The Best Tiger Muskie Baits For Beginners

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Video lures for tiger muskie

Picking out the right tiger musky fishing gear can sometimes be overwhelming. With so many fishing lures to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start and what to use. Especially for those that are just getting into musky fishing. While fishing for the fish of 10,000 casts the last thing you want to be doing is questioning whether or not you are using the right tackle.

The goal of this article is to provide new tiger muskie anglers with a selection of proven lures that they can have confidence throwing as they chase the elusive tiger muskie. All of these lures have been battled tested and are proven tiger muskie catchers.

For more tips and information on how to target and fish for tiger muskie check out our: An In Depth Guide to Catching Tiger Muskie in Utah.

Best Tiger Muskie Lures For Beginners

Instead of trying to do the possible and name the single best muskie lure, we have listed out several great options to choose from and have organized them into different categories. Each lure category is used for a different type of presentation, at different times and in different circumstances. As you gain experience you will start to get a feel for which category is used best in certain situations, but until then we have provided a general guide that well to help you understand when to use what category. Here is our selections of the best tiger muskie lures:

Top Water Lures

Ideal in early mornings and evenings in calm water

Early morning before the sun comes up, when the lake is glass and perfectly calm, is a great time to throw top water. The same thing applies in the evenings when you are watching the sun go down wishing Mother Nature would give you five more minutes of fishing time. There are several types of top water baits to choose from, walk the dog, ploppers and crawlers. This style of fishing is the most exciting when you have unexpected blow ups on the surface, or can see a wake of an incoming Muskie headed straight for your lure. There is nothing like watching the explosion on the surface followed by the setting of the hook. Here are some great top water baits try:

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Heddon Super Spook

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When the topwater bite is on the Heddon Super Spook is hard to beat. This is a walk the dawg style of top water bait and is solid option when you are targeting tiger muskie in the early mornings and evenings. You can’t beat the thrill of landing a tiger muskie on a Heddon Super Spook.

Whopper Plopper

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The River 2 Sea Whopper Plopper is a large wake style bait that was designed to catch big bass and musky. The key feature to this bait is the tailed propeller and can be retrieved in a number of ways at different speeds. This noisy bait is sure to grab the attention of any nearby musky and is a perfect way to cover a lot of water.

Spinner Baits

Perfect for fishing in vegetation

Spinner baits also come in a one blade or a two blade option that gives off a different vibration in the water. Spinner baits are a great option when throwing into weed beds and areas of vegetation. The large blades keep the hooks from getting caught up in the grass and weeds and allow you to fish areas that are more difficult when fishing other baits. Spinner baits are a great option year round and especially in areas with a lot of vegetation. Here are some solid tiger muskie spinners:

Mepps Musky Killer

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The Mepps Musky Killer is an awesome spinnerbait that excels in the fall and early summer. When the fish are up shallow and holding to large weed flats is where this lure really shines. It also works well when a slow presentation is needed as the blades will spin at even the slowest retrieve.

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Musky Killer Bucktail

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One of the most classic Muskie baits is a buck tail. These oversized spinner baits are a proven method for catching trophy Muskies. Buck tails come in different size blades and can be used in multiple situations. Feel free to experiment on the different sizes and colors that will best fit your home waters.

Crank Baits

Ideal for covering a lot of area and for grabbing the attention of musky in shallow and deeper water

When you are fishing from a boat or in deeper water you are typically looking for a lure that will dive deep and make a lot of chatter this is where crank baits come in. Muskies love noisy baits and crank baits with rattles can be big producers. There are different crank baits for different depths, so if you are fishing from shore you will want to choose a shallow diver that won’t get snagged up in the foliage and on the bottom of the lake. Here are some great tiger musky crankbaits to help you get started:

Recommended Crankbaits
  • Grandma 6” Crank
  • Tuff Shad
  • Slammer Shad

Rubber/ Plastics

Ideal for catching tiger muskie in the summertime

Muskies have shown that they love big rubber baits. I don’t know what it is about these eel shaped baits, but the Muskie seems to love them. These baits can be fished fast or slow and offer a lot of action with their long tails. The most common rubber bait is called a bull dawg; this bait is used mainly in the summer time when the Muskie is looking for larger prey.

Muskie Dawg

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The Musky Dawg Soft Bait is a slow sinking fishing lure that works great in the summertime. There is just something about the action of the tail that really drives musky into striking. When the fish are looking for larger prey, especially in the summer the Muskie Dawg.

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Savage Gear Burbot

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The Savage Gear Burbot is another excellent rubber/plastic musky lure. The profile and tail is what really makes this bait shine. This is another solid option in the summer when the fish are targeting baitfish.

Jointed Swim Baits

Best lure for imitating forage and wounded bait fish

Jointed swim baits are one of the best lures when it comes to mimicking the forage. These baits have great life like action and are a solid option when trying to fool a crafty and elusive Muskie. Swim baits generally do not have a lip and don’t dive like crank baits. This bait can easily be manipulated to resemble a wounded fish. An occasional pause or light snap of the rod can often times trigger a response from a Tiger Muskie.

Rapala J13

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The Rapala J13 is one of the baits ways to imitate tiger musky forage. You can cast this lure a long way and it runs straight and true. It’s jointed body gives it some nice action and it include rattles that will stir any nearby musky into striking. This is definitely a lure every musky angler should have in their tackle box.

Westin Mike the Pike

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The Westin Mike the Pike lure is another great jointed crankbait. This lure is specifically designed for pike and muskie and is an overall great bait for covering water. The life-like swimming action in the water provokes even the most lethargic predators into biting.

Final Thoughts

I have learned through my own experience that having confidence in the lures and baits you are fishing with plays a big role in your fishing success. I hope you have found this information to be helpful and that it gives you some direction and confidence as you begin your journey at catching the elusive tiger muskie.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>