3.THE NIGHT STALKER
▶ 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.