Musky America Magazine

SURFACE BAIT ENTICEMENTS By John Dettloff John Dettloff provides some tips on enticing muskies to strike. Although, his tips focus on surface lures, the tips that he provides are applicable to all types of lures. There are many types of enticements that trigger Muskies into striking surface baits. First off, when fishing for active, shallow water Muskies, (fish that are relating to the surface) keep in mind that it is not uncommon for a Musky to see your lure coming through the air, just before it hits the water. Some strikes will come simultaneously as your lure hits the water. So, be ready for it! Remember that Muskies' eyes are on the top of their heads and they look upward. They have been known to grab at low flying birds that skim the water for insects. I once had a musky dart out from underneath his haunt, come out of the water, and grab my Topper while it was still six inches above the water! If you fish long enough, you'll be amazed at what can happen. The next, and one of the key enticements to be aware of, is the period of time just after your lure hits the water. The splash of your lure is often a big attractor to a feeding Musky. And because the majority of strikes come just after the lure splashes down,… and setting hooks with a surface lure tends to be more difficult… make sure you stop your reel spool with your thumb to take the bow out of your line just before your lure hits the water. With a tight line you'll have a strong hook set when those early strikes come. Other key enticements that trigger many strikes are the subtle wrist action twitches or lure speed-ups that I only like to use sparingly during each cast. (Remember: one twitch will go a long way.) When I get a follow on a surface lure, I never like to stop my lure. The musky is