Musky America Magazine April2023 Edition

Hooking Up With The Manta Jerk Bait By Craig Sandell © 2010 Jerk baits have a reputation for making the Muskie angler work. Most manufacturers recommend a rod with a good backbone and line with a test of at least 40 pounds. The 8" Manta is an exception to the rule of heavier tackle and it is extremely easy to use. The Manta is working on the first pull of your retrieve and it keeps working until you pull it from the water. The really neat thing is that it takes only a gentle pull to give it the side to side action that makes it a potentially productive lure (I recommended a 9" solid leader). Many anglers have expressed a concern regarding the "Hook Up" percentage associated with the Manta. The Manta, as is the case with other glide baits, is an erratic moving target. Musky will usually lunge at the lure and, as luck would have it, that is the time when the angler pulls on the bait and, in essence, pulling it away from the attacking Musky. There is no way to completely solve this presentation problem but you can do the following: Slow down your retrieve action. Make less exaggerated jerks during the retrieve. Pause your retrieve for a few seconds and then jerk the lure only slightly. These three approaches will have the lure in the 'strike zone' of the Musky longer and will also make it easier for the Musky to zero in for the typical 'side slashing attack' that is used by the Musky to overcome the blind spot at the end of its snout.