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Favorite Spring Muskie Fishing Lures ... ?

3/26/19 @ 8:48 PM
ORIGINAL POST
Brandyn Shepherd
Brandyn Shepherd
USER since 1/14/16

What are some of your favorite, early spring Muskie fishing lures?

Here are some of my favorites to use in Illinois...


Early Spring Muskie Fishing Lures
Manta - Shallow flats near deep, open water 
Lipless Rattlebait - RatLTrap - Shallow areas
6" Jake - Main lake points, Current breaks
Lil Ernie - Main lake points, Open water
6" Storm Swimshad - Bottom
6" Kalins Twister-tail Grub - Bottom, Current breaks


Spring Muskie Lures
6" Jake - Shallow water 
Tandem Llungen Lures Spinnerbait - Cover, Open water 
Spring Bulldawg - Main lake points, Open water 


Late Spring/Early Summer Fishing Lures
Manta - Shallow water, Open water
SS Shad - Cover, Shallow water, Flats 
6" Jake - Current breaks, Tributary inflows 
Lil Ernie - Open water 
Tandem Llungen Lures Spinnerbait - Cover, Open water 
Weagle - Cover, Shallow water, Open water
Magnum and Pounder Bulldawg - Bottom, Main lake points, Open water



Spring Muskie fishing video recorded by Cory Allen: 
https://inthespread.com/freshwater/muskie-lures-spring-fishing-cory-allen--000059 

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 18 Posts
4/16/19 @ 6:33 PM
outfishin
outfishin
MEMBER since 1/14/13

Tight drag is for driving hooks home. Period. I don’t care if it’s a suick or a #14 husky jerk. And how do you know those smaller baits are going to be inhaled? Sometimes yes. A lot of times, absolutely not. I’ve caught plenty that were hooked in the corner of the mouth or out near the tip. Both upper and lower. 

Sometimes some guys make it more complicated than it needs to be. I respect muskies as much as the next musky hunter but they’re not great white sharks. If the guy has some gear that will definitely get the job done, there’s no sense going out and dropping 300-400 bucks on new musky gear when he doesn’t even know if he will like it. My 2 cents! Good luck!

Edited on 4/16/19 6:34 PM
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4/16/19 @ 5:50 PM
BigMusky12
BigMusky12
USER since 12/22/04

Tight drag is for setting hook on big baits the fish can hold in teeth like a bull dawg or suick.  If using bass size baits, the lure is completely inhaled and you can set hook with normal drag setting right from start.   The bigger issue is keeping pressure on fish, so a long rod with good backbone helps.  If near weeds, good luck keeping it out of them with bass rod.  

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4/15/19 @ 12:19 PM
outfishin
outfishin
MEMBER since 1/14/13

FireHunter551,

That 7’ rod will work just fine. So will the 50# braided line if it’s fairly new and your knots are fresh and stay fresh. You won’t need to upgrade the hooks on #4 or #5 mepps. If you use some of the smaller crankbaits like husky jerks or similar, you will want to upgrade to a heavier hook of similar size. I’ve had good luck with mustads.  I like to use a 6 inch single strand stainless steel leader when using lighter tackle such as above. 

Make sure your drag is set properly and all your components are in good shape and you shouldn’t  have an issue. The key is fresh line, fresh knots, and use the drag, don’t just crank it down and leave it tight like some guys do. I like to have the drag cranked down for hooksets but as soon as you hook that fish, back the drag off a bit.

Obviously these are all opinions of my own and techniques that have worked very well for me every spring/early summer. Not for everyone.

I was just at Rollie and helens and picked up a dozen or so #4 mepps aglia longs and #5 mepps aglia. Getting excited! 

