Muskie Bait Modifications

Category: article

 Dec 1st, 2001 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Dec 1st, 2001 at 12:00 AM

I am a true believer in making adjustments to make my lures perform better and thus help me put more muskies in the boat. Most wood baits today and some plastic baits, do not always run great out of the package. Most of the time you have to tinker with them and that adds to the fun of the sport. In this article I will teach you how to modify some certain baits to help you with some added success. The Suick is the old stand by in the industry. I prefer to buy weighted suicks to start with. Now just because the package says weighted does not mean you don t have to weight it. I recommend you start by tank testing them to see if you need more weight. If more weight is needed to get a neutral buoyant bait then here are the steps you should follow. I first drill a hold behind the other weight with a 1/4 drill bit. If you go about 3/8 of an inch down that should be fine, but finish drilling with a twist of the drill bit to create a pocket at the end of the hole in the bait. If you don t leave a pocket at the bottom of the hole the lead will fall out. Then you simply pour some hot lead into the hole and try not to spill the hot lead on the bait for it will melt the paint. After the lead is solid you then fill the top of the hole will epoxy to make a clean surface. Most weighted suicks I have found need a little more weight to get 7ft down with a slow rise. And adding about 1/4 ounce of lead is about right. Don t forget you have to make tail adjustments to makethe bait work correctly.The Reef Hawg is one more of those baits that if modified can be fantastic. I poor lead just behind the front hook and sometimes just a 1/4 ounce is needed one inch back from the tail of the bait. I do like to change my Reef Hawgs to two hook baits. I believe it gives it a better side to side action. To do this you pull the first and second hooks out bypulling out the cotter keys that hold the hooks in place. I then put a screw eye in the middle between where the first and second hooks were. I run a 3/0 hook there on a good split ring. I also add split rings to the back and front screw eyes on the bait. If your Reef Hawg has a dark back add a white sticker or paint the top of the bait white so you can seethe bait swing side to side and that will help you keep the rhythm. I also weight my Eddie baits the same with both front and back weighting.The Hawg Wobbler is easy to modify. You simply unscrew the bait on full rotation of the back section of the bait to increase the gap from 1/4 inch to 3/8 of an inch. This will make the bait come in without rolling over and you will be able to turn the bait into a figure eight without having the bait blow out. I also T the front hook and thats been a big plus when it comes to hooking percentage. I also T my Creepers too and that helps a lot.The Jerko is one of the newest side to side plastic jerkbaits out there and its truly an awesome bait for it requires no weighting at all. I have not found one yet that doesn t run true right out of the package. But I have found that if you add a plastic tail to the back of the bait it even gets better. First you cut 1 off the back of the bait. Then you get some of the same twister tails that are used on Squirrely Burts and they can be found at Rollie and Helens. You then count back nine ribs on the twister tail main section and glue the tail on the back of the Jerko with fishing glue. Now you have a Squirrko and its an awesome bait for its adds the twister tail action to the side to side action of the bait.Bobbie baits work better if you increase the size of the hooks and take out the middle one. I put a 5/0 in front and a 3/0 in back. This will prevent hooks from tangling and give it a better hooking percentage. I also weight them if needed the same way I described how to weight a Suick. I also add a split ring to the front eyelet to make it easier to change baits.Jackpots work better if you lower the middle hook back one inch. This makes the bait perform better and moving the weight of the hook back gives it more splash on the front end. I have also cut one inch off the front end and flatten out the bottom to give it a Suick type look to the front of the bait. This I have found makes a lot pop on the splash and italso keeps the bait from swinging side to side too far thus the fish can find the bait and eat it.Tally Wackers and the old Top Kicks work much better if you run wire straight threw the bait. You first have to take the screw eyes out in the middle section than drill a small hole all the way up the front section of the bait. You then run wire through the bait, but you must leave a spacer in the middle to keep a 1/4 inch gap. You then tie your wire up in thefront like you would with a bucktail. I also add 1/8 ounce of lead behind the first hook on the Tally Wacker to keep the bait from rolling over. This will make the bait pop louder and it will work better in good wavy conditions.Most jerkbaits simply work better if you can see them. So I always put some type of white mark on the head section of Reef Hawgs, Zig Zags, Pigs, Suicks, and Undertakers. You can use stickers or paint it your choice they both work great but I recommend staying with white for you can see it from a distance. Some other simple things that can do to improve bait performance are:Adding split ringsTwister tails to bucktails and spinnerbaitsChanging out the normal swivels behind the blades on spinnerbaits with ball bearingswivelsPutting glitter glue on the baits for more flash. (This glue is found in fabric stores)Changing hook size Clearcoating blades with glitter for extra flashTying Flashaboo or Fire fly material to the back hook on bucktails.I could keep on going about modifications, but they can be endless. All in all these changes help you with the confidence of your baits and thus help your baits perform better and you will hopefully catch you more fish. The the best advice I can give you is to keep you senses sharp as well as your hooks.Bury some iron,Jason Smith

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