There’s a lot of different bucktail options on the market these days and they’re all great for certain situations. I definitely carry all of them that I think work and I carry some that haven’t worked for me yet, but I know I’ll use them at a certain point in time.
We’re going to go through a few bucktails that I really like and why I use them.
First off is your standard Double Cowgirl, double bladed bucktails, whatever you want to call them. These took over the musky industry 10-12 years ago and has been a big staple in musky fishing. They are great baits and will always be fish catchers, but I think they are slowly fading out and fish aren’t biting them as much because a lot of fish have been caught on them.
Some of the new stuff hitting the scene is really impressive. The Triple Bladed Apache has three blades and uses a very specific one-piece clevis in order to make it run properly. This bait throws out a bunch of vibration and moves a lot of water. The cool thing about it is it doesn’t pull super hard. The blades only come out to about a 45 degree angle, so it’s not killing you even though you’re pull three #10 sized blades through the water. It’s something different and something the fish haven’t felt a whole lot of since they are pretty new to the industry.
Something else I like that’s fairly new to the industry is off-sets or Stagger bucktails. Two different sized blades on one bucktail. For example, you might pair a #10 Colorado blade with a #10 Indiana blade. It throws off a little bit of a different vibration where your Double Cowgirl is very smooth because the blades are the exact same size and shape. The different sized blades will give the bait more of a thump and vibration as you pull it through the water. It’s the little things that help you catch your biggest fish.
Something else I don’t think people throw enough of is the standard single bladed bucktail. It’s super simple and it’s been a fish catcher for years and years. If you think about it, those double bladed bucktails have been around for so long and so many people use them, that the fish that were first around when they came out have always been caught on them. Some fish have never felt a single bladed bucktail before. It’s a different vibration and fish that are 12-15 years old haven’t felt this configuration before.
What I like to do with my single bladed bucktails is add a grub to the back. A single bladed bucktail doesn’t throw a lot of water, so a rubber tail really aids in the action of the bait to help make those fish commit to striking.