by Peter Stoltman
Over the last several years the Mepps Musky Marabou has proven to be an absolute must have for the serious musky fisherman. This bait has been a lifesaver on many occasions when the fish seemed to be tight lipped and nothing else would get their attention.
The Musky Marabou like all Mepps products works well right out of the package and unlike some other baits needs no extra tuning or adjustments to achieve its dynamic fish-catching action. Even the novice fisherman can run this bait like a pro within minutes of snapping it on his leader. A straight retrieve over the tops of weed beds is a very effective presentation. The pulsing action of the marabou tail does the job and gets fish to pay attention pronto.
Last year I noticed something interesting about my marabous that helped me catch even more fish. The marabou tail is attached to the lure with a split ring. This is a perfect set-up because it reduces the amount of leverage a fish can exert on the lure. Every seasoned musky angler knows leverage is exactly what a feisty musky needs to throw a lure.
The split ring (jointed) attachment, however, can also provide additional action and attraction. By varying the speed of your retrieve something interesting happens. The weight of the Colorado blade will pull the bait ever so slightly on the slowdown. When you resume speed the marabou tail will "kick out" and in effect add extra motion to the bait. I call this added action a "shimmy." The fish attracting appeal of this shimmy can't be denied. I've found that frustrating followers have turned into bait eaters when the erratic motion of the shimmy is imparted to the Musky Marabou. Try this simple technique and see if you don't experience the same happy results I get.
The split ring assembly Mepps employs, however, has another exciting advantage over a lot of other lures. It allows the fisherman to mix and match a wide variety of different tail and blade colors. Best of all, this can be done quickly, right on the water. I've been doing this with Mepps Musky Killers and Giant Killers for years. Don't be afraid to experiment with color combinations. Want to try a chartreuse blade with a white tail? It's a simple matter of getting out your split ring pliers and making the swap. A well chosen arsenal of a few Musky Marabous can offer you a lot of great color combinations. Use your imagination. Changing blade colors with different tails can sometimes provide just the combination you need to attack an unusual situation.
Swapping blades and tails is one thing, but here's something else you might want to try. Veteran musky fishermen have long known that muskies will sometimes react to different blade vibrations. I find the standard blade on the Musky Marabou is an excellent choice for most situations. It not only has a great pulsing vibration but also offers plenty of lift to keep the bait riding right over the tops of weeds. So, all is well until I find fish in deeper water, or on the edges of structure. In these situations I again reach for my split ring pliers and attach a marabou tail on a deep-running Mepps Giant Killer. The Giant Killer blade also puts out a unique vibration that just could trigger a strike. If you want to fish mid-depths, try attaching your marabou tail to a Magnum Musky Killer.
Try some of these blade and tail combinations. Switch out colors. Think about where you are seeing fish, and what they are reacting to. With a little common sense thinking you'll be able to come up with color combinations that will help you boat more muskies this season.