Best Baits: 15 Top Lures For Pike and Muskie Fishing Pick a winning bait for your biggest fish ever BY DAVID A.BROWN When the stars align and the feeding window is open, a big muskie or pike will hit anything that moves. Your bait selection doesn’t matter and all you have to do is be in the right place at the right time. If you’re lucky, you’ll experience this feeding-frenzy action once or twice a season. The rest of your time hunting trophy pike and muskies will be spent cranking, casting, and waiting. The right presentation will make the difference between a bite and a follow-up. So, don’t waste all of your effort pitching second-rate lures. Here’s our round up of the best muskie and pike fishing baits on the market right now. OL
1. HEDDON RATTLIN' SPOOK The Spook's renowned walk-the-dog style has long been a pike pleaser – especially over grass. The Rattlin' model's tungsten BBs emit an intense sound that mimics fleeing baitfish. These rattles also serve to enhance the bait's walking retrieve.
2. BOOYAH PIKEE Strong and durable, this ½-ounce double leaf spinnerbait boasts a tough Vibra-Flx wire frame that stands up to powerful jaws with lots of teeth. The Pikee comes with a 12-inch steel leader for added insurance against big biters.
3. YUM DINGER The 7-inch version of this flexible stickbait does a good job of presenting a baitfish profile for pike and musky. Rig the bait Texas style over weeds or wacky style when working open water.
4. EPPINGER DAREDEVLE SPOON The 00 size of this classic spoon has seen plenty of teeth mark, and for good reason. The wiggling, wobbling action puts out a lot of flash and vibration to resemble a fleeing baitfish. Trolled or cast, the Daredevle tempts pike and musky in a broad range of depths.
5. BLUE FOX SUPER BOU Big on the visuals and big on fish-grabbing ability, the size 10 Super Bou imitates mature baitfish and sprouts double trebles to snare the toothy predators that seek them. Tandem blades, combined with Marabou, Hackle, and Flashabou fibers create a lifelike undulating action, while the free-turning brass gear emits sonic vibration and rattles when it strikes the outer shell.
6. MEPPS H210 There's nothing modest about this heavyweight tandem spinner, but big muskies don't do modest. Nine inches from eye to tail, the 3-ounce H210 emits big-time thump with its twin brass Indiana blades, while a bright 100-percent holographic tail is hand-tied to tandem 7/0 VMC cone cut hooks.
7. SUICK WEIGHTED HOLOGRAPHIC MUSKY THRILLER JERKBAIT The weighted version of the original Musky Thriller carries its unique shape and enticing wiggle deeper. Holographic finishes shimmer like real baitfish.
8. TACKLE INDUSTRIES SUPER D SWIMBAIT A whopping 14-inches long with its tail extended, this sturdy swimbait is built around a full Body Lock coil harness that keeps the soft plastic body in place, while connecting two underside trebles to the frame linked to jig head. The 5-ounce Super D counts down at about a foot per second. Jig it, jerk it or crank it; the Super D's rocking motion and curly tail put on a big show for big muskies.
9. MEPPS DOUBLE BLADE AGLIA (SIZE #5) The popular Aglia design gains enhanced visual appeal, along with maximum sound and vibration from a second blade. Whether it's flashing metallic blades or contrasting colors, the dual spinners provide added lift for fishing over weeds or other structure. Vividly colored hand-tied bucktails help make this bait easier for fish to spot.
10. MEPPS SYCLOPS (SIZE #3) A real pike pleaser, this sleekly contoured spoon casts easily and trolls effectively at most any common speed. Jig it vertically over deep spots or through the ice.
11. GRANDMA JOINTED LURE An old-school classic, the flat body and jointed design yields a wobble and shimmy that drives big muskies crazy. When cast, the bait reaches 3-6 feet; trolled, it goes to 12. Made with high-impact plastic and a tough diving lip, a Grandma will withstand the fiercest attack from a toothy giant.
12. NORTHLAND FISHING TACKLE BIONIC BUCKTAIL JIG Hand-tied with genuine bucktail, this jig features a versatile double line tie that affords the option of vertical jigging deep water or casting and trolling shallow cover. A stinger hook secured to the jig's Mustad Ultra-Point hook snares any short strikers.
13. CISCO KID TOPPER A torpedo profile body with stainless steel propeller blades on the nose and tail create a big topside disturbance that gets the fish looking in the right direction. Effective for pike and muskie, the Cisco Kid Topper works well at a variety of speeds.
14. BASS PRO SHOPS THUMP N DEAL SWIMBAIT Equipped with a pair of 4/0 short shank trebles, this big bait swims with a slight side-to-side wobble that can be altered by bending and adjusting the internal non-slip body harness. A steady retrieve works best, but an occasional pause or twitch can turn followers into biter.
15. KOPPERS LIVE TARGET JOINTED YELLOW PERCH Incredibly realistic body shaping, coloration and fishy detail makes this a hard bait for big predators to ignore. Effective for casting or trolling, the jointed body creates an erratic tail kick that closely mimics theswimmingmotion of a real perch.