Lure Selection...

Is It Science Or Slick Advertising

By: Craig Sandell 2011


Its time to take the hype out of lure selection. If there is anything that is likely to cause a Musky fisherman to experience an elevated level of stress, it's probably the selection of the RIGHT lure. As people who fish for the most elusive and tenacious fresh water game fish, we are regularly bombarded by a blitzkrieg of available lure choices from manufacturers that claim that their lure is the "BEST".

This article is NOT going to tell you what lure manufacturer makes the lure most likely to catch the Musky of your dreams...there is no such manufacturer. What this article WILL attempt to do is to provide you with some actual catch information that will help you select the general category of lure for the conditions in which you find yourself when seeking Mr. Musky. Before buying any lures, I encourage you to take a look at the article on the website concerning BUYING LURES.

The Study Baseline

For the purpose of this article, I have separated lures into 5 general categories; Bucktails, Surface Baits, Crank Baits, Jerk Baits and live bait. We will look at the productivity of these 5 lure categories as effected by the time of year, the weather conditions and the time of day.

The catch records for this article are taken from a study of 1,415 legal Musky caught on the Chippewa Flowage from 1981 to 1990.

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

Total Catch

963

1053

962

1206

1217

1270

1244

1103

1009

1192

Study Catch

128

105

88

119

119

150

205

146

160

195

% Of Total

13%

10%

9%

9%

9%

11%

16%

13%

15%

16%

The table that is shown above provides you some perspective regarding the percent of the registered catch that is represented by the study catch for each year of the study. The study catch, representing 12.6% of the total registered catch, is a respectable statistical sample. Combined with the size of the sample is the fact that the study is spread over 10 years, thereby minimizing unusual conditions that might have been present in any one or two of the years of the study causing some skewing of the information.

MUSKY SEASON

Musky season starts in late May most places in the upper Midwest and ends some time in November. During each of these seven months, the relationship between the weather and the water undergoes regular intervals of change. The relative position of the sun in the sky is constantly changing providing variable conditions of light penetration. The water temperature changes according to the prevailing weather. The general weather conditions adopt seasonal patterns as the Musky season runs through its cycle. All of these conditions have an effect upon the Musky. Some make him more active, some drive him into deeper water, some drive him into the shallows and there are some that just drive him crazy. There have been volumes of articles written on the effects of the time of year and weather upon the habits of the Musky. What we are going to do is see how Musky responded to the lures in the 5 general lure categories during these changing seasonal conditions.

Lure Selection By Month