How to Catch Big Bass on Muskie Baits
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
How many times have you heard “to catch big bass you need to use big bait”? I’m not going to tell you that it is always true, but I have put some serious bruiser bucket mouths in the net using muskie and pike sized baits. Imagine throwing a giant top water lure on a cool, glass calm morning and breaking the distant loon sounds is an epic explosion of an angry meat wagon assaulting your bait. Spoiler alert: one of the best muskie topwater baits is also an epic big bass secret weapon.
Most people have heard of a few popular topwater lures for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Buzzbaits, spooks, hollow body frogs, poppers, ploppers, and walk-the-dog style baits are just a few that come to mind. Skill levels to effectively fish these baits range from easy to difficult, and the price range is just as encompassing. No matter which bait you prefer to throw, there is no denying the absolute addiction to topwater action. There is something so enjoyable, maybe in the element of surprise, that draws you to fishing on top.
Bait size can be different for various species, for example targeting muskie or pike versus bass or bluegill. However, intentionally using muskie lures is a great way to give high pressured bass a different look and may give you a shot at a true giant. Currently one of the best baits for any species is the LeeLures FlapTail. This bait not only puts giant fish in the net, but it is also ridiculously easy to use. All you have to do is cast it out, and reel it back. No magic tricks, pops, pulls, turns, or ploops (except for the one that hits your undies when the fish of a lifetime tries to tear your lure in half).
To pull off catching the fish of a lifetime, you will want to check off a few of these boxes to give yourself a fighting chance:
Fish where big fish live. Don’t throw a muskie bait in a roadside pond expecting a 20lbs. bass if all you see is the bottom and 3 carp swimming around. You can try it, but have realistic expectations based on the water you chose to fish.
Rod and reel combo will be a little beefier than your limp noodle drop shot rod. Look for an 8’6” medium heavy rod and bait caster reel spooled with 80lbs braid.
Use a steel leader. Bass don’t have teeth, but critters like muskie and pike do. Unless you are ok donating $20-$150 to the lake and possibly killing a fish.
Bolt Cutters and Long nose pliers are a must. These lures are meant to keep 50lbs. 5-foot fish attached to the hook. They will have no problem keeping your finger(s) or hand attached to that fish as well. Problematic if you want to keep your digits.
Topwater fishing is a wonderful rabbit hole filled with spinners, floaters, and explosive action. If you are fishing anything on top it will be an awesome adventure. Next time you search for a big'un, bring a big bait and see what eats. You may find yourself with a handy trick for pressured fish, and you might even catch a few lake sharks while you put yourself in a position to land the bass of a lifetime.