Ugh, it happened again! You just spent four grueling hours on the water, and you got shut out. Again. At this point you are probably thinking, are these the fish of 10,000 casts or 100,000?
The problem could be the equipment you’re using. The following are my top 10 musky lures – considered by serious musky hunters to be some of the best musky lures ever created. If you want to land trophy-size musky, you need to be throwing them, period! So, read on and get the net ready because you are sure to land something big with these proven, reliable musky legends.
1. Musky Mayhem Double Cowgirl
The Musky Double Cowgirl bait by Musky Mayhem is a lure that I have had tremendous success with throughout its’ existence. This reliable lure is incredibly easy to use as it is a straight retrieval lure that does the work for you! It has two spoons attached.
If your repertoire doesn’t consist of a variety of these baits, you are doing yourself a disservice. The Double Cowgirl has a pair of treble hooks that lock into the tough cartilage of the musky’s jaw and doesn’t let go. They are extremely durable as well. Bucktails often take quite the beating on the tail portion, but the nylon fibers on this lure hold up strong after several bites.
Because of the simplistic nature of this bait, I would recommend it to all experience levels of musky fisherman. This is a truly outstanding lure.
- Color options
- Dual treble hooks
- On the higher-end scale
2. Mepps MBM G-BOY Magnum Musky Killer
The Mepps Musky Killer is a bait that has a following as big as any popular lure on the market. This old school bucktail spinner is the original double cowgirl, featuring a spinning spoon and multi-colored tail that provides a flash that musky devour.
I have used these lures to great success and they are a staple of my tackle box essentials. The thing I love about Musky Killers is the multiple water depths at which they can be effective because they don’t sink too quickly. They let you easily maintain your preferred water depth.
I use these lures in both fall and summer and have great success in both seasons because of the variety of colors that they come in. I love these because they are easily workable, straight retrieval bait for all skill levels.
- Easy to work
- Excellent color variety
- Can be a little less durable, as the tails get damaged after extensive use
- Very popular, so possibly overused in areas
3. Lake X Toad X Lure
This particular bait has been highly used by yours truly and has helped me to land the biggest fish of my life. I used this particular bait just off a shallow weed be when a 54” musky struck my gold, Lake Ex/Toad X lure. The lure locked in like an English Bulldog on a Brahma Bull and wouldn’t let it go despite the intense head-shaking, thrashing battle.
It has tremendous movement in the water when worked properly. It is on the pricier side for a specialty bait, because it is only effective in shallow, weed bed areas.
Obviously, I’m a little more partial to this bait than some would be of a Toad lure, but it has proven itself effective, and I could see why it would drive a musky crazy because it looks fantastic in the water. If you can’t find this lure, an equally effective alternative is the Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog.
- Realistic movement
- Color variation
- Dual treble hooks
- Higher priced
- Specialty lure
- Not for beginners
4. Musky Mania Jake Crankbait
Jakes are a highly effective old school lures. It is a crankbait that has been used for many years because of its outstanding movement in the water. The lure has a combination of a shake, wobble and flash that resembles a dying baitfish.
I have always used these lures when fishing heavily weeded areas due to the fact that they will stay relatively shallow on retrieval. The Jake is a straight forward lure that does the work for you and is easy to use for all skill levels.
- Three sets of treble hooks making for an easy hook set
- Easy movement
- Provides a great flash
- Three treble hooks can easily become tangled on cast
5. Eppinger Daredevil Spoon
Here is your wild card lure of the day. The spoon is often forgotten about when musky fishing as some consider it more of a northern pike lure.
I am here to tell you they are effective for musky as well. The wonderful thing about spoons are the outstanding, easy movement and flash that it provides, and they all tend to move a little differently, which gives the musky a fresh look.
I have always had a lot of success with these lures, I love using them casting into deep water off of drop-offs. These lures need to be back on to the musky fishing radar.
- Tremendous movement
- Differentiation in movement between lures
- Color variation
- Easy to use
- One set of treble hooks lends to inconsistent hook sets
6. Whopper Plopper
Besides the fact that it has one of the all-time great names for a lure, the Whopper Plopper drives big musky crazy. These topwater lures are successful because of their noisy, swirling tail that forces musky to the surface.
