How to Catch a Muskie in a Creek? A Detailed but Simple Guide

Muskies are one of the most popular game fish that anglers chase wherever they exist. What if we told you that you don’t need to go across the country to catch one of those? As muskies can be found in the nearest creek you can reach. That’s right! These amazing creatures that can grow up to 40 inches (1 meter) can be found in some creeks that don’t even reach 3 feet in depth.

So, how to catch a Muskie in a creek? To catch muskies in a creek you need to fish in the coldest, deepest parts of the creek, using live baits – such as leeches, nightcrawlers, or minnows or artificial baits that are attractive, colorful, and moving, – good quality reels, an 6-to-8 feet meters medium-heavy rod and a drifter musky net.

Now that you know what you need in order to catch Muskies in the nearest creek near you, let’s get into the details of what you will do with these tools and some pro tips that can make the next time you go fishing a truly memorable one.

A Simple Guide on How to Catch a Muskie in a Creek 

Man fishing in a creek to illustrate how to catch muskies in a creek in a simple way

Finding muskies in creeks can be surprising to lots of people. One reason is that they’re known for the challenge they hit anglers with that can be hard to picture happening in a small space such as creeks. Another obvious reason is that muskies can be really big, which makes deep water more favorable for them, which is why they tend to exist in larger numbers in large water bodies.

The secret is that muskies indeed tend to grow big in larger rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. However, they enter smaller streams after breeding, or when they’re chasing down their meal for the day.

If you ever told someone that you can catch a Muskie in a small creed and they told you you’re out of your mind, we give you the chance to prove yourself right with this simple –yet helpful guide. You can also check out our recommended reels for Muskie fishing here.

What you’ll need to catch a Muskie in a creek

Whether you chose to catch muskies sitting on a kayak or standing onshore, you need to understand the behavior of these fish to be able to cast in your lures without returning empty-handed.

Muskies are known to be visual predators. They rely heavily on their sense of sight to move and feed, so it’s best to choose visually-attractive lures. Visual lures work best whether it’s colorful or simply live and moving. That’s why live baits are your go-to when you’re fishing in a small area such as creeks, it’s easier to be seen and caught.

If you can’t get live baits, artificial ones work too if you ensure that they’re attractive enough to catch their eyes. Things like bull shad, cisco, bucktails with big silver spinners, suckers, and crankbaits have proven to be successful in catching muskies in creeks.

Topwater fishing techniques for muskies can be effective too especially in warm waters. If the creek you chose is not in its coldest state, we advise you to go for topwater fishing. It’ll get you fewer fish, but they’d be much bigger. Make sure to properly use it around prime Muskie locations, such as weed beds, shallow reefs, flooded timber, and jagged rocks.

Whatever bait you’re using, you have to pay close attention to how you tackle them. Here are a few tips on how you can get it right from the first try:

  • Be slow and steady.
  • Walk slowly if you’re fishing onshore.
  • Stay very quiet if you’re fishing on a kayak.
  • When you pull back, do it with long, slow pulls and frequent pauses.
  • Pull hard in the opposite direction of the way the fish swims.
  • Keep the rod tip low and to the side.
  • Use “figure 8” technique to keep enticing muskies before you take your lures out of water. Watch this video to learn how to properly use it for amazing results.

Pro-Tip: to determine the right speed you should be moving in, not to be too slow or too fast, remember that the ideal speed is about half as fast as the bubbles moving on the surface.

Always be ready with a good quality muskie net to get a good grip of a muskie before you unhook it. There are huge varieties out there, you just need to make sure it’s strong enough for your catch.

How to choose the right spot for catching Muskies

It’s vital to choose your creek right before you go looking for the right spot to fish for muskies. Before you set off, make sure to check the DNR report of your state to accurately choose the creek you’re about to fish in and to be sure that you’ll find muskies wandering in it.

So how to choose the right spot for catching Muskies? The right spot to catch muskies in creeks is the deepest, coldest spots around thick weeds, shallow reefs, flooded timber, and jagged rocks. You don’t need sonar machines to spot muskies in creeks, but you’ll have to be able to locate the deepest possible spot, whether you’re on water or onshore.

If you want to double your chances of finding a good spot for catching muskies in a creek, we have some specific suggestions considering the time and weather status of the day you’re going fishing on.

The right spot according to weather status

So how can you choose the right spot in a creek, given the weather status? Muskies are oxygen-sensitive fish that tend to stay in colder waters. So, during bright sunny days, muskies will be in deeper water or hiding in the shade of cover in shallow water. On cloudy days, fish will be able to break free from shades and move freely to hunt for food wherever it is.

The right spot according to time of the day

Here are the best spots to fish for muskies given which part of the day you’ll be fishing in:

  • Morning and afternoon: you’ll find muskies almost anywhere, they roam free in low water temperature.
  • Sunny midday: Muskies are found near weeds drop-offs seeking shade, or in deeper water near the current.
  • Night: Muskies are found around the surface and shallow parts.

How to choose the right time for catching Muskies?   

How to choose the right time for catching Muskies? The best time for catching muskies is generally on colder, cloudier days, either in the early mornings or around the sunset where they stay around the surface. In the case of fishing in creeks, the best months are May and June, when they’re done immigrating from bigger rivers and reservoirs.

The heightened sense of sight allows muskies to see well in reduced light conditions associated with early mornings and late afternoons. These are the prime time for muskies to be found feeding around the water surface, later into the day they move deeper where the water is colder and darker.

Pro-Tip: The best time to catch muskies is right before a storm when they’ll be actively seeking food, therefore more vulnerable to bait.

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Related Questions 

Can You Catch a Muskie from a Creek? 

Yes, You can catch Muskies from creeks, whether you’re fishing on a kayak or onshore. They exist in most of the states’ lakes and rivers, especially the coldest ones. They get to creeks by migrating from these larger waters.

How Do You Catch a Muskie from a River? 

The best way to catch a Muskie from a river is to fish in the coldest rivers out there, using live baits, and casting your lures in deep waters and along the weed beds edges then pull back with long, slow pulls and frequent pauses.

How hard is it to Catch a Muskie? 

It’s not hard to catch a muskie if you got your equipment and techniques right. There are indeed many variables like weather, area, part of the day you’re going fishing in, but overall, catching muskies is not a hard job.

Helpful Resources 

Creek Fishing for Muskie with BIG Baits | Field Trips with Robert Field


Fresh Water Fishing Advice

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