Edited on 4/15/19 12:37 PM
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4/14/19 @ 9:31 PM
FireHunter551
FireHunter551
USER since 4/17/15

I'm a bass fisherman who has decided to hunt Muskies. Ive heard of guys using the #5 Mepps spinners and Lipless Crank Baits like ratl traps to catch Muskie. I believe they'll eat em, but I cant see those hooks holding up very well. I threw a Cotton Cordell Super Spot once with Eagle Claw Razor Sharp hooks on em. As soon as that thing hit the water, it was smashed by a 15# channel cat. By the time I landed it (medium light spinning rod and 8lb test Pline), my hook was bent to hell. 

All that said, are you guys upgrading your hooks for Musky? If so, what hook exactly would you use on those lures? What leader as well? I never tried, but I bet a 12" 130# fluoro leader with huge swivel snap isnt gonna work well with a 1/2oz lure and 80lb test on a 8' Heavy / Extra Heavy Rod lol. So... what are you using? If it's a 7' medium heavy bass rod, 50lb braid on a good bass reel, I have that covered.

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4/14/19 @ 8:45 PM
Musky Jim1
Musky Jim1
USER since 4/3/18

I use sticks of dynamite year long. Saves me on my Bass Pro shop spending

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4/7/19 @ 9:29 PM
Ulbian
Ulbian
USER since 9/24/03

“That’s why I like to “hang” a small meal right in front of them. Can’t wait!”

Hanging a small “meal” is one approach that will work...however, with big baits the way I’ll work them in the spring is that I’m not giving them a “meal.” I’m going for a reaction strike. Feeding response and “kill” response are two different things. Then there’s the whole issue of these fish taking down ducks or muskrats in the spring. That goes against the notion of “small” meal. 

If you target shallow water fish or those relating to structure you will often find them in higher numbers that are lethargic but if you tap into other populations that do not relate to traditional structure they often will be anything but lethargic and the average size of them jumps up considerably. 

With water temps I’m looking for the slightest changes. Not a degree but tenths of a degree. Pockets of water that is slightly warmer. Using warm water areas and understanding how they form and why they are located where they are eliminates tons and tons of acres. These areas can change from day to day and even from hour to hour. Focus your efforts on those areas and when a change occurs go with the flow...figuratively and literally. 

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4/4/19 @ 5:12 PM
outfishin
outfishin
MEMBER since 1/14/13

I’m fine with more guys throwing the big stuff early....what it almost always comes down to is throwing whatever you have confidence in. That confidence might mean an extra hour spent plugging, which in turn, could result in a 50” fish. 

As far as “match the hatch” goes... I’m pretty sure that just means matching a particular forage in a body of water, not necessarily the yoy baitfish. 

Edited on 4/4/19 6:54 PM
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4/4/19 @ 2:20 PM
SuspendedMusky
SuspendedMusky
USER since 12/9/08
In general, I do not downsize my presentations in spring compared to the summer.  But, as most of you know, the start to each year can vary widely (water temp, water level, weather, etc) which will dictate lure type and presentation speed for me....generally not lure size.  That being said, there are a few unique conditions that can develop in my experience (not based on spring time water temps, but based on wind speed/direction, cloud level, and baitfish location) where I will pull out a smaller bait to get the job done (Ex: a modified 'lil ernie or baby depth raider).  These conditions and resultant catch patterns have been repeatable for me for many years.


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4/4/19 @ 8:37 AM
vegas492
vegas492
USER since 5/21/03

I've been outfished badly in my boat in the spring by guys using small baits.  And I've also outfished them badly using larger baits.

I pretty much take the midset of starting small, but throwing a ton of different stuff to see what they want.

No issues throwing large bulldogs, glides and suicks in the spring.  Topwater Walk the Dog baits have worked well for me, too.

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4/3/19 @ 5:57 PM
outfishin
outfishin
MEMBER since 1/14/13

Not so much about matching the hatch as it is downsizing for the colder water temps. IMO In my experience muskies are pretty lethargic until the middle of June or so. In northern WI anyway. 

That’s why I like to “hang” a small meal right in front of them. Can’t wait!

Edited on 4/3/19 5:59 PM
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 18 Posts