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Summer musky fishing is as good as it gets. When your alarm goes off at 5 am, it’s easy to get out of bed and head out on the water. When the apex predator of the lake is the most active hunting, so are you.
Many musky fishermen swear by using topwater plugs, but we’ve found that bucktail spinners work time and time again when other lures won’t get bites. So what are the best musky bucktails? You’ll soon find out!
In this article, we’ll cover the best musky bucktails that our fishing community has been using to catch muskies for decades. That’s right, we’re divulging all. On top of that, we’ll also go over our favorite techniques for fishing musky bucktails, what the best line for fishing for muskies is, and some general musky fishing tips.
These lures also work great for large pike in the summer. The local fish at your favorite lake won’t know what hit them! Let’s get to it.
Top 7 Best Musky Bucktails
The Mepps Musky Killer Bucktail is our number one choice for best musky bucktails. Our fishing community has caught more muskies on the Mepps Musky Killer Bucktail then most other lures combined. Its design hasn’t changed over the years, and for good reason. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Mepps is a time tested brand that has been making lures for decades, and it with the Mepps Musky Killer Bucktail it shows. We recommend getting the ¾ ounce version for maximum casting capability.
Following in a close second is the Guideline Musky Slayer Tandem. The Guideline Musky Slayer Tandem has a similar action to the Musky Killer but includes two treble hooks for maximum hook up capability. It also comes from Guideline, who has been making musky fishing tackle for many years. We always leave the house with a Guideline Musky Slayer Tandem when fishing for musky.
Another really solid option for best musky bucktails is the Musky Double Showgirl Spinner Bait. The Musky Double Showgirl Spinner Bait is a little pricier than other lures on our list, but the build quality is phenomenal. It’s also a large lure, clocking in at 7.5 inches long. Bust the Musky Double Showgirl Spinner Bait out when you’re going for trophy size muskies.
The Musky Double Cowgirl Spinner Bait is the Showgirl’s evil sister. For a few more dollars, you get two spinner blades and two 7/0 Mustad hooks. Believe us when we say this, the Musky Double Cowgirl Spinner Bait is a beast. It’s over 10 inches long and perfect for that monster musky you’ve been eyeing all summer long. It also has patented Flashabou skirting that will attract even the most discerning musky eyes. Give it a go, but be warned. You might get more than you bargained for…
Another favorite of ours is the Musky Baby Girl Spinner Bait. It’s smaller than the other two Musky lures on our list but is still great at catching large hungry muskies. It comes with a 4/0 Eagle Claw treble hook and two colorado blades that create strong vibrations while being retrieved through the water. We like using the Musky Baby Girl Spinner Bait when fishing for muskies in murky water or low light conditions. The extra vibrations will attract them when flash and bright colors won’t.
The BOOYAH Pikee Spinner Bait is our choice for best parallel spinning musky bucktails. A time tested bass fishing brand, the BOOYAH Pikee Spinner Bait comes with a 12-inch steel leader so you have everything you need for musky fishing out of the box. We like the chartreuse and green colors the most but have seen success with all options.
Vibrax makes some of our most used spinning baits for salmon and other saltwater species, so we’d be remiss for not including their entry for the best musky bucktail. The Vibrax Super BOU Twin Firetiger has Vibrax’s patented vibration technology to attract muskies from far and wide while retrieving the spinner. It’s two-blade and two treble hook design will ensure an aggressive musky is hooked on the first swing.
You probably already know this, but musky have gnarly mouths full of razor-sharp teeth. This makes unhooking them with your bare hands imminently dangerous. We recommend getting a solid pair of fishing pliers to ensure you don’t injure yourself. They are especially important if you are trying to land a muskie without a net.
How to Fish Musky Bucktails
Musky bucktails are some of the most versatile musky lures and can be fished by trolling or casting. If you decide to cast them, we recommend looking for areas on the lake where musky like to hang out as a place to start.
These are usually areas where the water goes from shallow to deep quickly, or near underwater structure (like rocks and logs). Cast your musky bucktail past where you think the musky are hiding, and retrieve vigorously past them.
If you want to troll your musky bucktails, we recommend using a fish finder to determine the best depth to troll at. We like trolling without downriggers using a simple weighted setup – most muskies don’t like hunting in water deeper than 30 feet.
Top Tip: You should also cover your bucktails in anise oil to cover up any foreign smells.
What is the Best Line for Fishing Musky?
As far as fishing line goes, we recommend going big and getting a 100 lb test braided line with a 150 to 200 lb test fluorocarbon leader. Why use such a heavy-duty line?
Most musky lures cost around $20 so losing a lure really sucks. As we mentioned before, musky also have razor-sharp teeth.
This means that unless you want to use a steel leader, we recommend a super thick fluorocarbon line. 150 lb test and up will withstand a musky’s sharp teeth.
General Musky Fishing Tips
Before we close, we wanted to cover some general musky fishing tips. Follow these tips and you’ll end up catching more muskies. It’s as simple as that.
- Troll in a figure eight. Since musky are apex predators, they are naturally a very curious fish that isn’t afraid of much. This means that they often will follow a lure for a while before deciding to bite it. When you’re trolling you want to give them ample opportunities to see your lure and give it a chomp. Trolling in a figure eight will entice them to bite.
- Get a fishfinder/GPS. As we mentioned earlier, having a side imaging fish finder and GPS is crucial to catching musky. Figuring out where the baitfish are in the lake you’re fishing, as well as what depth the musky are at will be imperative to trolling effectively. You can also look for musky surfacing.
- Try different lures. For the same reason you should troll in a figure eight, don’t be afraid to try different types of lures if the first one isn’t working. Musky are bold fish and may not be interested in whatever lure you start with for whatever reason.
- Use a heavy crankbait rod. We like using crankbait rods the most for musky because of the added grip you get. The thumb grip allows you to give your bucktails for enticing action and gives you more control over the lure.
We love fishing for musky. Catching a musky on a mid-summer morning with friends is one of our favorite summer pastimes. Even small baby musky are fun to catch. We hope after reading this article, you now know what the best musky bucktails are and will be extra prepared for your next musky fishing adventure. And if you end up catching one, be sure to check out our article on what Musky taste like!
And as always, don’t forget to improve your fishing luck by leaving the bananas at home. Got another favorite musky bucktail that we didn’t list in our top 7? Let us know about it in the comments below.