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Jackpot

What to throw early season

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What do you throw early in the season? do you go out there and satrt throwing cowgirls or do u down size a litlle bit? what do u guys like to throw early in the season when its cold?

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I'll start will Hellhounds, Wades Wobblers, Mag Dawgs, and a glittertail. If thse aren't moving fish I'll start going through the box till I find something. I really don't downsize much, maybe a 7" Wades over the 9".

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for the southern Wi, opener I threw big xraps, super d's,double 8's/10's

for northern Wi, xraps,double 8's, super d's, triple and double d's,spinnerbait

for Mn, ill be throwing double 10's,super d's,triple and double d's,weagle

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Love throwing the Vibrax inlines for early season. Fish fast and easy and fish really like them. Have done well with them in the past. Depends on how aggressive the fish are that I come in contact with. More agressive the bigger the baits are that I will throw.

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fish it slow back to the boat if the water is in or around 60 degrees

Boated two fish burning showgirls with water temps 58-63, there is now wrong way to fish the spring...

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I used to like the don't even start your muskie jaunts until after the 4th of July. I catch 60 % of my fish for the year before the 4th. Your name Jackpot, that's the bait I go with.

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MB, what's your secret on hooking fish with a crackpot if you don't mind me asking? I think I've caught 2 fish on that lure out of about 30 blowups, lol.

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Topwater, phantoms. Topwater has worked the best for the muskies cruising the shallows. Phantoms deeper.

DH, I know you were asking MB what he does, but I went through the experience and frustration you have countless times and we throw topwater alot.

The first thing I did to all my topwater was take shrink tubing and extend the rear hook straight out.

The second was give them a second before I set the hook to turn their head or loosen their grip so we could slide that rear hook into the corner of their mouth when I set the hook.

Next, is to realize that when they explode on the lure they aren't always grabbing it or they miss it.

Lastly, keep the lure moving because they may come back for a second shot at it.

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A few years ago at the Musky Expo I specifically asked

Bob Mehsikomer about adding shrink tubing to extend the rear hook and he specifically told me "not" do do that.

Not that I really care, because the HOOK UP ratio on that lure is so bad I do not care to use it anyway.

I prefer the DOC by Pete Maina, seems to ride lower in the water (not sure)

but I have had better luck with it than that fishless Jackpot.

Phantoms, Musky Candy, Pacemakers, Amma Bamma, Undertakers,

Mepps Marabou, Rad Dogs, squirrley Burt & the Suick get my nod for opener weekend.

Come to think of it, they get my nod year round!

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The jackpot theory early for me is slow and methodical, make it work without much of a reeling effort, I used to fish it too fast early taking it out of the strike zone to quickly. Come opener we all have energy to burn and we want to get as many casts in as possible and for me anyway I was working my mid-july pattern when I should've been fishing slower. If the fish dictate faster, faster we go. I do vary the speed of the bait until a hot fish shows. The blow ups, I run the motors so my partner has tinkered and tried things and now has a really good hooking percentage on them. For some reason the first few years lots of blow ups, lately when he gets a fish on it a lot of them he is converting into a strike. Just a theory but the blowup fish don't seem to be feeding on it or really wanting it vs. the fish that stalk it and follow and stalk it and strike it, almost like 2 different states of mind the fish seem to have. Others probably have different theories and it works differently for them.

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A last bit my boat partner connected on 13 straight jackpot strikes, that's a streak he'll most likely never have again and I added of course it had to end, you hit that magical number 13. A few years before that 1 great year he had an 0-9 going and some years they seem to not want the jackpot as much, some years barely at all for some reason, those years stink for him because he always, creatures of habit, goes to it and those are the years I really make hay.

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Glider style topwater baits can be "stone killers" in the early part of the season. The problem with the Jackpot, isn't the hooks, or their placement on the bait. It's simply a matter of weight, they are very light.

When they get hit from below they have a tendency to fly up into the air. Trailing fish in most cases will get hooked when they hit. It's the fish that come up from below, that are difficult to get hooks into.

If you throw a lot of walk the dog style baits, try going to a little heavier bait. There are many different baits similar to the Jackpot, that carry a bit more weight. They won't hook them all, but they will help to increase the number of hook-ups you get.

"Ace"

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have you guys that throw jackpots ever tried to weight them down at all? I have built a few baits in this style. If you add weight to the rear of the bait it will be easier to walk, and ride lower in the water. Just a thought that may help hook up on those fish that hit from below.

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Right on Bemidji, that was Pete Mania's theory with the doc, ride lower so it don't hop away when they attack. Will add weight to a jackpot and check that out, makes sense to try it, thanx.

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