Musky America Magazine June 2023 Edition

edge of a thick weed patch drew a good solid strike. I immediately set the hooks hard only to have the Musky react by violently thrashing its head from side to side above the water. It took the Musky less than a second to free itself by throwing the hooks. Quickly my partner switched to the same style of bucktail and we continued fishing the same weed bed. Just a few casts later a good size Musky struck his bucktail from the side. Instantly he set the hooks only to have the Musky do the same thing my fish had done only minutes earlier. We missed two more fish later that same morning. Admittedly, we were both getting pretty disgusted with the situation. Determined to figure out why we were missing all these fish, I began to analyze and experiment. The muskies did not seem to be chasing the lures, but instead they appeared to be striking from fixed ambush points as the bucktail went past them. I reasoned that because of the limited visibility in the heavy weeds these "ambush feeders" were striking at the bright colored blade, which was the most visible part of the bucktail to them. I also felt the single treble hooks on these lures were out of position for a solid hookset, and a good head shake could easily dislodge them. A quick check of my bucktail box revealed enough spare parts to add a second hook to these bucktails just behind the blade. This proved to be just the ticket. Three nice muskies all hooked solidly on that front hook. proved my point. A huge increase from zero to 100 percent success resulted. To an experienced Musky angler, a bucktail is a lot more than just a spinner. It's an exacting skill. Here are a few personal tips on some of the many variables in the art of bucktail fishing.