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Big water and big lakes produce big muskie. This doesn't mean that smaller lakes can't hold muskie, but we're sure the bigs ones do and that's what draws the muskie fishermen to these big muskie waters. Lakes and reservoirs over 1000 acres fit the bill. While the big muskie do swim here the sheer size of these waters provide a significant challenge. Even on good muskie lakes if we assume that 10% of the water holds muskie, then that means 90% is empty. On a smaller lake, this isn't as hard to overcome, however when your fishing a 2000 acre lake it means 200 acres have muskie, but 1800 acres don't! Finding the muskie on these lakes can be a deterrent.

If you choose to fish these big muskie lakes there are a few ideas and tips to remember to give yourself the best chance at finding a trophy muskie.

The best piece of advice when fishing a large muskie lake for the first time is to cover ground. Trolling can be the best way to do this but trolling can't always get your lures to where the muskies are. When casting large lakes for muskie you want to do your homework first. Find the areas that are most likely to hold muskie, these include:

muskie in big lakes are found in weeds and structure

Weeds and structure:

Obvious hotspots for finding muskie, work the edges or even the slop at the right times.

muskie in big lakes are found on and around dropoffs


Fish crankbaits, spinners, spoons, and plastics around the edges and go deeper with a deep diving crankbait if you need to in order to find the muskie.

muskie in big lakes are found in moving water

Moving water:

River, stream, and creek inlets provide that moving water muskies adore. Find the deeper pockets in these areas and look for structure.

muskie in big lakes are found next to schools of feeder fish


If you've got a fish finder try to work the lake and locate schools of feeder fish. These are a great place to begin your muskie fishing efforts.

Try not to let the large size of these lakes intimidate you. The bottom line is that although muskies in these larger lakes might behave slightly different, for the most part muskies tend to behave and feed the same on big or small water. If you can locate the right spots that muskie prefer, you'll be doing yourself a big favor.