Musky America Magazine June 2023 Edition

SLOW, ERRATIC - BIG BAITS With the lower water temperatures at this time of year the general rule of thumb has always been to use smaller baits and a slower retrieve. I definitely agree that these big post spawn Muskies generally won't get excited over faster moving lures. However, when it comes to size, just what is small to a 50 incher? Although a big fish may strike a smaller size lure, I don't feel that they will often move very far to get it. On the other hand, I have seen big fish move considerable distances to strike a twitched 8 to 10 inch minnow bait. Big Muskies can be really opportunistic when it comes to what they eat sometimes. What I mean by this is often the biggest meal that is the easiest to catch is exactly what they want. Here a bigger lure worked slowly and erratic may represent an opportunity that is just too good to pass up. For this spring pattern there is no question when it comes to which type of lures produce the best. While there are times when both bucktails and top water lures are very effective, usually twitching crankbaits, minnow type lures, or jerkbaits are my number one choice. The two things that I most often use to decide which type of lure to use are water depth and weed thickness. When the Muskies are holding in really thick stuff jerkbaits can be twitched through the pockets and holes in the weed tops. If I am fishing over deeper weeds or weed edges, big lipped deep runners that are either jointed or straight would be my choice. When it comes to color selection, you should try to pick lures with bright colored sides and bellies. Usually these tend to produce more flash when the bait is twitched, and baits that have lots of flash tend to trigger more strikes.