Lures for Muskie Fishing
Lures for muskie fishing fall into three basic types: Crank Baits, Spinner Baits and Jerk Baits. There are many different models and colors available in most tackle shops.
Classic Crank Baits float on the surface or suspend in the water, but will dive under the surface of the water and swim with a side-to-side wobbling movement (hence the alternative name wobbler) upon retrieval. Plastic Crank Baits can dive to either a very shallow depth, due to a small lip, or to a moderately deep depth (i.e. several meters), due to a large lip. As for wood Crank Baits, the size of the lip is not what makes your depths increase or decrease, but rather, it is the way you bend the lip or eye. Sometimes, Crank Baits are named after their diving ability, e.g. "deep-diver" or "shallow-diver". Crank Baits can also be designed to hover (neutral buoyancy), sink slowly, or sink rapidly. Some have a small metal ball inside to "rattle" when retrieved.
Crank Baits are very easy for a novice muskie fisherman to learn proper presentation. Crank Baits are equally effective for fishing by either trolling or casting. The method used in trolling is simply to locate the lure about 100 feet behind the boat at a speed of about 7 or 8 miles per hour, which will place the lure at about its maximum depth. Some fishermen adhere closely to the philosophy that you can troll too slowly for muskie -- but not too fast.
Crank Baits are equally simple lures to use for casting. The best technique is to find a likely spot, let the boat drift with the prevailing wind or move it slowly with an electric trolling motor, and cast the lure as far as possible using a steady retrieve, reeling as fast as you can.
One common trick of muskie anglers is at the end of a retrieve: before the lure is removed from the water, perform a "figure 8" motion with about 3 to 4 feet of line between the lure and the rod tip. Execute this motion at the end of all casts or trolling runs. Often muskies are caught right beside the boat after following the lure and striking only when there is a sudden change in the speed or direction of the lure.
Video - Figure 8 Technique for Muskie
A Spinnerbait refers to any one of a family of fishing lures that get their name from one or more metal blades shaped so as to spin like a propeller when the lure is in motion, creating varying degrees of flash and vibration that mimics small fish or other prey. The two most popular types of spinnerbaits are the 'in-line spinner' and 'safety pin' spinnerbaits, though others such as the 'tail-spinner' also exist. Spinnerbaits are used principally for catching Predatory fish.
The spinner acts as a fish attractor and is usually highly polished or finished in a fluorescent paint. The hook-hair portion of the lure serves as the body, and they are dyed in dull colors that simulate natural food items. Some fishermen attach soft plastic body dressings to spinner baits which add color and incease the action of the lure.
Spinner-baits are good lures for both trolling and casting. The method used for fishing with these lures is similar to those with Crank Baits, except spinner-baits sink and the retrieve must be delayed for enough time to allow the lure to achieve the correct fishing depth. First-time muskie fishermen should make Crank Baits and spinners their lures of choice. These lures are easy to use because a high degree of manual skill is not required to make the proper presentation to a fish.
Jerk Baits are constructed of wood and imitate a bait fish that has been injured and is distressed. The name for them is derived from the method used in the retrieve. The lure floats on the surface until it is retrieved; then it dives sharply and darts side-to-side. Some Jerk Baits have a metal tail that can be adjusted by bending it to change the action. Otherwise it is the fisherman that must supply a great deal of the erratic action. Jerk Baits come in a variety of colors and styles, but no pattern is superior at all times.
Since these lures do not dive as deeply as Crank Baits, they are best for fishing shallow water, especially over submerged vegetation or other structures that are near the surface. They are usually fished in 6 to 8 feet of depth. These lures are used only by casting. A cast is made as far as possible, while the retrieve is made in a rapid fashion, jerking the lure in a zig-zag motion.
Northern Pike Fishing