By: Nicole King – Salmo Field Ambassador
The Salmo Slider may have been created for giant pike, but it can be a deadly lure when targeting their close relative, the Muskie. Muskellunge, known as the fish of 10,000 casts, can grow over 50” long and can be one of the most indecisive fish when it comes to eating. The amount of work that can go into catching Muskie is something that instantly drew me to targeting these fish.
There are plenty of different types of Muskie lures available and all have their time and place when going after these elusive fish. The Slider is a glide bait, which means it has a left to right action in the water. It is one of the most simple, versatile baits to use as there is no wrong way to fish it. You can work this lure by “Walking the dog” which entails twitching your rod and letting the bait glide from left to right, the longer you pause between twitches the further the bait will glide side to side. You can also straight retrieve the slider which causes it to glide left to right in a tighter, more consistent pattern. Muskies are known to follow lures to the boat so every cast should be followed by a figure 8. By doing a figure 8 and changing the direction and speed of the lure you give yourself extra time for the fish to eat. In the figure 8 you can pull the Slider straight around the 8 or twitch the bait around the figure 8 for a more erratic presentation.
The slider really shines in the spring and fall when the Muskies are up shallower feeding on bait fish, but can also be successful in the summer on pressured lakes. My favorite way to fish this lure is with a straight retrieve with some random twitches or an increase in speed at times, which can help trigger a reaction strike. As predators, muskie have the instinct to strike and it may not always be out of hunger. I tend to focus on the edge of thick weeds and over the top of deeper cabbage. Ripping the slider through weeds has also proved to be a successful way to trigger fish to bite. There are 4 sizes of the Salmo Slider, and they come in both sinking and floating versions, giving you plenty of options for different situations and species. My favorite to use when targeting muskie is the 12cm sinking version. This lure gives me the ability to work it fast and shallow over weeds, but also allows the lure to sink and be worked deeper in the water column. There are many color patterns to choose from as well, and I have had the most success on the natural realistic versions including “Real Perch” and “Real Roach”.
Whether you’re a seasoned muskie angler, or just getting into the sport, the Salmo Slider is a must have lure to have in your arsenal. The life-like action and realistic color patterns available make it a great lure to have, especially when nothing else seems to be working. There is an option for every condition with the choice of floating or sinking, number of colors, and sizes available!
Editors Note: Nicole King is a Salmo Field Ambassador and an avid muskie / multispecies angler. You can follow her fishing adventures on Instagram at: nicolelynn_outdoors