How to Catch Muskie in Weedy Water? A Complete Guide

It’s that time of the year when muskie hard-core fanatics are planning to catch their next trophy muskie. So questions like “where to find them?” or “how to maximize my chances?” or “can I find them in X by doing Y?” are very common and frequently asked by beginners and experts alike due to how moody muskies might be and how you need to change your tactic every once a while to find luck. One of the questions is whether you can muskie in weedy water, and I’m here to answer.

So, how to catch muskie in weedy water? You can catch muskies in weedy water by targeting weedy spots during early summer, in shallow waters below 10 feet (3 meters) with highly visible lures. Muskies seek oxygenated water, and weedy water is high on oxygen once the temperature starts to rise again.

You’ve got your answer in a nutshell, but what if you need a more detailed guide to help you catch your next muskie in weedy water? You’ll have to keep reading to know more about that.

How to Catch Muskie in Weedy Water 

Muskie can be unpredictable, it can change its behavior and preference every moment, a thing that frustrates many anglers who are enthusiastic to catch it. But, during the past years, anglers have recognized a pattern of muskies’ behavior that can help in getting them to bite.

Two things to know about muskies; the first one is that high temperatures stress muskies out so they escape it to more preferred conditions. The second one is how they are a predatory type of fish that constantly hunts, so they’ll need a good cover to practice hunting practices.

Both of these previously mentioned facts will conclude that weeds in water are one of the muskies’ favorite places to be. In early summer, they seek shade in shallow waters between weeds. Being in weeds also provides great cover for muskies, their skin colors and patterns help them camouflage themselves among weeds to deceive baitfish and attack them to feed.

Using highly visible lures is also an important factor in successfully catching muskies in weedy waters to be able to stand out among the weeds and catch the attention of muskies. Bucktails, jerk baits, and topwaters rule this season on most weedy lakes.

Pro-tip: Use the Figure 8 technique of drawing the figure in the water to gain more time to catch them before you take your lure out. For a quick tutorial of the Figure 8 technique watch this video.

Keep switching lures, speeds, and colors until you succeed in getting muskies to bite, the process may take time and some effort but it’ll pay off when a trophy muskie decides to strike. 

Can You Even Find Muskies in Weedy Water? 

So, can you find muskies in weedy water? Yes, you can find muskies in weedy water. In fact, you need to search in weedy waters first if you want to catch a muskie as it’s one of their natural habitats. Muskies stay in weeds for a long time to use it as a shade from the sunlight or a cover to hunt baitfish.

Muskies are predatory fish, they spawn for two weeks and hunt for the rest of the year. So, to have some luck finding a muskie you need to search where they eat, or where they hide to hunt their next prey.

Weeds provide heavy cover for muskies whether it’s from the shade of the sunlight or a cover that’s used in attacking bait fish when they least expect it.

How to choose the best spots for catching muskies? 

To maximize your chances to catch a muskie you need to pick up prime spots that muskies are more likely to roam in. These spots include:

  • near the shore from 0-to-5 feet (1.5 meters).
  • near rocky areas in the depth of 3-to-8 feet (1-to-2.5 meters).
  • drop-offs near the weed line. 
  • deep weed lines in the depth of 7-to-9 feet (2.5 meters).

In summer, these areas may become choked with weeds and they have muskies most of the time as they use them for cover from the summer heat or to hide from their prey before attacking them unexpectedly.

When water temperatures are still in the range of 40-to-50°F (4-to-10°C), muskies will be found in 10-to-15 feet (3-to-4.5 meters) of water near their spawning grounds. But once the temperature exceeds the range of 50°F (10°C), you need to change your tactic and target flats of 5-to-10 feet (1.5-to-3 meters). Muskies will remain in flats until the water temperature drops below the 50-degree mark during the fall. 

Pro Tip
Speed entices muskies during this hunting season, make sure to cast in your lure and reel it fast to the boat.

Note that even if muskies are mostly found in weeds during summer, not all of them are in the weeds. So, if you didn’t have any luck in weedy areas try moving to open waters. Muskies will roam the shoreline looking for schools of bait fish like Perch and Crappie to feed on so maybe you want to try casting your lure there as well. 

When to fish for Muskies in Weedy Water? 

Early summer months are prime time to catch muskies in weedy waters, the temperature starts to rise enough for them to seek shade, but not too much they move to deeper waters and suspend.

The best time and place for catching muskies in the summer is fishing around dawn and dusk when the temperature is bearable for them to stay in shallow water. Once the sun rises in the middle of the sky, muskies might get stressed out and move deeper into the water.

Nighttime is also an amazing time with high chances to catch muskies during the summer. Night fishing for muskies is an often-overlooked tactic that can be very effective. Night-time temperatures increase their feeding activity and they can’t see your boat so your chances are doubled.

Best Bait to catch muskies in Weedy Water? 

Early summer bait to catch muskies must be highly visible with attractive colors to be effective. For one reason, you’ll be fishing in weeds so you need a lure that can stand out and be seen, after all, muskies are sight feeders that need to see a lure to catch it.

Options like Small bucktails, small crankbaits, muskie-sized spinnerbaits, jerk baits, topwater, and muskie jigs make an excellent effective arsenal for catching early-season muskies when they’re mostly found in the flats. Casting lures with colors like orange, bright yellow, and red will definitely get the job done.

Pro Tip
Use single-hook lures so you are not taking weeds off your line every cast.

All of the previous options can be effective, but if the weeds are not up to the surface and you’re casting your lure in about 2 feet (about 70 cm) then shallow running crank-baits and jerk-baits will be your best options. Also, smaller bucktails like the Musky Mayhem Double Showgirl have the advantage of staying above the emerging weeds, making it a very effective lure around these areas.

You should also definitely check out my guide on the best muskie reels here. You should also check out my guide on braided vs fluorocarbon fishing lines here in case you are wondering what to choose.

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Related Questions 

Are Muskies Rare in Weedy Water? 

No, muskies are not rare in weedy water. Muskies tend to stay in the weeds to seek shade or cover to hunt baitfish that roam around it. Especially in summer, muskies escape the high-temperature flats and stay between weeds.

How do you find Muskies in Weedy Water? 

You can find muskies in weedy water by targeting weedy spots during the early summer months. Cast your highly visible lures in shallow waters below 10 feet (3 meters). Muskies seek oxygenated water, and weedy water is high on oxygen once the temperature starts to rise again.

Can You catch Muskie in late Summer? 

Yes, you can catch muskie in late summer where they’re roaming the shallow water, rocky areas, or weed lines. They’re found 12-to-15 feet (3.5-to-4.5 meters) in water in areas where the temperature isn’t high, and in less than 20 feet (6 meters) in hotter areas where it reaches 80°F (26.6°C).

Helpful Resources 

Strategies for Summer Muskies

Muskies On The Flats

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