Cory Allen

Musky Lures | The Last Responder by Greg Nimmer – Cory Allen

musky lures greg nimmer cory allen

So Greg Nimmer might be one of the more creative lure makers out there. He might be known more colloquially for his topwater baits, which are great additions in their own right, his subsurface designs really caught my gaze.

I really enjoyed the First Responder, but had a couple ideas for subtle tweaks I had in mind.

So I had him whip me up a custom First Responder with no weight on the back end and no keel weight in the front, but with a weight screw for adjusting the depth I want to work it from the front, but still giving it a basically level fall.

The idea behind it is surprisingly simplistic but somehow entirely overlooked until him.

He’s right too…that mag willow is perfect for running the gamut of all speeds, but thoroughly looking forward to this design which will work just subsurface on the pull to as deep as I want.

Then, there’s also the “Live Tail” which is another design I can’t believe hadnt been done sooner.

Pay attention to this guy. He makes some really really cool shit.

-Cory Allen, Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority

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Gill Reaper Lures | Cory Allen – Muskie Fishing

gill reaper lures cory allen muskie fishing

Prototypes of the “Undertow”, a bait I designed with Gill Reaper lures ( as a multispecies fresh and salt answer to many, many problems.

It’s gonna come in many different sizes from 3/8 of an ounce to 8 ounces, fresh and salt, some with full hair, some with hair and feathers, some with hair and swimbait trailers… and we’re already concocting another variant that will work as a standup jig as well.

Basically its like a jig with a built in bottom bouncer and drop rate regulator. Makes it flutter on the fall at a controlled angle, with the added benefit of flash, and the slightly oversized blades ensure it doesnt just simply “track”…gives it a more organic erratic motion as the blade isnt constantly engaging except on a total straight retrieve. Also, the overextended titanium arm ensures the blade doesnt grab the hair and gives it more clearance off the bottom for slow rolling. Plus, titanium flexes but always returns to its original position, so there’s that.

“Spared no expense…”-John Hammond

-Cory Allen

Tennessee Valley Muskie Fishing

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Flaptails | Musky Lures – Cory Allen

flaptail musky lures cory allen

“Honest doc, I fell on it, I swear…”

Actually, these are TR Custom flaptails, one in my favorite flavor “Sucker Punch”, scaled down to 4.5″ with the shell casing in the back to add an additional “tap” to the traditional flaptail design. Also to note, the swing arm hook system in the back allows them to kinda naturally balance out the bait at various retrieves instead of just the fixed arms which sometimes can get out of whack and cause the bait to veer at times.

Interesting little design in a diminutive package, and that extended arm attachment off the front seems to help provide some leverage in pulling the bait underneath at higher speeds without it wanting to roll out.

This will get et.

-Cory Allen

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Copper Monk Blades | Musky Lures – Cory Allen

cory allen musky lures

Gotta admit, I didn’t even know what copper monk blades were until I was introduced to this bait by Rich Reinert and Craig Sandell of, but let me just say…

Not sure I lived without this now somewhat forgotten but ridiculously unique throwback prop style for topwater.

Works slower, fishes faster, offers a more subtle and more aggressive sound than it’s more popularized contemporary ilk.

Frankly, I’d never seen it on another bait. But not sure I’ll ever go back now.

Check out the Cory Allen custom color “Sucker Punch” edition ones awaiting their props for the flight to my doorstep this week.

But the OG colors I’ve had for 3 weeks have already caught fish and lost even more, even thrown against other topwaters. A compact nigh invulnerable bait that offers subtlety but can be thrown on the graphite Claymores we use in musky fishing with ease.

Trust me. Check them out.

No gimmix hurr.

-Cory Allen

aka Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority

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Topwater Muskie Fishing – How Slow to Go

topwater musky lures cory allen

So to protect the innocent from obvious shots…

I won’t be naming the guy who made these just yet, as they are also no officially “for sale”, but I had to share a pic of this pretty unique little bait. It may look like a road, but the Nannerjack (look it up, the reference thoroughly impressed me) is a bit of a different animal, with a very supple bit very very tough rubber mix (just try inserting those pins…) and a more lateral presentation than analogous baits. Also, I appreciate the webbed feet to justify the whole “frog” theme and provide a different kind of stimulus.

If he decides to do anything else with them, and agrees I’ll convey it in due time…

…but in the meantime, I’ll enjoy putting some places on these, as well as helping tweak designs between internal and external harness.

-Cory Allen

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Musky Lures Vol. 2 | Cory Allen | A Fistful of Knowledge

Don’t fall victim to the “how do you retrieve that lure” short sidedness game. It is not about how do you do it as much as it is how do you not. Knowing what a lure doesn’t do well says a lot more than just cranking it in. POS may not even run true or have bad harmonics. If you have not watch the full version of this muskie fishing video–000109 take your time and absorb the flow. This is my ode to Clint Eastwood. Never shrink from the truth. Learning is as more about failing than succeeding. These are my opinions that I hope stirs something in you to go out and experiment. It may it end up catching your the biggest musky of your life.

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Catch Big Musky | Cory Allen | Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority

big musky cory allen tennessee valley muskie authority

Aight guys.

Here’s a sampling of some fish all in excess of 50” except for one 48”, up to 53” taken the past 2 years between March and the end of May.

We get some killer topwater action in early May and consistent stuff through the spawn all the way into post spawn, with mid to late April through northern season opener being some prime time musky fishing. These are just some pics I had on hand in the favorites folder.

