The Surface Lure
Craig Sandell © 2006
The surface lure is probably one of the most exciting lures to use when fishing for
Muskie. There are currently many varieties of surface lure on the market. I have chosen
two of the more traditional lures to review to give you a sense of what to
look for in a surface lure.
The creeper is a very well known type of surface lure. It has been made over
the years by lure manufacturing companies and individual Muskie anglers. The LeLure
creeper (pictured) is probably the creeper that sets the standard for action.
Although I am reviewing the LeLure creeper, many of the creepers on the market
have the same characteristics...It should be noted
that the Original LeLure Creeper is no longer available. All creepers have adjustable wings that affect the retrieve
action and sound. The older LeLure creeper uses a through wire while the newer
models use screw eyes. The
LeLure creeper does not come with split rings on the hooks. I consider this a short coming
but one that can be remedied easily by the angler.
There isn't a creeper made that doesn't require some tuning to make it truly effective.
The LeLure creeper is no exception, however, it did come with very good instructions on
how to tune it. Other creepers are not so well documented. Even though the LeLure creeper
had a good paint finish, there have been reports from the field that some have suffered
from peeling paint. This is a problem that is not wide spread but it does happen.
The LeLure creeper had some of the best action in the water. It
was effective over a
wide range of weather and water conditions including moderate chop. Other creepers tend
be effective when the water has a slight ripple or when the chop is very light.
An annoying problem with the LeLure creeper was its propensity to have the wings reverse
against the body when the lure is part a violent Muskie encounter. This is due to the wing
mechanism that so effectively creates the action that attracts Muskie when the
lure is properly tuned. When this happens to you, you will have to reposition the wings and retune the
lure so...make sure that you have a good knowledge of the wing configuration before you
start offering it to a Muskie.
Mouldy's Hawg Wobbler, since its arrival on the market, has proven to be a
consistent producer of Muskie. Although there are other folks making versions of the Hawg
Wobbler, Mouldy's continues to set the standard.
The Hawg Wobbler is a blend of bits and pieces of other lure components. The lip is a
bucktail blade, there is a propeller on the back of the lure, there are screw eyes
attached at the eyes interconnecting the two lure body pieces. When all of these
components are working properly, the lure is a real Muskie attractor.
As is the case with most lures, the Hawg Wobbler does not consistently work at its best
right out of the box. You will have to bend the lip and adjust the propeller and even
adjust the screw eye connection to the leader in order to get it to be the type of lure in
which you have confidence.
The Hawg Wobbler does not perform well in chop. It is best in calm water or on water
where there is a slight ripple. As the water gets a chop on it, the lure action becomes
The Hawg Wobbler has many annoying features none the least of which is the paint job.
Because of the action of the lure, the hooks, if they are properly sharpened, will scrape
the paint from the sides of the lure. Over time through persistent use, the wood will
absorb water and the lure will ride lower in the water affecting the action. You can seal
the exposed wood using gun stock varnish, but this is only a temporary fix.
Another problem is the jointed screw eye hardware connecting the two pieces of the
body. This is not real sturdy material and over time the metal will fatigue. There have
been field reports of the hardware separating during a Muskie encounter leaving the angler
with half a lure and no Muskie.
The hooks do not come with split rings. This is a problem that the angler who uses a
Hawg Wobbler must address immediately. The hooks need to be free swinging in order to
assure the maximum hooking action during a fight with a Muskie.
The rear hook screw eye has a tendency to back out. This is due to the constant
interaction between the hook, screw eye, propeller and the back segment of the lure body.
You can epoxy the screw eye in place, however this may effect the propeller action...also,
during a Muskie attack, the epoxy will break free. Check this part of the lure regularly.
Particularly annoying is the screw eye attachment to the leader clasp at the front of
the lure. You will have to do some modification to your leader clasp to make it fit easily
into the screw eye. One approach has been to add a split ring to the front screw eye.
Field reports indicate that this solves the problem but also results in some affect upon
The Hawg Wobbler, when properly tuned, appears to work best with a solid leader of 7
inches. This leader length provides the security of a leader while not weighing down the
front of the lure and affecting its action. If you are so inclined, you can attach a 7
inch leader to the screw eye, however this will require that you retie when you want to
Despite some of its short comings, the Hawg Wobbler is a very productive
The Hawg Wobbler price ranges from $8.95 to $15.95 depending upon size and model.
I would recommend that you buy them from an outlet where you can try a few of them in the
water before you decide upon one for your tackle box. Many resorts have them available out
of the box so you can test their action before you buy...Not all Hawg Wobblers
are created equal.