Baits, Lures & Flies photo

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Not long ago I spent a day musky fishing with guide John Brylinski. We didn’t catch anything, but I learned a lot. Musky fishermen it seems are the ultimate lure tweakers. For example, John handed me the jerkbait below and said “that’s what I call a Suick with balls.” The “balls” get the lure deep faster, and keep the nose pointed down so each twitch causes it to dive slightly. Almost every lure onboard had some minute modification that added a little something extra.

I know many bass anglers that will not cast a spinnerbait until the blades have been bent to increase vibration. I know some that will sand crankbait lips to produce some subtle wobble or swing that won’t happen right out of the package.

Whenever I buy a new trolling, I’ll trim it so the hook bend sticks out just past the skirt. It really helps nail short-striking tuna. Many of my Bomber Long-As have the middle treble removed, and a single hook on the back dressed with white bucktail. I also like to bend the shank of a trout spinner into a slight “L” shape. I don’t even know why, other than I’ve had increased success with spinners that were accidentally bent.

Do you perform any lure modifications, or fish everything out of the box? My alterior motive here is to get some juicy tips I can put into practice. What have you got?