The Most Effective Muskie Bait

All fishers brag about the monster fish they are going to catch the next time they go out onto the lake, but when it comes to catching a muskie of any size, you need the right kind of muskie bait.

A muskie is a large freshwater game fish that can grow up to 5 feet long and weigh up to about 70 pounds. Muskies are caught most often in late summer or early fall and can be found in the lakes of the Great Lakes region of the United States. Fishers flock to this area. There are several types of muskie bait, including live ones and lures. These include crank baits, jerk baits, spinners and surface lures.

Live Bait/Jerk Bait

Muskies like to eat almost any type of fish or other creature that is smaller than they are, so you can use almost any bait fish. Carp or other similar fish are a good choice, but muskies will also eat other animals like frogs, toads or even a small mammal like a mouse. The bait is jerked around in the water so it looks like a wounded or injured animal, giving it the name "jerk bait." Artificial lures can also be used as jerk bait, and there are some designed to look like small fish.

Crank Bait Lures

Crank bait lures are thrown into the water and then cranked back in to attract the fish. In order to use one of them as muskie bait, you have to have the right design that will attract the fish. Some of the more successful versions are deep-diving ones shaped like bait fish with large hooks on each end. Some also include rattles on the inside to make them move in the water in a jerky fashion to look like an injured fish. They also come in different colors that blend into the water or mimic the local creatures the muskies like to eat.

Spinner Lures

Spinner lures are usually made of hair from animals such as deer, skunk or squirrel or of feathers from local birds. The hair or feathers are formed into a long, straight shape with a metal or plastic piece called a spinner in the front and a hook in the back. You can either buy a spinner lure from fishing retail stores or make one yourself. These types of lures will make the water pulse with action as you toss them into the water and pull them back. The success of this type of lure as muskie bait depends on the fisher's skill.

Top Water, or Surface, Lures

Top water, or surface, lures are meant to be run across the top of the water and look like something swimming near the surface. A good fisher will use this type of muskie bait by pulling it and making it bounce along to attract the fish. They are designed to look like prey and have at least two treble hooks in them to snare the muskie. The generic type of surface lures are also called toppers, and each is shaped like a long torpedo with hooks embedded in each side. These lures have been used by many muskie fishers in many different styles and shapes but aren’t as popular these days as some of the other types of muskie bait.