Musky Lure Selection...

A Weather Profile

By: Craig Sandell 2009


Note: This data applies to Musky caught by cast, NOT trolling !

The conventional wisdom of Muskylore is that overcast days and rough water represent the best chance for a Musky catch. In deed, the data does show that overcast days do have good Musky production. It is, however, significant to note that partly cloudy (and therefore partly sunny) days also have very good Musky production. If you add up the Musky caught on clear and partly cloudy days you will get a total of 488 fish from the study. Overcast days accounted for 517 fish. That is not that much of a difference in productivity between these two major weather factors. Once again, crank baits put in a respectable catch record for clear days, given the fact that crank baits are not the lure of choice on the Chippewa Flowage. The table below will provide you some perspective:

Clear

Haze/Fog

Overcast

Partly Cloudy

Rain

Stormy

Bucktail

14

43

190

72

26

17

Surface

157

49

214

78

19

25

Crank

45

6

28

14

1

4

Jerk

26

6

43

11

2

9

Live

48

7

42

23

9

3

Totals:

290

111

517

198

57

58

Is there a lure type better suited to a particular weather condition? The numbers in this study don't show any. If anything, the study supports the balanced approach to lure use. Although weather is important to the Musky hunt, it is equally important to be prepared to use a variety of lures for the same weather conditions. Lure selection, based upon the structure being fished, appears to be the approach to take rather than allowing the weather to dictate a particular lure type.

Lures By Weather

Time Of Day

Is there a lure type that is more productive at a certain time of day? Based on what we have seen so far in the study information, one would suspect not. Well, numbers are full of little surprises. It turns out that there is one type of lure that is a better performer based upon the time of day.

Surface baits are better performers during the evening hours. The fact that surface baits are designed to emulate, in many instances, small animals, coupled with the fact that many of these small animals find fading light a comfort to their safety, could account for this evening productivity boom in surface baits. Also, consider that most Musky anglers find comfort in using a lure that they can hear when it is pitch black. All of the other lure types spread productivity pretty evenly over the fishing day. Once again, crank baits provided good activity throughout the day & evening.

A Quick Summary

We have looked at lure selection from a few different angles. We have seen that, with the exception of surface lures in the evening, no lure type enjoys a clear selection advantage. It would appear as though the high percentage approach to lure selection is the approach that puts you in the position to use at least two different lure types for any pass over a particular piece of structure.

The selection of lure color depends as much upon the color of the water that you are fishing as the personal preference of the person doing the fishing. In the final analysis, lures are a very personal thing to a Musky angler. We all have lure types and colors in which we have confidence. We all tend to use the lures with which we have had success. This little article has shown that being prepared to use any of the lures types in which you have confidence will give you the best shot at a muskie. There are no sure things when it comes to fishing for Musky, except perhaps, that you'll work hard to raise one and even harder to hook one and get him in the boat.