Downsizing for Spring: Musky Shop’s Favorite Contenders

Downsizing for Spring: Musky Shop’s Favorite Contenders

Jodie Paul April 03, 2023

As spring has already sprung in many waters throughout the musky habitat range, it’s always important to highlight some great downsized lures for every occasion.  Musky Shop carries a lure for every fisherman and certainly plenty of alternate sizings.  Follow us on this downsizing journey, and remember that throwing small lures isn’t just for spring but can be used as a throwback or patterning lure throughout the season.


For rubber offerings, the 5.5” Toothy Tuff Assault Eel is really a head turner.  The undulating back crest all the way down gives it a lot of gusto in the water.  There is also a 4” version for extreme scenarios, but the 5.5” seems right for a wider range of usage.  This lure is perfect for post-frontal muskies as well.  It gives a smaller profile for fish that might be a bit tight-lipped from conditions.



If you’re a jerkbait lover, the 5” Smuttly Dog is a great downsized presentation.  This lure comes with some super paint jobs of both natural and loud colors, perfect for enticing a vicious strike.  Smuttly Dogs have great side-to-side action and a little wobble that makes the presentation great.  It’s a solid wood bait, which gives us old-school vibes and is perfectly weighted for some unbeatable hang.

Dive and Rise

You guessed it the 6” Livingston Titan Junior makes the list for its incredible dive and rise application.  This lure is great for shallow water presentations and takes very little effort, making it perfect for novices and pros.  We love the Titan Junior’s large line of paint jobs to make sure every waterway is covered.  From Northeast trout patterns to Mid-West crappie, each forage fish is well represented with a few hot colors added for cloudy days.

Glide Bait

Life would be miserable without the ability to get your hands on a 4” or 6” Phantom Soft Tail.  These lures are the ultimate in glide bait, downsized presentations.  Phantom Soft Tails are great for any time of year but the downsized versions are a devastating spring glider.  These lures really stick in the water column and have hang time for days.  Getting a strike on the pause is no problem because you could pause for lunch and find your bait still hanging.  Ok, maybe not that long, but it’s really well-balanced and very responsive to gentle twitches.


Slammer 5” Shallow Minnow Crankbaits are where it’s at when looking for that perfect downsized presentation.  Not only are these folks great, but their baits are superb.  These lures are perfect for ultra-shallow situations as they only run down in the 2-3’ range when casted.  They come in a multitude of natural and hot colors to get any bite cookin’.  Don’t hesitate to troll them when the time is right over the shallow structure as well, because these baits are built tough and can stay high in the column for shallow break passes.


The Bucher Top Raider is the perfect-sized topwater for spring.  Its profile is fairly downsized compared to many alternative tail plop baits and it definitely gets the job done when the time is right for topwater.  After what seems like a million years on the market, you can bet that these lures are fine-tuned to fish at all speeds.  With colors from basic black to psycho frog, you’ll never miss an opportunity for a hungry musky when the time is right.


If you want a small presentation that’s been around forever, try the Mepps Musky Killer.  Its minimal 7” profile still has the thump and flash to attract even the pickiest eater.  It is an old favorite and a true spring-sized lure.  It works when burned or slowly cranked while eating jerky. This is a must in any springtime or downsized tackle box.  And because Mepps has been around since, well forever, they come in every color under the sun so know color feels left out.

So if you’re already out on the water or just jazzin’ up your box for a cold opener, give some of these downsized presentations a try.  You won’t be disappointed in the selection and you might just hook into a mighty musky!