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kingfish689

Is there a rule of thumb on when to throw what bait

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I would like not know what everyone has to say about any rules of thumb on when to throw a spinerbait and when to throw topwater or glides ect.

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topwater- wind (chop), clouds, low light.

spinnerbait- all the time

glides- in my experience: when nothing else is working

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When it's a cloudy low light morning, wind out of the west, the kind of day that makes the hair on the back of you next stand up, throw bucktails and work fast.

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I use faster topwaters all the time, usually the prop style like a Pacemaker or Nitewalker. If I'm not throwing those I usually have a bucktail on. Run and gun!

If the weather sucks (cold front for example) I use a slower moving topwater (weagle) or a jerkbait like a Suick or Smitybait, or sometimes a Hellhound glider. Rubber stuff might work better in these conditions also, but I don't throw it enough to be certain.

If I've raised fish and know they are in an area I sometimes throw a creeper or Weagle all over it. That's usually the only time I really slow down.

I don't cast spinnerbaits much, but I do troll them a lot. I also don't cast cranks at all, but will troll them; usually in the fall.

Thick weeds get a light weight topwater or small bucktail with only one hook. The heavier topwaters get fouled up in the weeds when they land on the cast. Suicks worked with short twitches also go through the weeds fairly decent. Spinnerbaits are probably a great choice also.

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Start throwing till the fish tell you what they want. 3 baits I have on 99% of the time are a Wades Wobbler, Mag Bulldawg and Blades, if those dont work then the search begins through my box for gliders, DDD's , spinnerbaits ect.

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The Wade's Wobbler is a very underated bait. The inside joke within the North Metro Chapter of MI was. Joe caught a fish on a Chartruse Wades. The bait Had 3 flecks of paint left on it- the rest had been chewed off- by litterally dozens and dozens of fish grin

Joe was not the gentlemans real name. I think he also used a Crappie Viper- there was no paint left on that one as well. I think the guilty party almost shed a tear when he lost that crappie Viper in Vermilion 9 or so years ago grin

I like the idea of 3 rods rigged and ready to rock. Figure out the type of spots you will fish early on and pick up the right tool for the job. Color is overated in many cases wink

Good Luck

Steve

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Start throwing till the fish tell you what they want.

Excellent advice. There are tons of rules of thumb, but they don't apply half the time or more...

Like Sorgy said above- make a good guess as to where you think the fish might be and pick a lure that'll work that kind of structure well. If you think they're in shallow weeds, pick a lure that'll work in, over, or through those weeds well. If you think they're on deep rock humps, pick a lure that'll cover that well. If that doesn't work, rethink where the fish are and pick a lure that's appropriate for their location and cover.

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I think some people switch baits too often...which cant be good. You have to stick with a bait...remember they are the fish of "10,000" casts. I've been in boats with guys who change up every 10 casts, which is not a good thing...patience! If you dont know what the fish want concentrate on one area, work the spot with one lure, go back with another, try until you stir one up. Muskies turn on, or off for the matter, in a short period of time...you just have to have a bait in front of them at that right time!

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I think some people switch baits too often...which cant be good. You have to stick with a bait...remember they are the fish of "10,000" casts. I've been in boats with guys who change up every 10 casts, which is not a good thing...patience!

I'd argue the hell out of that point. As a constant bait changer...there's good reason for it. Couple weekends ago, I got a 47.5 on a topwater, next cast I got a 44 on a bulldawg. There's a rotation of baits I go through when fishing based on what area i'm currently sampling...I think it works pretty darn good. Of course all my friends are left going, "why the hell did you throw a bulldawg on the next cast?!!" Well, I can't really explain it... grin

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I don't switch baits, I switch rods!

Seriously, have a tail, topwater, wood and rubber on 4 different rods and rotate throughout the day (or even spot). By changing rods you limit your downtime.

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I don't switch baits, I switch rods!

Seriously, have a tail, topwater, wood and rubber on 4 different rods and rotate throughout the day (or even spot). By changing rods you limit your downtime.

Or maybe 6 rods? wink No kidding, I'm sick tho...