Long-time musky fishermen figured out that the fish will notice the deep, bellowing sounds of swirling water as a flailing, dying fish on its last leg (or fin). This looks like an easy meal for them and they are opportunistic hunters. This is also a really fun lure to use as there is nothing like a topwater musky strike. Best used in summer months, the Whopper Plopper is a must-have in your tackle box June through September.
The only drawback comes in the form of durability. The tail can become easily damaged on a hard strike and once the tail is even remotely damaged it won’t work properly.
- Provides enticing sound
- Easy to cast
- Straight forward retrieval
7. Chaos Tackle Medussa
This is one of my favorite baits available on the market. The Medussa comes in a variety of sizes, but they are all relatively very large rubber baits. This lure has triple tails that curl so when you rip it through the water it has a lot of nice action. The Medussa has a large body/strike zone and comes with two hooks, but no top hook like many of your older large rubber musky lures.
its large profile in the water makes it a great lure for all-year-round fishing. It comes in a variety of different colors and can be cast or trolled. It does need a heavy test line and good musky rod combination in order to cast it consistently because it is on the heavier side as far as lures go.
As with any rubber bait, there will be some wear and tear after strikes, but this lure will definitely land its share of big fish. However, once one of the tails is gone, you won’t see the same movement.
- Outstanding action
- Great multi-purpose bait
- Variety of size and color
- Easy to work
- Big profile
8. Reef Hawg by Fudally
The Reef Hawg is one of my go-to glide baits. Even though it has lost some popularity over the years as more and more glide baits are being made, the Reef Hawg has stood the test of time.
These are outstanding lures to have because they can be used for casting or trolling – a great multipurpose lure. The way these lures are designed helps them stay down deep and are a lure that I love to use trolling and casting in colder weather when the musky have ventured into deeper water.
- Multi treble hooks
- Durability (can withstand multiple fights)
- Realistic swimming movement
- Realistic color scheme
- Strictly a deep water lure
- Easily tangled
9. Suick Thriller
The Suick thriller is the original “musky lure”, being around for upwards of 80 years amid much success. The inventor of the lure was said to have caught 30 muskies in 30 days at one point with this lure. Needless to say, the Suick has seen more big fish than Quint from Jaws.
These lures come in a multitude of sizes and colors ranging from 7” to 10”. It is essentially a casting only lure, so you are going to have to know how to work it because it doesn’t provide any of its own movement.
The Suick is a great jerkbait that you can rip through weed beds, and work to your desire and is very durable, as it is made from either wood or hard plastic. I will say it is not for beginning musky fishermen as it takes a lot of skill, but if you can work the bait correctly it can provide various amounts of effective movement.
- Tremendous movement when worked correctly
- Large set of three treble hooks
- Easy hooks to set
- Multitude of size and color combinations
- Proven commodity
- Casting only
10. Savage 4D Perch Shad
The Savage line of products always seems to be on the cutting edge of new musky products. One of my favorite lures that they have come up with is their new Savage 4D Line-through Perch. I absolutely love using swimbaits because of how realistic they look in the water, and this particular swimbait looks identical to one of our predatory fish’s favorite targets, the perch.
I have personally enjoyed a ton of success with these baits. I try to use them most often in the summer months when the perch have recently spawned and there are a bevy of them for musky to feed on.
The wonderful rubber material that makes swimbaits so lifelike and realistic is also their only downfall – durability. As with any rubber lure, if you were to get a strike on these, the razor-sharp musky teeth can really tear it up. Once the tail gets a rip of any kind the movement will decease and you might as well throw it away, but the lure will have died a hero because it just landed you a prize fish.
- Best movement of any lure
- Realistic Look
- Realistic colors
- Straightforward Retrieval
- Must string lure correctly
The reality of musky fishing is that there isn’t a lure that is going to work in every situation that may present itself throughout the course of the year. In order to be consistently successful, you will need a variety of lures to handle all of the seasonal weather changes, water depths and baitfish spawning seasons. Some lures are also designed more specifically to be cast or trolled, so make sure you know how you want to attack the fish on that certain day or time of year.
As I said in the beginning, it may seem sometimes like musky are never biting, but the key is to know when and what lure to throw. I believe that with this list of what I think are the best musky lures on the market today, you now have a better idea of what you need to have in your tackle box to make the days of being shut out a rare event.
Drop us a line and tell us about your favorite musky lure – we’d love to hear from you. Happy Fishing!
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