Moving water is great for finding muskie, however their habits can be different from a lake muskie.
Rivers and streams can be an excellent location to find muskie, they are often ignored by many of the other muskie fishermen, and can provide a trophy catch to the good muskie angler. The reasons muskie enter these rivers and streams is simple - muskie are looking to eat.
The general rule most muskie fishermen use in rivers and streams is to find the calm water and fish it. In general - this is true. However, don't let that stop you from exploring the smaller, less traveled streams. These hidden, out-of-the-way locations can be just as productive.
To find the best locations while fishing for river muskie follow some simple visuals. First - get a detailed map of the area. These maps can help you locate all the feeder streams and water sources flowing into the river. If possible, pick the spots where a widening of the river occurs also. These areas are most likley to hold good forage, structure, and even current changes. Knowing these areas can help you better target your next move.
That next move is to actually visually spot check these areas. We're looking a for a few key conditions to make them good spots. One of those conditions is the water depth. Use a fish finder or fishing line with weight tied in, check the depth and make note of any areas with deeper pools in excess of eight or ten feet. If you find a deeper pool with some structure or shallower rises in it - put a little star next to it in your notes.
Next, we'll be determining the presence of forage. This depends on a number of items but the first important elements is oxygen rich water. The best way to determine if the water carries enough oxygen is to look for weed coverage. Weeds, like everything else need oxygen to live. If there are weeds in the area try to next locate signs of life and forage. This can be somewhat tricky but not so if you follow the food chain. Look to see if there are other sources of food for the small forage like frogs, insects, minnows, and nymphs. If these are present, chances are the right forage is here and so are the muskie.
Hopefully you've located a few spots that read as prime muskie spots. Once you've got them it's time to go fishing. Obviously, we're not in the middle of a deep lake so deep diving lures don't come into play here. During the summer, anything can work, but we recommend starting off with buzz baits and noisy top waters or try a longer plastics with lighter jig heads. Once water temperatures start to decline in the later season, try the larger shallow crankbaits and smaller or medium jerkbaits.