Ever come to a spot where there's a weird weed clump or boulder and you decide that dropping a bulldawg by it or hovering a suick over it feels better than burning a bucktail past it? As someone who's fished with Redig I can say I've seen his bait changing move and catch fish. There's gotta be a method to the madness though - my lure A.D.D. got bad enough Sunday that I ended up with more baits on the floor than in the tackle box. What a mess!!

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Another vote for the less is more category. I own a lot of lures but 90% of my fishing is done with about 4 or 5 types of them. Top Raider, spinner bait, bucktails, bull dogs, and crankbait.

Also I don't get too hung up on color. Now my dad on the other hand, complete opposite.

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Hiya -

There have been times when I've used the same bait for a month straight - heh.

To me it's pretty simple - I use the In Fisherman formula. F + L + P. F - fish. What do I think the fish are up to in terms of their general seasonal pattern, time of day, weather and water conditions, forage, etc. L - Location. Based on F, where do I think they are..how deep, what kind of cover are the in or around, weeds/rocks/wood. P - Presentation. Based on F and L, what lures will run at the right depth, is appropriate to the cover conditions, and with the right speed/attraction/triggering abilities for the fish's mood. Of the lures that fit those conditions, which one is the best hooker? In other words, if my read of things says either a fast moving bucktail or a topwater, pick the bucktail because it has a far higher hooking percentage. Work as hard as you do to get one to bite, it's nice to actually hook the things.

I know it sounds silly to say use a formula, but it's not a simplistic fill in the blanks deal really. It's more a way of organizing your approach to go from what you can't control (what the fish are doing) to what you can (what you use to catch them). As you fish you gain more data for the equation, both at the moment (what you're seeing on the water) and over time (past experiences that inform your thought process.) I'm a firm believer in F+L+P, and for me it's not even a conscious process anymore really. It's just how my head works when I pick up a fishing rod.

What I find personally, especially if I haven't fished a particular lake in a while, is that I switch lures quite a bit early on as I'm getting a read on what's going on. Some baits give you a vibe, some don't. Eventually I settle on something and use it until conditions and observations dictate I change to something else. Sometimes that can be two hours later, sometimes it's two weeks.

With lure selection, I think 5 things matter - depth, speed, appropriateness to the cover, matching what you think is the fish's mood and hooking ability. Color is pretty secondary. I'd rather have the right lure based on the criteria above in the 'wrong' color than the right color in the wrong lure. What the 'hot' lure is is not on the list...at all. (Sorry, bait manufacturers.)

I've gotten really cynical about lure selection over the years. I gradually realized that if you look at lures based on the list above, I had tons of lures that were completely redundant. If, in practical terms, baits A, B, and C all do the same thing, why carry all 3? I've gone from carrying 3 tackle boxes jammed with lures to having a hard time filling up a Stowaway for a trip to Lake of the Woods. (I fished the Ontario opener two weekends ago and brought 6 lures.) I realize that's a little on the extreme side, but I've come to believe it's that simple. (Again, sorry bait makers...)

And the absolute bottom line is that at the end of the day, the lure most likely to catch a muskie is the wet one... My late friend Jack Burns, who was the best muskie fisherman I'll ever know, used to sign his emails KYLW - keep your lure wet. His approach was about that simple, and he averaged around 100 fish a year. Must have been on to something...

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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I think I got it now. Lets see I go out a buy a couple hundred baits throw them alot and then some.after a year or 2 pick a half dozen you like and throw them even more. and in time with enough casts to the right spot the muskie gods will smile on you. love to sit and chat but I have baits to throw and fish to catch. thanks for all the help and see you on the water

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I think I got it now. Lets see I go out a buy a couple hundred baits throw them alot and then some.after a year or 2 pick a half dozen you like and throw them even more. and in time with enough casts to the right spot the muskie gods will smile on you. love to sit and chat but I have baits to throw and fish to catch. thanks for all the help and see you on the water

Yep, that's pretty much it! Once you whittle down your selection quite a bit though, you'll learn to use those half-dozen baits really, really well. You'll know where to work them, how to work them, when to use them, what tricks you need to do to trigger a strike, how the lure will behave with a slack-line tug vs. a tight-line tug, etc.

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