Don't Miss a Great Mid-Fall Presention: Glide Baits
The Midpoint of Fall seems to be one of the most frustrating times in Musky Fishing. Holding onto the last of the warmth in the shallows, muskies can sometimes get persnickety about what they want to hit. Even though we know muskies are hiding in the same places, and they’ve not migrated out to deeper edges, they seem to turn up their noses at our favorite zipping bucktails and ripping topwater lures.
At this midpoint in Late September or Early October, the muskies are getting ready to move, but they aren’t ready to leave the last of the warm water. Think of it like soaking in a nice hot bubble bath before you have to shovel snow; these muskies know what’s coming. So, in order to entice them, it’s always a good bet to slow your pace and meet them in the middle.
If you’ve gone back and forth on what to lures to pack for a day out during the midpoint of fall, don’t leave behind your gliders. Getting muskies to move on your lure is going to take an easy target in the right zone. This is the perfect time of year to finesse your glide game. Choose your lures based on their underwater performance and think about the underwater terrain you’ll be fishing: don’t cast a 5’ lure in 3’ of water.
Start by working your structure, while parking a little further out than normal. These fall muskies are in no mood for boat traffic: give them their space. With a nice heavy glider on, you shouldn’t have any trouble hucking your bait to the shallow edge. Work your bait slowly back to the boat keeping it moving in the line of site of any awaiting musky. Throw in a pause or extra tap for added realistic baitfish movement and you’re there.
There are plenty of gliders for any depth of water and any color you might need. Drifter Hellhound’s are considered one of the most user-friendly glide baits for any level of angler. When worked at a steady pace, they stay in the 3’-4’ zone, perfect for most shallow bays. Hot Tail Gliders are another fantastic option for a more unique movement. Hot tails can run a little shallower for lakes that still have some remaining vegetation in the 2-3’ zone. Also, you can give Bitten Tackle Warlocks a try. Warlocks work best for more finesse anglers. They have a metal, tunable, tail to help you reach the desired depth, which for some can be difficult, but if you have a knack for tail tuning, it’s the perfect choice. They can help you get to desired depths without changing lures.
Once you’ve chosen your lure, there are two very important pieces of advice for using glide baits that might help you this mid-fall season. One, use a shorter rod for better control. No, don’t pull out a 6’6” rod from 1981, but do put away your 10-footer. A 7’6” or 8’6” rod will be better when trying to get your bait underwater walking. Two, remember to set the hook with a bit more gusto and keep up with slack line. Fishing on glide baits is a different animal because your hooks aren’t dragging behind the bait, they’re swinging freely underneath, and the fish will many times hit from the side, so the hook set is crucial. 99% of lost fish being cursed while a fisherman shakes his fist at the sky, are due to glide baits, so don’t let this happen to you. Remember, sharp hooks and hard sets.