Muskies are ornery, aggressive fish. This makes them ferocious and extremely fun to catch. However, you won’t be catching many without a great lure to bait them in.
Having the right lure can be the difference between a fun day of catching fish and a boring day with no action and nothing but a bunch of empty cans to show for it. Any angler would do anything to avoid the latter, so knowing what lures can help you land more fish is essential.
Many anglers have spent tons of time not catching fish due to a lack of knowledge about what lure they’re using. There’s no point in casting a second-rate lure out when trying to catch a musky. That’ll lead to nothing more than an arm workout from all the pitching and retrieving.
Below, we’ve labeled what we believe are the best musky lures on the market–and we hope the work we did will save you a ton of time and effort. Use these lures and your next fishing trip is sure to be one of the best you have ever had!
Quick glance of the top musky lures available today:
- Mepps Musky Killer Bucktail – Our Pick!
- Lixada Multi-Jointed Swimbait
- Dardevle Spoon
- Okuma Savage Gear Alien Eel V2
- Mizugiwa Pike Musky Dawg Fishing Soft Bait
- Savage Gear Hybrid
- Booyah Pikee Spinnerbait
- BlitzBite Multi-Jointed Minnow Swimbait Lure
- Okuma Savage Gear Real Eel
Table of Contents
- 1 Criteria for Choosing the Best Musky Lures
- 2 Musky Lure Reviews
- 3 Our Pick – Mepps Musky Killer Bucktail!
Criteria for Choosing the Best Musky Lures
When choosing a musky lure, you can’t just run into your local tackle shop, grab anything off the shelf, and expect to land the big one. You need to go in with a plan, and it’s important to know what types of lures can give you the best chance of landing a fish.
There are many criteria that you should consider when choosing a lure to catch muskies. Luckily, you have quite a few choices, and you’ll be able to experiment with different lures to see which works best in your case.
While we’ve heard stories of people catching muskies on crazy contraptions, we would much rather use tested and confirmed working lures that we know we won’t waste a single cast. Muskies are difficult enough to catch–why make it harder on yourself?
There are a plethora of lures available on the market, but some will work better for your scenario than others. Let’s take a look at some key things you should consider when buying a musky lure.
When on the hunt for a trophy musky, choosing the right lure for your conditions is crucial. If you tend to fish in murky water, you want a nice, bright lure to attract their attention. A flashy metallic that can catch at least a partial glint when the sun creeps through is certainly an added bonus.
If you tend to fish more in clear waters, you can use a more earthy tone to match the local wildlife the musky prey on. Nice greens, oranges, and tan colors will be both natural and enticing.
Musky are large apex predators, so why would they bother trying to eat a tiny snack when they can gorge on the entire buffet? If head out onto the water with an itty-bitty lure on the end of your line, your day will probably end in disappointment.
With the proper musky rod and a capable reel, you’ll be able to cast large lures that will be eye-catching to the fish. Knowing that muskies can feed on fish up to ⅔ of their body length, casting your tiny rooster tail and hoping for success is nothing more than a pipe dream.
When fishing for muskies, you can opt for topwater lures or deep divers. They’re super aggressive, and as such, will take a swipe at just about any bait that’s stirring in their area. It’s important to note, though, that there are certain times when you’ll want to consider topwater, and certain times you’ll want to take it a bit deeper.
When the summer heat is scorching, the fish tend to go deeper into the waters to stay cool. This is when you’ll want to break out lures that can reach appropriate depths. On the opposite end, fish will rise more to the top of the water in the colder months of the year.
Muskies enjoy spending their time in the shadows. This means you’re going to have to get creative with your casting.
You want to make sure your lures are durable and can handle getting abused a bit when trying to cast around logs and trees, as well as underwater obstructions. Getting a lure that can easily glide through thick weeds is also a good idea. Few things are more frustrating than having to deal with your lure getting tangled up in seaweed while you’re trying to reach the perfect casting location.
Here’s a quick tip on how to get your lure unstuck if you do unfortunately find yourself in a predicament:
Musky Lure Reviews
Length: 7 in
Weight: ¾ oz
Mepps has created one of the most iconic and well-known musky lures on the planet in the Musky Killer Bucktail. This beautiful lure has been landing muskies for anglers everywhere for a long time. The award-winning lure is top on our list for a reason: it flat out works!
At seven inches in length and ¾ ounces in weight, this spinner is just the right size to land that trophy musky. With its integrated ½-ounce lead weight, the Musky Killer is not only a great topwater lure, but can also be retrieved at a depth of eight feet! Talk about an all-around musky lure that can perform in any situation.
Another great thing about using a bucktail for musky fishing is that it’s a great all-season lure. Whether it’s the hottest day of the year or the coldest, you have the potential to catch a musky with the Mepps Musky Killer.
Length: 12 in
Weight: 7 ¾ oz
The Lixada lure is a beautiful, life-like 3-D fishing lure. It’s multi-jointed, causing it to “swim” like a real fish as you retrieve it. This makes it look like a tasty snack to all muskies in the general area. Whether you retrieve the lure slowly or quickly, it has a unique design so that it flutters perfectly to catch the eye of any fish around.
Made from a durable ABS material, you won’t have to worry about it breaking on an errant cast or being scarred up by those treacherous musky teeth.
With a quick, yet smooth diving action, the Lixada swimbait provokes musky into chasing the lure and ultimately going in for the bite! So not only is the lure durable and good-looking, but it also has the ability to land fish at an astounding rate.
