BURNING BUCKTAILS

6/26/14 @ 9:54 AM
ORIGINAL POST
fishnfanatic
fishnfanatic
USER since 12/8/07
Fairly new to musky fishing and have heard a little about burning in bucktails during the summer. Is this more of a water temp thing? If so, at what water temps do you start doing this? Are there any specific or better situations this work better for? Thanks for any info.
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Displaying 1 to 9 of 9 Posts
7/5/14 @ 12:39 PM
Nick Schumacher
Nick Schumacher
USER since 1/10/05
Good comments below, but denesox said what I was going to say. To quote denesox, "Take a ball of yarn and slowly roll it by a cat. It will either watch it or slowly follow it. Move it by that cat very quickly, and the cat will just react and pounce. Same concept with musky. When they have time to really see it, they are more likely to be able to watch or follow and decide as its doing so...but when a bait is burned by at a high rate of speed, the ski has no time to decide and will simply react based on instinct."

I agree with this statement for the most part.

We could apply what denesox said for all kinds of baits, not just bucktails/blades/hairs. You can have a steady jerk pattern or an erratic one. You an have a steady topwater speed or give it a little burst here and there. You can have a steady crankbait retrieve or work it like it's a deeper jerk/twitch bait. You can have a steady bulldawg retrieve or hop that thing in the entire way. Both methods catch fish - steady vs. erratic - but I personally believe that erratic works more often, often with small bursts of speed mixed in. Like denesox said, I think that sometimes you want to force that fish into making a faster decision. Fisherman call this a "reaction strike" I think - even when the fish might not want to eat, it's forced to react since it has such a short decision window.

The opposite of this can be true, too. Just this past June, from the 11th-16th, dad and I were up north near Phelps and had a horrible time with the cold fronts, cooler water temps, rains, and shifting high winds. It was very difficult, but we still managed to get a nice fish in the boat. My dad was doing steady retrieves with topwaters, bucktails, and cranes during most of the trip, whereas I was using erratic retrieves with topwaters, baby ShallowRaiders, crankbaits, and even a few rubbers. I only saw one follow the entire trip. It was a very humbling experience. My dad on the other hand caught one nice fish, had two explosive lunges next to the boat, and had two other follows, all on his steady retrieves. The hot lure was an orange Globe and a Buchertail 700 "Elvis." The nice fish dad caught was on the orange Globe at 7:10 PM in the warmest water we located the entire trip, peaking at 69-70 degrees in a shallow, dark-bottom bay with weeds and pads scattered around. Big bay area. It was sunny and windy all day, and it was a "warm up day" after the cold front the day before on Thursday, June 12th. The fish clobbered that topwater, too - not just some nip of the tail. My sexy twitch baits didn't do jack. Water temps were anywhere from 58-70 degrees, with the VAST majority of temps in the 63-64 window.

Joe Bucher likes to talk about erratic patterns, too. He talks about burning blades, too. Here's a clip of him talking about an erratic jerk pattern and one of the "top five" fish he's ever caught, all caught on film. I agree with him 100% here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrBpDdZJ0Zk

Edited on 7/5/14 12:48 PM
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7/1/14 @ 12:26 AM
WiscoMuskys
WiscoMuskys
USER since 1/19/12
I agree with everyone that has posted..... but every fishing situation, especially musky situations, are relitive...

keep in mind that weather, water temp, time of year, moon phases, and fishing pressure all influence the muskies behavior. I totally agree that water tempature directly correlates with musky metabolism, but if there is a cold front the day before your fishing date, musky will not react to burning buck tails on half of the waters you fish.

IMO, having a good partner is the best option you can have! one of you burn any type of bait, while the other jerks or twitches any other type of bait.. find a pattern of fast or slow, either straight retrieve or erratic, and then go from there!

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6/29/14 @ 10:02 AM
denesox
denesox
USER since 2/1/06
Burning a bucktail is highly effective. I compare it to a cat. Take a ball of yarn and slowly roll it by a cat. It will either watch it or slowly follow it. Move it by that cat very quickly, and the cat will just react and pounce. Same concept with musky. When they have time to really see it, they are more likely to be able to watch or follow and decide as its doing so...but when a bait is burned by at a high rate of speed, the ski has no time to decide and will simply react based on instinct.

Speed kills and if you are ever fishing and getting nothing but follows, it may be time to burn. I have had days like this where a slower buck will get lazy follows, but once its burned, the reaction is exceptionally different, often with a musky shooting out of the water attacking the bucktail....burned bucktails get BLASTED more often than not IME. But like mentioned, its a serious forearm burning workout. I'd love to get my hands on one of those tranx, but they are quite a bit out of my price range unfortunately.

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6/27/14 @ 10:19 PM
muskie nut
muskie nut
MEMBER since 6/26/01
I feel it has more to do with the amount of food available. If a muskie has an abundance of food, they can "waste" energy following a slow moving bait, then that's the time to burn them. It makes the muskie have to decide if it wants to grab it or let it go by.

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6/27/14 @ 6:09 AM
B Fish
B Fish
USER since 6/26/10
We put 55 to 70 muskies in my boat each year and YES the best time to burn bucktails is when the water temp is at the given body of waters highest temp which is 75 degrees+. When the first temp drop occurs in late August/September to lower 70s it still works but is less effective prior to the increase in the spring.

Muskies (fish)are cold blooded and there metabolism (activity) is directly correlated to it.

There are always exceptions but this is the norm.

We have tried virtually every reel out there and the best reel in our experience to burn larger bucktails for an extended period of time is a Tranx PG which you can get off of E-bay for $300 new.

You will get lots of input, but this is what works for us.

Have a good day (turn your boat lights on near evening) Smile

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6/26/14 @ 10:00 PM
Ulbian
Ulbian
USER since 9/24/03
There are conditions when the water is cold where it is an exceptional tactic. It's not just a summer thing and many guys either don't have their bucktails out yet or they've put them away for the year.

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6/26/14 @ 2:29 PM
AChotrod
AChotrod
USER since 9/8/13
The fish are more active in warmer water and a faster retrieve causes more reaction strikes since the fish will chase. In the colder water fish become lazy and dont want to chase after fast moving baits to save energy.

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