3.THE NIGHT STALKER

Outdoor Life - - FISHING - Mike Hulbert Mike Hulbert’s Guide Ser­vice Lake St. Clair, Michi­gan

▶ Ac­cord­ing to Hulbert, night­time is the right time to throw top­wa­ters for tro­phy muskies on leg­endary Lake St. Clair. And if he has a choice, he’ll take hu­mid, wind­less con­di­tions. “I want a flat sur­face with lit­tle or no wave ac­tion at all,” he says. Weeds and rocks are key struc­tures for Hulbert, and he’ll fish them in as lit­tle as 1 foot of wa­ter to as many as 12 feet once the sun sets. He stresses sub­tlety when fish­ing up top at night. “Put the loud top­wa­ters away and work slowly,” he says. “Fish will have an eas­ier time ze­ro­ing in on slow-mov­ing baits, and they’re more likely to get hooked when they hit them.” Hulbert opts for flap-tail-style lures—the Lee Lures Top H20 is his ringer. Even though you won’t see a fol­low­ing muskie in the dark, Hulbert cau­tions not to skip the fig­ure eight. He says to al­ways keep the bait on the sur­face when it’s boat­side, and never sub­merge the rod tip to pull the lure un­der­wa­ter. “If they’re gonna eat it, they’re gonna eat it on top,” he says.

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