When the tiger muskie feeding window is open and the stars align, a giant tiger muskie or pike will hit just about anything that moves. In those rare instances, your muskie bait selection doesn’t really matter and all one needs to do is to be in the right place at the right time. If you are extremely lucky and dedicated to muskie fishing, you will experience this musky feeding-frenzy type of action once or twice a season. The majority of your time spent muskie fishing for trophy pike and muskies, however, will be spent casting, cranking, and waiting. The right muskie lure presentation will be the difference between a big bite and a follow-up. Therefore, you don’t want to spend all of your time and effort casting second-rate lures. Here is our selection of the best muskie lures and northern pike fishing baits available on the market today.
- Best Muskie Lures – Our Selection
- Musky Innovations Bull Dawg
- Best Muskie Lures #1 – Mepps Magnum Musky Killer Bucktail
- Best Muskie Lures #2 – Musky Mania Super Jointed Believer, Walleye, 8-Inch Crankbait
- Best Muskie Lures #3 – 8-segment Multi-jointed Pike Muskie Lure, Hard Plastic 20cm 66g
- Best Muskie Lures #4 – 10″ Life-like Swimbait Multi Jointed Muskie Lures
- Evolution Of Muskie Lures
- Suick Musky Thriller Muskie Lures
- Mud Puppy Muskie Lures
- Spinner Muskie Lures
- Jerkbait Musky Lures
- Live Bait Muskie Fishing
Best Muskie Lures – Our Selection
Musky Innovations Bull Dawg
The Musky Innovations Bull Dawg muskie lure is made of 100% soft plastic. This muskie lure, which is balanced with a jig-like head, swims down in the water at a 45º angle on the descent and swims horizontal during the retrieve. Bull Dawgs can be used as a jig, jerkbait, or a crankbait. While being retrieved, this musky lure rocks back and forth as it’s long curly tail waves frantically, a great combination that tends to drives large gamefish like tiger muskie crazy. We find this musky lure to be one of the most versatile and best muskie lures on the market today.
Best Muskie Lures #1 – Mepps Magnum Musky Killer Bucktail
Mepps Magnum Musky Killer is a tried and true favorite tiger muskie lure, specifically designed to catch and handle hogs. It’s no secret that BIG fish want to eat BIG baits, and the Mepps Magnum Musky Killer is among the biggest! We consider these to be the best muskie lures in the bucktail variety. They are outfitted with all the qualities and features that pike and trophy muskie fishermen look for in a big lure. Features such as easy changability, like a heavy #7 solid brass blade allowing for maximum flash, heavy-duty premium VCM 5/0 cone cut treble hooks. This classic muskie lure weighs in at 1 1/4 ozs. Bucktails are without a doubt one of the best muskie lures.
Best Muskie Lures #2 – Musky Mania Super Jointed Believer, Walleye, 8-Inch Crankbait
The Musky Mania Super Believer™ is a medium running plastic with live action tail crankbait. The live action tail is a replaceable soft plastic. The flash and swimming action created by the long tail gives a life-like presentation to muskies that simply cannot be duplicated by older, more conventional crankbaits. The Super Believer™ trolls and casts equally well, while running 12′ while trolling and 2′-6′ when casting.
Best Muskie Lures #3 – 8-segment Multi-jointed Pike Muskie Lure, Hard Plastic 20cm 66g
These super life-like northern pike and tiger muskie lures don’t carry a fancy brand name, which means they represent one of the best bangs for your bucks when it comes to musky lures.
These 8″ multi-jointed hard plastic muskie baits are value priced and will be one of the best accessories in your tiger muskie tackle box. These muskie lures have a super life-like appearance and feature life-like swimming actions to provoke monster muskies to bite.
Features of these muskie lures include:
8″ overall length divided into 8-segments
20cm long, weighing 66g (2.33 oz.)
Double 3 set treble hooks
Life-like 3D eyes
High resolution, laser sharp body detail
Durable ABS hard plastic material ensuring long service life
These are definitely one of the best muskie lures under $25. There is also a 12″ version for only a few dollars more.
Best Muskie Lures #4 – 10″ Life-like Swimbait Multi Jointed Muskie Lures
Similar to the above, only 2″ larger and in more color choices. The 10″ Life-like Swimbait Multi Jointed Muskie Lures are big, heavy sinking baits. Measuring 10″ and weighing just over 6oz., these muskie lures are great for pulling up deep tiger muskies and norther pike.
They feature a 3D eye, built in rattle for massive attraction, and 5 part body for like-like swimming action. The musky lures are great for high speed trolling or casting.
When you’re muskie fishing, you’re going to have to make a choice as far as what types of muskie lures to put on the end of that line. You have to think about what you’re going to put in front of that trophy fish. If you want to get the fish to strike at your presentation, and then get it into the boat, then you’re going to have to have a complete musky fishing package. That means the rod, the reel, the line, the knot you tie, the swivels, the muskie lures, the leader, the net, and the boat you’re using, which are all contributing factors to whether you will be successful or not. Over time you’ll develop an expertise in the proper selection of each and every one of these piece parts. These will be the tools of your trade. The tools you’ll use to hone your craft. And that trophy fish won’t be far behind.