Length: 3 ⅝ in
Weight: 1 oz
The original Dardevle Spoon is one of the oldest and most well-known fishing lures ever created. It’s great for catching a large variety of fish, but one of the best uses for it is to land a nice big musky!
Most people don’t think about using a spoon when fishing for muskies. They’ll either use a spinner or a minnow-style swimbait. However, people have been fishing for pike and muskies with spoons for years. It’s one of the best-kept secrets in the angling world.
The one-ounce, nearly four-inch model is a nice starting size, and you can move up from there if you decide to pick up extra spoons. Dardevle spoons seem to be made with magic, as they flat out work better than other brands–and you simply can’t go wrong with this classic.
Length: 12 in
Weight: 5 oz
The Okuma Savage Gear Alien Eel V2 is a 12 inch, five-ounce lure that’s very well-loved by the musky fishing community. The reason for its popularity is clear: it catches fish at a high rate! Featuring a super strong jig hook and an underbelly stinger hook, this V2 is designed to ensure that no fish that bites will get away!
The slow, tail-kicking action on retrieve is super seductive to the musky. They see the action and instantly spring towards it. The tail is designed into this very specific shape to give it the perfect motion to drive musky wild.
Feel free to fish this lure at either high or low speeds with stops and jerks for added movement. This will ensure you’re getting the most out of the lure and catching as many fish as possible.
Length: 8 in
Weight: 1 ½ oz
The Mizugiwa Pike Musky Dawg Soft Bait is designed specifically for one thing–catching muskies! The weighted jig head makes the lure swim down at a perfect 45-degree angle before being retrieved in a straight line.
The soft body of the lure may seem like a less-than-durable section, leading to some concerns. However, this has a huge importance to the way this lure works. When a big predator gets ahold of the Mizugiwa soft bait, it feels much more realistic to the fish. As a result, they’ll leave it in their mouth longer, giving you ample time to set the hook. That means less missed fish and more smiles on your face!
Not only can you crank it, but you can curl it or jig it, too! The Musky Dawg is so versatile that you can use it in a wide variety of different ways and still catch a boatload of fish. The only limiting factor when it comes to this lure is your imagination.
Length: 6 ½ in
Weight: 2 oz
The Savage Gear Hybrid lure is a beautiful bait that’s specially designed to attract big fish like muskies and pike. With the realistic paint job, the center swivel design, and the way it “swims” right under the surface of the water, it’s a great lure you should not overlook.
While it may not have the name brand recognition as some of the other lures on our list, it has a lot of great features that’ll certainly make you a happy angler when it lands your next big fish.
Coming in at 6 ½ inches and 2.08 ounces, the lure is on the smaller side for what we generally recommend for muskies. This is a great option if you’re trying to get used to fishing with bigger lures, though, and we’d recommend also picking up the ten-inch version to catch the monsters in your local lake or river.
Weight: ½ oz
The Booyah Pikee is another fantastic spinnerbait for catching predatory fish like muskies. With its large blades and bright colors, the Pikee will stand out when you show it to your friends, and the fish will love it, too!
Coming in at only 0.5 oz, the Booyah Pikee is a rather lightweight lure. Don’t let that put you off, though. This bad boy has some awesome action, and it’s ready for you to take it out on your next fishing excursion.
The Pikee is one of the few musky specific lures that’s reliably built from a reputable brand. This isn’t judging the other lures for having lesser known brands–but we’ll build up the Pikee a bit because we can rely on Booyah to put out high-quality products that work as intended.
Length: 8 in
Weight: 3 oz
If you’re looking for a realistic, multi-jointed minnow swimbait, look no further than the BlitzBite! This lure is stunning. The exterior paint job, the shiny eyes, and the realistic movement from the joints make it one of the best available today.
These minnow-style swimbaits are a favorite style of lure anglers use for catching musky. It makes sense, as musky are apex predators, and these lures closely resemble a fish swimming–the perfect food for a hungry musky!
Another great thing about this BlitzBite lure is that it’s made out of a sturdy ABS plastic. That means it will stand up to the toughest abuse. Oh, and it includes a rattle for a little extra annoyance to the fish!
Length: 16 in
Weight: 5 ¾ oz
The longest lure we’ve reviewed is the Okuma Savage Gear Real Eel. It’s designed to mimic a real eel, and thus it has length and a wave to make it move correctly. This is the best and most realistic eel lure we have come across, earning it a spot on our list.
The biggest downfall of lures with long tails is that the fish can wind up biting the tail without grabbing far enough toward the front. When that happens, they won’t get the hook. However, the sheer size of the Real Eel is what attracts the muskies, so it’s a give and take with that.
You can fish this lure either slow or fast, so whether you’re looking for a nice relaxing day on the water or to catch as many fish as possible, you can do that with the Okuma Savage Gear Real Eel!
Our Pick – Mepps Musky Killer Bucktail!
Musky can’t get enough of the Mepps Musky Killer Bucktail, so it was an easy choice for us as the winner here. It has great quality and value, and you can expect it to catch a ton of musky.
All of the lures we’ve reviewed are solid options, but this bucktail spinner is the cream of the crop. It’s so good, you could almost cast it in your local pool and watch the fish jump all the way from the closest body of water just to get a bite!
Remember to always use a lure that’s good for your specific fishing location and environment. Certain lures will do better in murky water, others in clear water, and still others in fast-moving water. So don’t be afraid to change it up to suit your needs. That said, the Mepps Musky Killer Bucktail is a great all-around choice for catching monster musky!
If you’re serious about catching musky, do yourself a favor and get one of these. You definitely won’t be disappointed.