If you wanna step up in the batter’s box of my Esox Magnum and take a swing for the 50” fence down south, send me a DM here or gimme a call at 931-261-2483. I’m already booked a healthy chunk of April and about half of May as is, half of which are repeat offenders, because that time frame friggin’ rules.

I mean, if you’re gonna fish down in this neck of the woods, might as well fish with the guy that basically everyone else around here has followed around the past 5-6 years.

Sorry, not sorry.

Also, check out my video collection on my other site

I’ll be doing regular write ups and stuff here, if you dig that sort of thing.

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Winter Muskie Fishing Deep Rivers | Cory Allen

winter muskie fishing cory allen

Cory Allen takes a deep dive into what is going on in a southern river system, where in the channels will fish more than likely hold or travel through, while demonstrating their tactical approaches to muskie fishing. Learn how they work upstream, cross stream and downstream to maximize their coverage of the water with their presentations. You will get a heavy dose of lure dynamics from Cory. He really takes his time to discuss and demonstrate the swim characteristics each lure affords and how he works them to achieve some outstanding big fish results. Nobody in the south catches more fish and more big fish than Cory Allen. He is a mad genius when it comes to muskie fishing. Take this opportunity to watch this dynamic video and get a solid understanding of what bait fish are predominant forage foods for muskie and how he to present various lures to mimic the characteristics of this baitfish.

Watch the full video on In The Spread–000113

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Roger Watters is a living breathing Aqua-Man with his H20 Lures

It’s not often spoken of this way, but angling really is an art of hydrodynamics: understanding how different shapes with different energy applied to the water column create wakes of different intensities and textures that different species interpret accordingly.

Whiles yes, sight, sound, and scent do play universal roles and also have idiosyncratic value to unique species, such as the olfactory element to many salmonids and of course the catfish family, the true unilateral sense of fish is their ability to feel present and past of what has traversed their realm, and gather uncanny information concerning it prior to ever actually acquiring it in any other sense.

In short, fish don’t have to see, smell, taste, or hear something to not only know exactly where it is, but where it has been.

If you’re not analyzing your choices in lure selection by first and foremost the different textures they allow you to apply to the water column, then you’re missing out on some of the finer and more rewarding points of angling, especially musky angling, both in reaping greater fruits of your labor, and enjoying the process of interacting with the aquatic world itself much more.

While due to the nature of the entities I attach myself to, I enjoy an unparalleled level of liberty to freely roam about the cabin of products and tools available, without any strings attached that might create a biased outlook on my opinion, I have yet to find a line of baits even half as complete, and with even undiscovered gems, as Roger Watters’ H20 Tackle.

In fact his tools have already replaced a large amount of my tackle box simply by realizing he has made analogous baits to other more popular ones that serve the same role, but offer more versatility and to it far better.

We’ll be going in-depth with his current, expanding, and resurrecting product line this year, and showcasing how instead of following hot trends, this guy literally took a handful of body designs, and created a literal smorgasbord of unique baits with simple subtle tweaks to weighting, lip placement, and integration of rubber.

Cory Allen, the Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority


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Winter Muskyland

It’s that time of year again.

When shop is closed up north, and the temps keep dropping, but the beats never stop down south, where the musky fishing just keeps getting hotter.

This is the time of year to bundle up and batten down the hatches for big fish. You may have to fish through some of the smaller more virulent fish, but I’ve gotten pretty good at pricing myself out of that market over the years.

This time of year is when fish are settling into staging areas with the right criteria before staging to spawn, and the devil is in the details when it comes to even the slightest current influence or shift in temperature regime.

But make no mistake, this is the time of year you can encounter the single largest fish of your life in very predictable areas.

For one, never ever EVER leave your lighter tackle setups at home. Now more than ever, a smaller presentation even demanding spinning tackle can be the definitive element between success and failure. We’re talking finesse, be it Flicker shad, X-raps, Biwaa Divinator JR’s, Smithwick Rogues, or even wacky worms (yes, wacky worms) and having the proper combo for raw power and delicate intricacy is essential.

Any good walleye or bass spinning combo with a 20 lb braid upgrade and an American Fishing Wire tied 30 lb steel leader will do the job, but I strongly recommend checking out the Toothtamer line of rods which have some specifically designed musky spinning rods that handle some of the power tools but more of the “micro machines” than you’d possibly imagine without losing crucial rod length for figure-8s or intestinal fortitude for wrestling gorillas out of the mist.

I’ll be doing a solid in-depth review of a handful of the Toothtamer rod series very soon available through In the Spread YouTube and here as well.

On top of all that, I’ll be continuing my love affair with Roger Watter’s amazing line of musky baits that flew even under my radar for years. Trust me, he doesn’t just make the Barbarian and Hardhead. Guy is a polymath of musky lure design and we’ll be working together here on out to not only increase your awareness of these amazing tools, but also design and tweak a few more for the future.

Speaking of which, don’t forget to check out the works of William Carpenter at Carpenter Customs, the mind behind the “Quiet Pill” glider, as we continue to barrage each other with DM’s concerning new design ideas to bring to the table, and trust me, we got two that you ain’t seen before.

I’ll be doing regular blog posts here now guys, as this is my new HQ for all things musky related, southbound and beyond.

Tight lines, y’all.

-Cory Allen, the Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority

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