Evolution Of Muskie Lures
Muskie lures have evolved over the years. From the first muskie lures that were handmade, and usually made and sold by fishing guides, who sold them to their customers and local bait shops, to today’s modern musky lures made of high quality plastics and polymers. Today, some are still handmade, but mostly made by large companies like Rapala and Mepp’s to name a few. It was those first fishing guides who spent hours and hours on the water, studying the habitat, the structure, the shorelines, and water conditions, which provided the basis for their crafting of muskie lures that mimicked the natural baits in the water.
Suick Musky Thriller Muskie Lures
The more successful the guide was, the higher prices they could charge for their services. But the first company to successfully make muskie lures that worked for musky exceptionally well was the Suick Lure Company with their “Suick Musky Thriller”. The lure comes in 4”, 7”, 9”, and 10” sizes. Suick Lure Company is still in business today, so they can be ordered and this should be a staple in your muskie tackle box.
Here is the first Suick lure made by Frank Suick:
Now if you study these muskie lures you will notice that at the back end is a piece of metal similar to a tail. Here is a little muskie secret that you will learn only here at TigerMuskie.net that your guide will not tell you. Simply put, that metal is adjustable for changing conditions. A lot of anglers just take a lure out of the box and snap it on the end of their line and off they go. The proper way to use muskie lures that have adjustable parts is to test them out first, before you go out fishing. Make sure it is performing how it should be, and that only comes with practice and knowledge that you will gain here.
Mud Puppy Muskie Lures
Here is the second secret that your guide will not tell you. Believe it or not, the favorite food of the musky is trout. So if you are in a lake that supports a good supply of trout, you should try and use a muskie lure that looks like a trout in those lakes and your success should increase. But if that is not the case, then think of what else might be a natural food source. Muskie fishing in rivers and streams presents different food sources, such as the mud puppy or salamander. Here is an older lure made to look like a mud puppy:
Below is the modern day version of the same lure:
Spinner Muskie Lures
Spinning muskie lures have been around for a very long time and they are very successful for catching fish in the Pike family, which includes Northern Pike, Muskie and Tiger Muskie. They come in various sizes and shapes and body contours. Some have multiple treble hooks and some have a single hook. Most are dressed around the hook with a skirt of material, usually Buck tail (which is where they get their bucktail name), but can also be made out of flexible polymers to simulate a wiggling tail. One of the problems encountered with spinner muskie lures, though, is line twist. This occurs when the blade of the spinner rotates also causes the line to rotate, or in essence winds it up. The use of a snap swivel attached between the line and musky lure is a way to minimize this and there are many different snap swivels on the market. The better ones are equipped with ball bearings to reduce any friction while in operation. For muskie, a good spinner muskie lure to use is called the Mepp’s Giant Killer. It comes in many shapes and colors and has been very successful for catching large pike.
Jerkbait Musky Lures
Jerkbaits have been called the perfect bait. All of the action in “jerkbaits” comes from the angler holding the rod and reel and what action he applies while retrieving the musky lures. Jerkbaits are long and slender muskie fishing lures and have erratic motion simulating an injured fish. These muskie fishing lures come in many different varieties and can float, sink, or be neutrally buoyant. Which of these muskie fishing lures you use will depend on the conditions of the water, weather, etc. When using jerkbaits the angler will point his rod tip towards the water and apply a series of quick erratic jerks while retrieving the lure. This is all to simulate an injured fish. The noise created while applying this motion will simulate an injured fish as it gains recovery energy for quick burst through the water. The injured fish is fully aware that while injured it presents itself to other fish of prey as a food source and will do everything in its power to recover and quickly retreat. Below, a typical jerkbait:
Keep in mind that we previously made mention of what the fish will see when looking at his prey from under the surface. If it is a bright sunny day and the fish looks up while searching for food, it is unlikely he will see lightly colored lures. So here is what a typical Muskie lure will look like from the underside:
Live Bait Muskie Fishing
The old standby for muskie fishing is the use of live bait. However, live bait for musky fishing presents its own unique set of problems. One of them it that purchasing live bait can be very expensive. Live suckers which are in the 6” range and larger can cost upwards of seven dollars each or more.
Then there is the problem of keeping them fresh. In order to do that, another container must be brought into the boat, such as a five gallon bucket or a Frabill Live Bait Station. The larger the bait fish, the less you can carry on board or you will need a larger container. The inherent issue here is to be able to oxygenate the water to keep them alive. The more you have in the bucket, the more oxygen you’ll need to add to the water. Therefore an aerator, like the ones found here, must be added to the mix, which means carrying extra batteries etc. Musky lures are reusable, whereas suckers are not.
You also have to ask yourself, is the live bait I am using natural bait to the water I’m fishing in? This is not to say that a muskie will not strike at any live bait presentation, but will thy strike more frequently to natural bait found in the lake you’re fishing in. Yes they work, and there are many different hooks, rigs, and techniques of how to apply them to the end of your line. We have our favorite choices that we’ll certainly recommend, and most of the available choices do work, but if you use our choices your success percentages will certainly increase.
During your musky fishing lifetime you will run across many more musky lures and new innovations. We have just covered a few of the old tried and true ones here. We go into even more detail when we discuss what we feel are the best muskie lures. We’ll be bringing you more and more as time goes on. So visit TigerMuskie.net frequently for updates and more information.