cool nights bring water temps back down. Before the heat of July kicked in, the fishing was both up and down in my boat. While I definitely put less numbers in the boat during late June/Early July, the size was there. Several mid 40-inch fish made it to the net, however you had to work exceptionally hard for them. The patterns were often sporadic and fairly unpredictable.
Double Showgirl fish caught just minutes before the start of a late afternoon major.
Once the water hit 70-75 degrees, there were a handful of tactics and baits that shined in my program. Throwing topwaters and blades became staple tactics. Musky Mayhem Showgirls and DS4s were the blades that I stuck with and both paid off. When fish were shy, the DS4 definitely gained their interest and brought more big fish follows to my boat than any other lure this year. Big wide figure 8s were imperative with these blades. Poor execution would often lead to spooking fish, and any stopping of the blades was an instant turnoff.
As far as topwaters go, Rabaska WTD's, Lake X Fat Bastards, and Cannonball Jrs. were the perfect tools for casting the steep weed transitions. Fish showed a very strong preference to the steepest weed breaklines. Lure placement and cast accuracy was key to getting those fish to react. Often times coming back and hitting those fish from different angles made all the difference.
Once the casting bite began to show a decline for me, I transitioned to trolling. Some of the best fish to hit my boat so far in 2022 have eaten baits that couldn't possibly be reeled in fast enough. Trolling became the most effective approach by far. The Trifecta by Brotherhood Baits absolutely dominated over other baits that I ran this year. Speeds everywhere from 2 mph to 5 mph caught fish. Speed preference seemed to change daily, but once you found a musky you were usually onto a pack of them. Action often happened fast and was then quick to turn off. Following moon phases had a huge impact on our success, and more often than not the bite windows would open during these major and minor periods. Ultimately time on the water and persistence were the most significant factors to boating fish, as it often is.
The fall bite can be incredible for both size and numbers in Indiana. I will be scheduling early Fall to ice up trips beginning September 1st. To book a full or half day trip call 708-259-9809. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and www.muskypyschoguideservice.
Musky Psycho Guide Service