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(Courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

Northern musky season begins May 27

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers the 2023 northern zone muskellunge (musky) season begins May 27, 2023 and runs through Dec. 31.

During the open season, anglers can catch musky on open waters within the northern muskellunge management zone. All regulations and license requirements apply.

“The warmer weather means more fishing opportunities for anglers to catch our state fish in the northern zone,” said Justine Hasz, DNR Director of the Bureau of Fisheries Management.

Anglers can expect fish in most waters to be done spawning and ready to bite. Muskies will likely be active in shallow vegetated bays, channels and on points just adjacent to shallow bays. Small bucktails, jerk baits, plastics and topwater can be effective fish catchers.

Proclaimed the official state fish in 1955, the muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) is one of Wisconsin’s most unique trophies.

More musky world records have been landed in Wisconsin than anywhere else. The current state and world record is a tremendous 69-pound, 11-ounce musky taken from the Chippewa Flowage.

Purchase your fishing license online through the GoWild system or from a license vendor. Make sure to check the 2023-2024 Hook and Line Fishing Regulations for daily bag and size limits and special county regulations.

The DNR reminds anglers to have the proper release tools on hand (large landing net, long nose pliers, hook cutter and gloves) and to properly release the fish they catch. Find tips for releasing muskies responsibly on the DNR webpage.

Learn more about trophy muskellunge waters and the elusive fish by visiting the DNR’s musky webpage.