Muskie fishing is one of fastest growing forms of angling in Minnesota. Many anglers are curious what motivates anglers to cast large ambitious looking baits for hours on end for just one shot at a particular fish. The answer is simple. Once you've hooked up with freshwater's most aggresive fish you will have made a memory that will last a lifetime. A battle with a muskie can be made up of flips, kicks, triumphs, or heartbreak, but no doubt a true fish story. Muskie fishing is a trophy fishery. Anglers practice catch and release of these rare often elusive fish. Unlike most other species, muskies make up a small percentage of the total fish population in a system. This makes the task of catching a muskie more challenging, but definitely worth the hard work and patience that it demands.
Lake Miltona is one of the top lakes in Minnesota to chase these trophy fish. A well designed stocking program creates great opportunities for anglers seeking to catch their first muskie. Large flats, sunken islands, miles of weedlines, and shallow bays make up some of the supreme habitat that these fish call home. Lake Miltona has a great forage base and many deep holes that prove essential for a body of water capable of producing trophy size fish. Muskie season opens the first week of June and goes until December first. The best time to muskie fish is anytime you are granted the opportunity, but those seeking trophy size fish often hit the lakes starting in early September and continue to fish until ice up or the season end. Before you plan your first muskie trip this year, there are some key things you need to consider. Much of the tackle and gear you use for other species will simply not do the trick and may even harm muskies. Muskies are protected up to 54 inches in the state of Minnesota. This essentially creates a strictly catch and release fishery. You will need catch and release tools such as long needle nose pliers, jaw spreaders, and most importantly a good hook cutters. It is often necessary to cut the hooks from your baits in order to safely release a badly hooked fish. A large muskie size net with a deep bag is a must when going after these fish. Standard walleye nets will not work and will most certainly harm the fish and make removing hooks much harder than it needs to be. Anglers will need a high quality 7ft-9ft heavy rod depending on preference paired with a beefy baitcasting reel spooled with 50-100 lb test line. Tie your line off to a quality 80-150lb test wire or flurocarbon leader, as muskies have very sharp teeth that can easily break your line. Do some research before you hit the water and be prepared. A local guide is always a good choice when hitting a body of water for the first time. This will give you an opportunity to see what it's all about and be prepared for when it's time to hit the water yourself. Join us at Viking Bay and try your luck with one of the toughest fish in freshwater!