Monday, May 28, 2007
What are your favorite Northern New York Fishing Lures?
What are your top ten favorite Northern New York fishing lures? If you had to put only 10 artificial baits in a tackle box and go fishing for the day, would you be able to whittle down your lure collection to a scant few?
Here are my choices:
1. SOFT PLASTIC GRUB
Soft plastic grubs, like Mr. Twisters combined with a round-head jig, are simply the best all-around, most-versatile fishing lures a north country angler can have. They are easy to use, can be fished in various depths, can be retrieved slow or fast, come in an astounding array of colors and sizes and are inexpensive to buy. Our local smallmouth bass can't seem to keep their jaws off them, while northern pike will gulp a soft plastic grub in a flash.
2. SILVER/BLACK OR GOLD/BLACK
I believe for as long as I can recall a Rapala has taken up residency in my tackle box. I have had tremendous success with both floating and sinking Rapalas in my favorite colors: black/silver, black/gold and chartreuse/pearl. Rapalas need little tuning out of the box, are best-fished using a Rapala knot, but when angling for toothy critters, they can be fished with decent action using a small wire leader. You can twitch it, swim it, troll it, sweep it — well, you get the message — a Rapala is just as versatile as a plastic grub jig.
3. MEPPS AGLIA
When I head to the Adirondacks for a day of spinfishing, I'm not going to be without a size-0, silver-bladed Mepps Aglia. This lure is a real trout-getter when it is cast upstream and reeled back just quickly enough to work the blades. Mepps Aglia comes in a number of sizes, blade and body colors to suit your fishing method and species of fish. From pan fish to musky, Mepps has designed a lure for just about every species.
4. REBEL POP-R
If you think the Rebel Pop-R doesn't belong in your tackle box, then talk to my good friends, David and Jonathan Zysik, about their effectiveness on both largemouth and smallmouth bass. I believe they first discovered their effectiveness while fishing Lowe's Lake in the Adirondacks. Largemouths simply adore the top-water action of this popper. This lure can be fished fast or slow and is generally fished with light to medium spinfishing tackle.
For some reason, fish just love Gitzits. It's a lure that can imitate a crayfish or small minnow — depending on the color you choose to fish. Gitzits can be purchased plain or scented. Rigged with a specialized lead head or Texas-rig, the Gitzit will consistently take bass and walleye.
If I had one walleye lure to fish walleye waters it would be a homemade spinner. Countless walleyes have fallen to spinner/worm combos being dragged and backtrolled along walleye lakes and big rivers. I buy various Colorado blades and an assortment of clevises, color beads and hooks in order to make harnesses. Spinner/worm combos can be fished deep, shallow, off planer boards and downriggers.
7. TEENY TORPEDO
In the north country, we are blessed with outstanding smallmouth bass fishing, and one of my favorite top-water smallie baits has to be the Teeny Torpedo. Whenever I find smallmouth lurking in shallows, I'll use a light spinning rod loaded with 6-pound test line to cast the single-propeller Torpedo. In general, bass don't crush this top-water bait. Instead, they tend to sip or slurp it.
8. BERKLEY POWERWORM
Ever since I visited the Berkley research lab in Spirit Lake, Iowa, I became a huge fan of their Powerbaits. My favorite largemouth bass lure is a 7-inch motor oil Powerworm. Because of the imbedded scent, fish will hang on to the bait for a few extra moments, enabling the angler to work a good hookset. Berkley Powerbaits and Powerworms are manufactured in a staggering array of colors, sizes, shapes and scents.
9. LITTLE CLEO
I believe I began using Little Cleos back in the mid-80s when I started fishing trout and salmon on the eastern basin of Lake Ontario and its tributaries. I found the Little Cleo to be a dream to cast long distances — no matter how windy conditions get — and it is very deadly for deep holding trout and salmon. My favorite trout-getting Little Cleo color combinations are blue/silver, green/silver and hammered brass/red.
Since I have been fishing, I have always carried that famous red-and-white striped Dardevle in my tackle box. The original Dardevle has probably accounted for more northern pike catches in the north country than all other lures combined. This castable spoon is best retrieved with an erratic stop-and-go motion. This lure is best-fished with a small, 6-inch wire leader with a snap swivel.