Utilizing Big Suckers for Big Fall Muskies

Utilizing Big Suckers for Big Fall Muskies

Jodie Paul October 09, 2023

As you’re heading out this Fall to prove your skills against cold-front muskies, you need to plan for the worst and hope for the best by adding some musky suckers to your strategy and using them to convert wishy-washy muskies.  Musky suckers are the way to go when the weather and turnover have helped stall the last of the shallow muskies.  These muskies are packing on the pounds for a long winter, but they also want to ensure that every last calorie they use is expended toward fattening their reserves.  This is why suckers make the perfect enticement.

When fishing with suckers, many anglers huck these little beasts over the side and hope for the best when it comes to making the catch, but the sucker, not unlike any other bait we might cast out serves a very important purpose, and the only way to get it in the mouth of a super-sized musky is by planning out a strategy for it’s use.  As we know, musky suckers are both hard to keep alive and cost a pretty penny, so we must extend their usefulness.

For fall-spot chasers, a sucker tip would be to not waste your sucker on the most random spots you remember from years past on the lake.  Save your suckers for holdouts that might be occupied by the biggest fish on the lake.  But how do we know what fish will be there?  Well, you have to think like a musky.  If you picture the lake as a whole, you know the largest predators will occupy the best locations.  It’s not unlike a lion marking a hundred square miles of territory in a savanna. They protect it for their own survival as it’s safe and productive when they need it.

That being said if you visualize the lake as a whole, which place makes the most sense?  Where is the best structure for eating passing bait fish and the best pathway to shallow and deep cover?  Large reefs and points are a great starting point as they provide a great underwater environment for active large muskies. 

So now that you’ve located the place to unfurl your sucker strategy, it’s time to use it to benefit you the most.  Use your sucker as a tool to force muskies to commit boat-side.  All you need is a follow and the sucker does the rest.  For this tactic, it’s important to focus on how deep muskies are following in and how deep they are sitting in their structured home.  You want to make sure when you bring a musky toward the boat in the figure 8 that the sucker will be sitting right in front of their face.  Affix the sucker to a trolling setup and drop it down to the level you intend a following musky to be and you’ll be leading it in to hook up.  Make sure you watch the sucker rigging video from Musky Shop TV, and there’s no way you won’t boat a monster.