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Let It "Glide"

By Dennis Radloff - October 1, 2002
Big Muskie October is upon us once again, and all my favorite things are taking place. Football is back in full swing, the leaves are changing colors, my sweetheart has a fresh batch of chili simmering on the stove, and muskies are back on the structure! While fishing along with a client the other night I caught myself drifting off into the horizon pondering, "What would be a good topic for my October article on Lake-Link?" Just at that moment the toughest musky this side of the weed line nailed the perch pattern Undertaker I was working with every bit of her 41-inch bad self. My question was answered as I even thought, "Why don't I throw this lure more often?"

For those of you who have read my article from last fall, you know I am a big fan of jerk baits and quick strike sucker rigs this time of year until the season closes. This year however, I have incorporated glide baits into the mix to a greater degree, and the results have been satisfying.

What is glide bait? These lures are made out of solid wood, weighted and or balanced with lead, and when retrieved properly will move through the water with a side to side glide or "walk the dog" style action. My favorite of them all is without a doubt the perch pattern "Undertaker". This lure has a variety of presentations, since it's weighted in a manner that you can count it down (it will sink 1 foot per second), which allows you to work it at any depth. Ultimately you can work this lure from open to close since it can be worked deep, shallow, or in between. In addition to its smooth suave action, it also rolls just enough to give is a great flash as it comes through the water. You can pause momentarily on the retrieve to "hang it in their face" just enough to entice those lazy follows into taking a strike. Another factor that I like is how easy it is to work these lures, all it takes is a small subtle downward twitch to keep it moving forward, and the weight of the lure does all the work. So if you're used to hammering you back into knots on jerk baits, you'll find yourself feeling like maybe your not "working hard enough" when you start working glide baits. Another great on that is new to the line up this season is the "Magic Maker" which unlike the cigar profile of the Undertake, has a taller profile which gives it an erratic wobble in it's glide.

These are great throw back lures when you get to frustrating lazy follows that seem to come up to the boat only to leave you stander there wondering, "What am I doing wrong?" Throw back with glide bait, which is generally a slower retrieve than that of crank, jerk, or spinner bait. Another great application is if you're fishing windy conditions, especially into the wind. These lures are very heavy compared to most others and can be thrown into any wind Mother Nature has to dish out. The main application I like with these though is the colder water periods of the year when the fish are not moving as fast as they were during the peak of the season.

If you haven't tried these lures you should at least get one of them and dedicate a few days this fall to working it over the same structure you'd target with jerk baits. If you have some already then I'm sure you have experienced some great musky encounters!

If you need a reference point on where to find these lures, I was at Musky Mike's (downtown Okauchee, just east of the public boat landing) and he has a good variety of Undertakers and Magic Makers.

Best to you, and better fishing,

Author Dennis Radloff
Dennis Radloff
Dennis Radloff is the owner and operator of Sterling Guide Service which specializes in Walleye and Musky Fishing. Dennis has helped run and coordinate many of the Youth Tournaments. He is also a PMTT angler, Dave's Turf & Marine/Princecraft Pro Staff, and a Mepp's Field Staffer.
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