Ultimate Guide to 5 Underutilized Topwater Lures

Ultimate Guide to 5 Underutilized Topwater Lures

Jodie Paul July 10, 2023

Every year we find ourselves throwing topwater lures during the early season and peak musky fishing months.  Though everyone has their favorite when it comes to topwater, most of those favorites include about 3 versions of the same tail-slappin’ bait.  Even though it might be hard to branch out, this is a great list of topwaters to turn your head.  If you’re looking for something different, this list could find its way into your tacklebox next season.  Most of these baits aren’t exactly newcomers but are just commonly overlooked and underappreciated.

Hawg Seekers Rattle Hawg

This topwater lure really gets the chunkers hot under the collar.  It has a downward-facing lip that gives it an ultra-erratic presentation.  And if wobbling both left and right isn’t enough to get your heart pumping, it has a bonus blade on the rear that adds some sonic turbulence.  The Rattle Hawg can be used as either a topwater or slightly subsurface lure, both generating fantastic results when it comes to enticing unsuspecting muskies.

Musky Safari Stumble Bee

For those of us that are anything but minimalist, maybe the Musky Safari Stumble Bee should be on your short list of topwater take homes.  If you’ve used a creeper then you will understand the nuanced glugs of a slow-rolled Stumble Bee.  The Stumble Bee features a fancifully decorated antenna (to attract mostly anglers, not muskies) but its short fat body profile and added glugging sound as it makes its way across the surface is bound to interest muskies who may have seen too many slap tails.  This lure has the looks and functionality to get a toothy girl interested.

Big Fork Papa Chubby

Since its creation in the early 90s, the Big Fork Papa Chubby has been putting monsters in nets across the habitat range.  Papa Chubbys feature a jitterbug lip to give it a snake-like momentum across the surface of the water.  With an added mid-body connection, the final tail section of this lure creates a slow trailing lob that gives the Papa Chubby a great-looking disturbance pattern when seen from below.  Though this bait is a bit of a millennial, it may have flown under your radar and would make an excellent tackle box addition. 

RJ Lures Esox Buzz Bait

If you’re familiar with RJ Lures bucktails, take a beat to check out their surface buzzer.  RJ Lures ESOX Buzz quickly gets up and to the point with its oversized buzz blade.  It makes plenty of noise and wake and is very easy to use for those experienced with bucktails.  When used with a high-speed reel, this Buzz Bait takes off and will have a musky following in short order.  RJ Lures also produces a great variation in color with high-quality painted blades that don’t lose their paint jobs in the first 5 minutes.  These ESOX Buzz Baits are built to last and make all the commotion you need to boat a monster.

Savage Gear Wake Snake

Coming in last but certainly not least is the Savage Gear Wake Snake.  Savage Gear makes some great lures at prices that help entice even the most experienced anglers.  The quality of the Wake Snake and the action produced on the surface shouldn’t be underestimated.  Its multipart body allows it to move so incredibly naturally across the surface of the water and on calm days with high sun, you can only imagine the underwater profile it creates.  Hungry muskies can’t wait to sink their teeth into this long and wiggly profiled lure.  It might come in handy when you need something a little “extra” to get the job done.  Though the Wake Snake doesn’t depend on creating a lot of noise, it can definitely be confused with the real deal and that might be what it takes to boat your next topwater musky.