Look as Sharp as your hooks
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Think of yourself sitting outside on a warm summer night. Now look into the distance toward town and tell me what you see. No, I don’t want a description of the landscape, but rather the things that catch your eye. We see a radio tower with a red flashing light. Maybe a plane flying overhead with its strobe lights on. Oh, crap. Somebody got nailed for speeding. I can see the squad car has hit his flashing lights. Now let’s try this same experiment during the day. There is a bunch of cars on the road. One, in particular, stands out. The one with the shiny chrome rims. I can tell Mrs. Smith is fighting to keep the birds out of her cherry trees again. I can see the flashing of the pie pans in the trees. School must be getting ready to dismiss. I can see the yellow flashing lights going by the crosswalk.
People are a whole lot more advanced than fish, but we still perceive subtle changes in our environment no matter how well we know it. Fish, believe it or not, are no different. That is why when you are going about your everyday life, your eyes tend to focus on things like flashing lights or even a glimmer of the sun’s rays reflecting off a puddle of water. So why not add these high visual impact distractions to our lures to make them not merely work the water column, but jump forth and say EAT ME! Now I know that most, if not all, lure companies have come out with some type of holographic bait over the last couple of years. But there is one major problem with that. I started buying hard and soft baits a long time ago when your flashiest bait was silver paint. So over the past couple of years, myself and others have spent countless hours experimenting with different ways to flash up our baits to make them stand out and be noticed. Here are a few ways to make your simple baits more attractive.
1.) WTP Tapes, Tinsel & Eyes - The company WTP, formerly
Witch Craft, has come out with several new products that will hold up to
the rigors of trolling and casting. They make a new transparent holoform,
adhesive backed tape that can be stretched to fit the contour of spoons,
spinner blades or crankbaits. This is an inexpensive way to add a
lot of flash to your old baits. I have used it for the last several
months with great success. I have a magic maker muskie bait I put
it on this spring. After several fish and thousands of casts, it
is still sticking and holding up great. The holographic eyes also
are holding on the baits well. I add the 3-D eyes to all of my baits.
I think it provokes more strikes because it gives the appearance of the
bulging eyes of a wounded baitfish. You can also add flash by tying a small
amount of tinsel to your hooks. Be sure not to add too much, or it
will take away from the action. You can find these new products at
most any sporting goods outlet. If you cannot find them, you can
look them up on the net.
3.) Adding Grub Tails and Soft Plastics - Adding soft plastics to crankbaits serves several proposes. It bulks up a bait and gives you somewhat of a way to alter color and/or action. There are thousands of different colors and types of soft plastics on the market today. By adding these soft plastics to the front or back hook, you can come up with a wide range of color combinations and even change the action of your bait. As a rule of thumb, small baits need the soft plastic to be on the front hook. If the plastic is put on the back hook, it will produce too much drag in the water, thus, making the bait lose too much action. You can only use deep diving cranks in the smaller size because if you were to use a stick bait that runs on a more horizontal plane, the trailer grub will foul the back hook. This means no wiggle. No wiggle, no fish! For the larger baits such as the ones you would use for muskie, you can get away with a lot more. The larger lips on the big baits will continue to produce good action no matter where you hook the plastics. Once again, a little experimenting will tell you where and what size you can get away with.
4.) Adding Spinner to Soft Plastics - This is another great technique for adding flash and vibration to your soft plastics. I learned this technique over in Indiana while fishing the Indiana Muskie Classic from a guide named Chae Dolsen. We were having limited success fishing Bulldogs off the dropoffs. (A Bulldog is a large soft plastic lure for muskie.) We could get the fish to follow, but not get the aggressive strikes. Chae said he was getting more strikes by adding a large willow blade to the bait. I was baffled at how he was attaching the blade swivel combination to the bait. So I asked him. He takes a regular, long shank hook and attaches the swivel blade combination to it. This makes it so you stick it anywhere in the bait you like. This was too simple, but believe me, it had awesome results. You do not have to be a muskie fisherman to use the technique. By simply downsizing your hooks and spinners, they will work on panfish size baits all the way up to 14” muskie baits. If you would like to fish with Chae Dolsen or Ben Clendening, both of Webster Lake Guide Service, you can call them at (594) 834-1669 for Chae, or (317) 826-8711 for Ben. I have seen both in action and would recommend both. If you want to put big fish in the boat, give them a call.
These are simple, but extremely effective ways to dress up old baits or bring a whole lot more attention to your new ones.
For guided walleye, muskie, smallmouth, or striper trips, you can give me a call at 309-347-1728, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am booking summer and fall trips now. For additional articles and tips, you can check out on my web page at www.walleyesinc.com.
SEE ‘YA ON THE WATER!For guided trips you can call Predator Guide Service at 309-347-1728 or e-mail me at email@example.com
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