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Best baits for muskie and pike

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Looking to get more into big pike and muskie fishing. Usually i just throw big bass spinners and swimbaits but i know theres better tackle out there. If someone could list a few good baits that wont break the bank it would help

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Just like for bass, there are hundreds of muskies lures that could work well. It all depends on the water and conditions, just like bass fishing. Muskie lures are usually a lot more expensive, and the tackle needs to be heavy duty. Count on having your bank broken if you get into it. Google "The Musky Shop" it's near Minocqua, WI. They have the largest selection of muskies lures in the country. Bucktails, surface lures, crank baits all can work. Muskies are crazy, nobody knows what a musky might hit next. 

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I have targeted muskie up north before. Have caught them casting, trolling, and working topwaters. Working baits that are 3-5 ounces on muskie rods/reels can be a wearing task especially during warm summer days. If it was me I would go out early fish for a few hours and go out a few hours before sunset and fish until I was spent if you don't mind fishing in the dark. 90% of the muskie I have caught over 36 inches have been between 7:30 and 9:45 at night on topwaters. I would put a walk the dog lure like a large spook up there with anything. Bigger whopper ploppers and top raiders are also good.

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I've fished for muskie in Canada, Minnesota, and Missouri. Of the 11 I've caught, 2 were on a muskie bait (a bucktail and one was my PB), all in Missouri too oddly enough. Squarebills crankbaits and spinnerbaits have accounted for almost all the rest except for one that ate a YUM beaver. I've had 3 others caught in my boat, all by my brother in law. 2 were on buzzbaits, one was on a tube. IMO, if it ain't broke... 

Now if you're targeting really big ones, then yes, there's much better options. 

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A #5 mepps or blue fox bucktail is a good place to start especially in summer.  If you've got the right equipment you can go bigger blades or double blades, big rubber baits, and more

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In my area of the country the muskies don't get as big as most places but the best baits in my experience have been large jerkbaits and spinnerbaits along with big topwater baits. But muskies are crazy and will hit just about anything 

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I have caught most of my muskie on rat-l-traps while bass fishing.

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Generally speaking, if you are going to specifically target muskies, you will need to upgrade your equipment.  Heavy action rods that are at least 7 feet long, big round bait casting reels, 75+ pound braided line, and heavy steel leaders are all necessary.  Plus the lures are huge too.  Bucktails, topwaters, crankbaits, glidebaits, and bulldawgs are all anywhere from $10 to $35 in cost for EACH lure.  So ya, its not cheap to get into compared to other types of fishing and that's because everything is just so much bigger.  It can also be very physically demanding and taxing on you if you do it for more than a few hours at a time.  I have a friend who can hurl those giant lures for 8 hours without a break and he has arms like tree trunks.

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On 6/6/2016 at 8:44 PM, gimruis said:

Generally speaking, if you are going to specifically target muskies, you will need to upgrade your equipment.  Heavy action rods that are at least 7 feet long, big round bait casting reels, 75+ pound braided line, and heavy steel leaders are all necessary.  Plus the lures are huge too.  Bucktails, topwaters, crankbaits, glidebaits, and bulldawgs are all anywhere from $10 to $35 in cost for EACH lure.  So ya, its not cheap to get into compared to other types of fishing and that's because everything is just so much bigger.  It can also be very physically demanding and taxing on you if you do it for more than a few hours at a time.  I have a friend who can hurl those giant lures for 8 hours without a break and he has arms like tree trunks.

I'm going to disagree on your necessities.  most are now using low profile reels like the Revo Toro series, Okuma komodo, Curado 300, and ever the Tranx is technically low profile.  8ft+ is the norm now for musky rods and heavy fluoro leaders are as popular as steel.  However, you can still cast small bucktails, spinnerbaits, jigs, topwater and cranks for musky with a flipping stick and bass size baitcaster with 50lb braid and a leader.  bigger rods and reels are for bigger baits.

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Three lures for summer casting....Single willow blade bucktail, Depth Raider and Top Raider.

Best bass lures... Mepps Giant Killer, #13 Husky Jerk and a Whopper Plopper

For trolling, I like a 1-1.5oz Saftey pin spinnerbait, a Swim Whizz (or Believer), Five of Diamonds spoon and I forget the name, but it's a larger version of a Lazy Ike.

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If you're looking at bass baits that'll work, you can find some bigger hollow belly swim baits, some big swimbait hooks, and some toothy kritter wire along with some barrel swivels. Big spinnerbaits work as well and I imagine whatever the biggest size dare devil is would work too. 

As far as musky baits go, I'd stick with a bucktail, some sort of topwater like a top raider or wopper plopper, and something subsurface like a depth raider, or giant swim bait. 

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