WAUKESHA — The waters of the Fox River refracted the iridescent and multicolored muskies as they returned to their well-known spawning location near the steps of the Barstow Street dam Tuesday afternoon.
Tim Jenkinson of Brookfield, who’s also a competitive muskie fisherman, is one of the many people who heard by word of mouth how great the Barstow Street dam is for spotting muskies during April.
Jenkinson said spawning season gets him amped for fishing season up north, where he competes in the Muskellunge Classic near Presque Isle, Wisconsin. “After spending a winter in Wisconsin, anything to uplift your soul,” Jenkinson said with a chuckle.
“And to see a fish like that a foot away from you is pretty cool.” This year’s congregation of Muskellunge was like last year’s, although the large amounts of snow melt produced choppier waters, which made photographing the prehistoric- looking creature a bit of a challenge.
However, anyone visiting the Barstow Street dam during the month of April is pretty much guaranteed to see three or more within a ten-minute time frame — but knowing where to look is key. One of the best views is along the rim of the steps located just southwest of the Barstow Street dam.
By getting down to that last step, they’re a lot easier to see as they often coast in the shallows along a step that is submerged under water. Visiting on a sunny day is even better, as the light permeates the murky waters, which illuminates their chromatic scales and patterns.
The muskies seem to have somewhat of a ritual, you could call it, where they drift along the submerged step as they coast centimeters from the surface. It’s almost as if they’ve caught wind of the no muskie fishing regulations in place during this time of year, so as a way of saying “thank you,” they hover by to show off their beauty.