Musky fishing lures come in so many shapes and sizes, it would take you years and a deep bank account to try them all, but there are some that you just gotta have.
Back in the day, there weren’t dedicated musky lure stores, and the rack at the local bait shop may have only had a couple choices for lure selection. Lures have evolved into funky looking creatures and strangely enough, some of them do catch fish. This can be intimidating when looking to purchase your first musky lure(s). Some musky lures are proven fish catchers, but without someone to help you out, how do you know which ones to buy?
Muskies seem to want different styles of lures on different times of the day, with no one lure being the answer. Jerk baits, twitch baits, crank baits, bucktails, and topwater cover most of the categories and I recommend you buy one of each for your tacklebox.
Bucktails are one of the original lures that many musky fisherman threw all day long. An oversized inline spinner bait, bucktails primarily are fished in shallower waters, and work well over the tops of weeds and around rocks and stumps. Bucktails are a straight retrieve lure and are a must for beginners as well as experienced musky anglers. The ease of fishing a bucktail makes it particularly good for any begginer.
There are a bunch of different types of topwater musky lures, with the most common having some sort of propeller style blade on it. Propeller lures will be mostly straight retrieve lures and are another must have for beginner musky anglers. Using a topwater lure is some of the most exciting fishing there is. Since muskies strike lures violently, it makes for a heart stopper when a musky does hook up to your topwater lure. Topwater lures can be used at any time of the day, but are primarily used during sunrise and sunset times of the day, and mostly in shallow water.
These 3 categories are all a nice alternative to bucktails and topwater lures.
Jerkbaits have been around for many years, with the Suick being one of the most popular. To retrieve a jerk bait, you simply cast the lure out, reel up the slack line, jerk your rod down and to the side, reel up the slack and repeat.
Twitchbaits are retrieved similar to jerkbaits, but with more subtle jerks (twitches of the rod), and you typically twitch your rod down each time. These lures often are built to glide side-to-side (walk the dog), just under the surface of the water. Some twitchbaits dive and rise as well. Two common twitch baits are the Manta and Hellhound.
Crankbaits are just like the lures walleye and bass fisherman use, only bigger. These can be straight retrieved, or jerked, or twitched. Rapala is a classic when it comes to crankbaits, and there are many others to choose from.
Start with a couple of the lures mentioned above and get used to fishing these. Musky lures are pretty expensive and can put a dent in your pocketbook quickly, so make the most of each lure you buy. I recommend: a bucktail, a prop style topwater, and a crankbait to begin with. Use your topwater lure at sunrise and sunset, then switch it up between the bucktail and crankbait during daylight hours.
SonarFish Tip – Go fishing with someone who has experience fishing for muskies. If you have never gone before, try going with a musky fishing guide and learn as much as you can. Build on your knowledge everytime you go fishing, muskies are mysterious fish and can test your mental toughness, remember to stay positive and have confidence when you are fishing. You may not see or catch a musky for many hours, but when you do have that oppurtunity, you need to capitalize on the opportunity.