Tennessee musky fishing and Southern musky fishing during the winter months is a new adventure for most musky anglers. While anglers wont be face with too many days of frozen reels or rough conditions winter musky fishing in Tennessee and the south comes with its own set of challenges regarding proper musky lure presentations. Being prepared to dial in your musky lures for the right running depths and hang time during the winter months is often the key to a successful day on the water.
Most musky lures are designed for summer and fall fishing. In general they are highly buoyant making them rise quickly to the surface. Tennessee musky fishing during winter months often requires lures that are slow rise or neutrally buoyant. Unfortunately there simply are not many musky lures on the market that meet these requirements meaning you will need to be prepared to modify lures on the spot to get the right running depth and rate of rise.
With this in mind becomes imperative that anglers looking to catch trophy Tennessee muskies in the winter need to have a few things on hand to get the desired running depths and action.
Lead plumbers tape is a valuable tool for quickly adding weight to crank baits and slowing their rate of rise. Bell sinkers can also be used when hung from a split ring of a lure. Bell sinkers used on the front hook hanger will make lures raise head down which can be enticing to negative and neutral Tennessee muskies.
2. Musky Rubber Baits
Muskies during winter months love big rubber presentations, more often than not the bigger the better. However most monster rubber musky lures are heavy and fall far to fast for this cold water period. Winter musky anglers can achieve a slower presentation with large baits by starting with shallow models that are generally for usage over rocks and weeds during the summer and add weight increments to get the right depth and hang time. Often I will add and ounce or two of lead to a shallow bulldog tailoring its running depth to the area I am fish. I am able to repeat this process throughout the day by removing or adding weights keeping the lure running where i need it with just the right amount of hang time for sluggish winter muskies.
There are a few options for adding weights to rubber lures but it's hard to beat a few bell sinkers added to the split rings of your Bull Dawg or Medussa.
3. Glide baits
The majority of musky glide baits run too shallow for winter musky fishing. They can be effective is weather and water conditions are just right but the majority of the time you will need to get these presentations deep if you want to hook up with a trophy Tennessee Musky.
Glide baits are delicately balanced to get that enticing side to side action that seems to drive muskies nuts so adding weight to the body of the lure more often than not kills the desired action. However changing to heavier hooks will get most gliders running deeper.
Hook options are available in 2x 3x and 4x which can add some helpful weight to the lure with out changing hook size which can an issue. Keep in mind that you should always have matching hooks on your gliders to keep things balanced.
These are just a few ideas to help get you dialed in for Winter Musky Fishing in Tennessee
Southern Musky Fishing
Tennessee Musky Fishing
Melton Hill Musky