Crush Muskies With These 3 Sucker Baits

by Joe Cermele

Floor Plan: Shack Attack's 9-inch Suzy Sucker is one of the best soft-plastic sucker imitations on the market, but anglers often feel the need to keep it moving constantly. Suckers are lazy, so make this lure lazy, too. Let it sink to the bottom and rest there, popping it forward on occasion and resting it again like a live sucker foraging. Feel for the take on the pause.

Honey Bunny: Daring enough to chase muskies with a fly rod? Tie up a mullet-sucker Rabbit Strip Dahlberg's Diver. With its fluttering rabbit-fur tail and spun deer-hair head, this fly will dive on the strip and pop back to the surface, acting like an injured juvenile sucker. Work it around areas where smaller creeks meet main lakes or larger rivers and make sure you've got sturdy wire ahead of this bug.

Get Snippy: Though a live sucker is a top producer of muskies, here's a trick for making a stellar bait even more appealing: Once you have the bait rigged, snip off the bottom section of its tail with shears. This will cause the bait to swim more erratically while emitting a different vibration from other suckers in the area. The slight difference in the beat can make a reluctant muskie pounce.

From the April 2012 issue of Field & Stream magazine.