I'm an avid bass fisherman who is changing it up this year and chasing bigger fish... namely Muskies. I invested in all the proper catch and release Muskie gear (Net, bolt cutters, etc..) over the winter. Got one 8' Extra Heavy Muskie Rod (Rated 4-12oz but throws 3oz lures far and accurately) for bigger baits and put a decent conventional reel on it. I need to pick up a bucktail specific rod still. The Extra heavy is a bit stiff for that.

I live 15 minutes from Pierce Lake in Rockford so I'll be learning Muskie Fishing here. No, I am not a member of a gang, dont have a gold tooth grille (Though that'd be 'dope' if I did). There's not bullets flying everywhere/ rampant crime at Rock Cut State Park like I saw in some post here on Lake Link. That's our other side of town.

I dont know anything about the Muskie Fishing here. I can say that Pierce is a HIGH PRESSURE lake so I traditionally Bass fish elsewhere, but this is going to be the place for me to learn Muskies unless somebody says that Shabonna is that much better.

Anyway, I dont know much about Musky specific baits... other than what I see youtube... which is usually people up deer in wisconsin... 'eh. I do have plenty bass baits which catch Muskie, but cant see the hooks holding up well to them... plus I'm not really wanting to catch a ton of 14-16" bass while chasing Muskies. I read in a post that the muskies hit manta's... but the bass will hit em too, so I'll steer clear of those.

So What are you guys having success with?

I just bought the following and am wondering if it makes sense for my water. I dont know what artificials they're eating out here.

Here's what I bought to start with that is Musky specific. Too much for Pierce? Your honest thoughts would be appreciated. Most are new in package and could be exchanged:

Topwater (My favorite for Bass!!): Whopper Plopper (7 1/2", 2 3/4oz). I know Topraider is used in the Muskie community... I have the bigger Plopper and I'm gonna use it this year.

In Line Spinnerbaits... man are there the options to chose from. I'll make my own some day, but to start, I bought:

1) Musky Mayhem Double Showgirl, Blackfire (#8 blades, 7 3/8" long, 1.8oz) - Regular every day size?

2) Musky Mayhem Baby Girl, Super Black (#6 Blades, 6 3/4" Long, 1.6oz) -  Maybe for early season/ cold front slow bites... thought about just getting a Mepps Musky Killer Instead of this.

Sub Surface Jerkbait: ERC Hell Hound Jerkbait - Hot White Fish (8", 3 4/5oz)

Slow Sinking Jerkbait (1' per second) To reach Supended Fish Accurately: Phantom Lures Softail - Hot White Fish (6" (Also available in 4 & 7.5".. I went in the middle), 3oz)

Swimbait: Tackle Industries Regular Super D Swimbait - White Crappie (14", 5oz) .. Have no idea why I bought this bait

Other baits I've had laying around forever for Pike and Bass Fishing that might work for muskie... but I cant see the hooks holding up:

#5 Mepps Comet Minnows

#5 Mepps Aglia's

3/4 and 1oz Dardevles

#6 Single Blade Super Vibrax

#5 Single Blade Super Vibrax Bucktail

#6 Double Blade Super Vibrax Bucktail

I'm mainly interested in getting started this year. I already went out yesterday in the 30mph winds and threw the #6 Vibrax... unsure of what would happen... just experimenting.