The Collins River is ideal for musky fishing during December through March, with falling water temperatures and rising water levels. To maximize success, research water level, weather, and location. Musky fishing tips include slowing down, using current breaks, and focusing on steep banks, log jams, weed beds, and deep bluffs. Muskie will feed actively in even the coldest water and air temperatures, so adjusting your tactics is crucial.
Southern muskie fishing in the summer is challenging due to the lack of closed seasons and ice covered rivers. However, abstaining from fishing is short but crucial for species health. Fall offers excellent action with various lures, including top water and spinnerbaits. Swim baits are available in various sizes and colors for clear and stained river water.
The Tennessee muskie, a popular fish, begins its spawning ritual in Southern waters when water temperatures reach mid-50 degrees. Muskie fish, like walleye, white bass, and suckers, travel up to 20 miles to spawn. After recovery, some fish stay in upper reaches of rivers. Muskie males seek female partners in late March until mid-April.
Live bait for muskie fishing is effective, especially in the fall/winter season. However, some argue it's unfair due to gut hooking. To avoid this, muskie anglers use two hooking systems: a quick strike rig, which prevents gut hooking musky, and a circle hook rig for safe hook-ups. Large baits like gizzard shad, bullhead catfish, and suckers are suitable for deep water lakes.
Northern musky anglers are in full musky mode as summer winds down, with musky fishing season closing by the end of November in states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Collins River near McMinnville TN offers a long fall season with low temperatures and clear water. September is a great time for musky fishing, with September rains providing better fishing conditions. Musky live bait and weed beds are common in shallow, weedy areas.