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Try your hand at musky, trout fishing in Becker County

Musky season has now officially opened in Minnesota. All summer seasons are in full swing for all species now.

Many anglers have caught musky accidently over the last couple of weeks when fishing for walleyes, bass, or northern pike in shallow water. I had a customer have a two foot long northern pike get T-boned by a 50 inch Musky this last week. The musky wouldn’t let go and held on long enough to horse to the side of the boat to get a couple of great pictures. If you fish Big/Little Detroit, Pelican, Sallie, or Melissa with any regularity, you can count on hooking up with one of these fierce fighting fresh water top predators. You will only get half of them into the boat for a picture on lighter tackle.

Musky angling has become extremely popular in our area over the last few years. Big Detroit and Pelican Lakes have developed a reputation as top “go to” musky destinations around the state. Many anglers that target them in our area musky waters have CPR’ed (catch, photo, and release) fish from the mid 40 inch range to the mid 50 inch true trophies. It seems most fish consistently run over 40 inches now. Years ago It was a goal of many to get one over 40, then a few years ago 50 inches seemed to be the sought after lake monster as many 40 inch plus fish were caught consistently. Now, many musky anglers are shooting to catch that upper 50 inch fish, or the all world class 60 incher!

I don’t fish for them on purpose, but my boat will still have a dozen a season come over the side of the boat. My boat will hook up with many more while jigging or rigging for walleyes on area lakes that have musky.

The anglers that target them in our area catch many, hook up with many more, and see or have baits followed or attacked by more than they can probably count. Jerry Sondag is an area musky expert, and area musky guide. He runs Headshaker Guide Service. He is highly recognized in the Midwest for his musky success. If you are looking to chase them, he is your best. He is a local.

Over the last few years we have had musky guides from other areas come to guide our area waters because of the success a few of the local lakes are known to produce.

By the way, the Muskellunge nickname can be appropriately spelled Musky or Muskie.

Trout is a highly sought after game fish all over the country. In our area it has become one of the forgotten fish of pursuit because of the musky, walleye, bass, northern pike, and panfish success of our area lakes.

The trout anglers have long known about the quality of brown trout the Straight River gives up, and the plentiful rainbow trout available in Bad Medicine Lake. Rainbow trout enthusiasts from all over the state try to make Bad Medicine a must fish destination. It has been a producer of both numbers and quality rainbows for many years. Anglers can catch them on bobbers or trolling suspended spinners and small crank baits over open basin areas. Many of the brown trout caught on the Straight River are caught by trout stalkers pitching mepps type spinners to holes and cuts in the bank that hold fish.

With the high water from all the recent rain, locating fish can be a little more tricky now with many more current breaks, hiding areas, and ambush points for the trout to use. One thing for sure, if you like to fish, our area has a plenty of opportunities for multispecies.

(Laabs runs Brad Laabs’ Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)