Outdoor Life - - FISHING - Josh Steven­son Mighty Musky Guide Ser­vice Mille Lacs Lake, Min­nesota

▶ Steven­son ad­mits that, though it’s cliché, the early bird does get the worm. “It’s the guy who gets out on the lake first that catches muskies on top­wa­ters,” he says. Although Steven­son has caught muskies on top­wa­ters at vir­tu­ally ev­ery time of day, the most re­li­able times are an hour be­fore sunup and the two hours af­ter sun­set. “Once the sun rises and the fish have ad­justed to the light, you can put the top­wa­ters away,” he says. Ac­cord­ing to Steven­son, muskies will mi­grate into the shal­lows at night, when it’s cooler, and leave once the wa­ter warms up, mak­ing the first light of the day “last call.” Steven­son prefers hu­mid days with a very light chop for throw­ing sur­face lures. He fo­cuses his ef­forts on shal­low bars, flats, river mouths, rock­piles, and chan­nel edges. Steven­son be­lieves cov­er­ing as much wa­ter as pos­si­ble is key, so he throws a prop­bait most of the time, with Riv­er2sea’s Whop­per Plop­per and the Joe Bucher Top Raider be­ing his go-tos.

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