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what tends to be the best baits for muskies at Clear Lake,Iowa? I'm new to this species and am excited to get my feet wet (mostly lures). I have read some great info from this forum and know that it is a great starting point for anglers to use.

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Whatever baits you start with, just be prepared to never have enough. Musky fishing is the biggest black hole besides your truck and boat. There is always something new, something that is hot, something that you won't be able to resist, and before you know it you'll be shopping in your garage like it's the outdoors store before you go fishing if you're not careful!

Basic Baits:

Soft Plastics are a newer category of baits that come in all sorts of sizes, colors, and shapes. These can really be a great bait when nothing else is moving fish.

Examples: Bulldogs, Suzy Suckers, Curly Sues, Killer Eels, Storm Shads, etc

Bucktails/Spinnerbaits are a must have on any lake. These baits can be fished shallow, deep, fast, slow, and come in sizes from panfish size up to Double 13 size blades and beyond. Very versatile and a proven fish catcher for many. You can typically expect many follows using bucktails.

Examples: Cowgirls, Musky Buck, Harasser, Inhaler, Musky Candy, etc

Topwaters can be a great tool to use. These are nice to use when you want to create a ruckus on the water and really fun to fish. Muskies look like Great Whites hitting these things, but also miss often as well. Not a high percentage bait all the time but you can land some monster fish on topwaters.

Examples: Top Raider, Pacemaker, Rambler, Globe, Jackpot

Jerkbaits are also a great presentation to get some of those lethargic fish into more active fish. These baits require a little more work by the operator by twitching your rod or varying reel speed to make the bait move erratically.

Examples: Suick, Reef Hawg, Bobbie Baits, etc

These are the basic baits that will start catching fish for you. My suggestion would be to buy a variety of lures in the various categories to experiment with them and see how they function and if you like that style. Some guys can't stand Suicks and others will throw them all season long without switching. It really is up to you and what you are comfortable with (confidence bait).

Happy Fishing!

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I have only fished it once so far and will be fishing the tourney there on the 31st. I have had my best luck on a Hellhound. I would also get a Triple D, Bulldawg, Cowgirl, and a Wades Wobbler. Not sure if you get a topwater bite there or not. We don't here on the IGL's but you can't go wrong with a Weagle.

Like already stated once you start it's never ending.

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After fishing that lake this spring, i'd recommend either black or really bright yellow/chartreuse baits.

Manta's, bulldogs, bucktails and rattlebaits moved fish for us.

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Awesome! Thanks for the advice. As of now, I have a lure of each described above. With the water clarity of the lake I figured that chartruese and gold may be productive colors.

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