Friday, December 20, 2013

If you can only bring one lure, make it this one

Simple, simple, simple but EFFECTIVE!
The truth is, fishing, like life, is only as complicated as you make it.
Your tackle box (or boxes) can be stuffed with lures for every occasion. You can have suspending stick baits, shallow running plugs, mid-depth runners and deep runners. You can have spoons of infinite colours with diagonal stripes, straight stripes, spots or diamonds. You can have spinners with a half dozen shaped blades, with weighted bodies or with coloured beads. You can have poppers and jerk baits and frogs and mice for surface lures.
Or you can just have a jig and twister tail.
This last lure is the one that will catch virtually every fish in North America including, in Red Lake: perch, rock bass, walleye, northern pike, lake trout, whitefish, ling and musky.
Not only is it possible to catch them on a jig and a twister tail, it may be the very best lure for the job!
And it is also the cheapest, costing just cents.
There is nothing simpler than a jig and twister tail but that doesn't stop lure manufacturers from trying to entice you into different models. The heads come in a myriad of shapes and weights. The plastic twister tails come in infinite colours and lengths. Some even have little legs sticking out the side. You can still spend a lot of money on jig paraphernalia.
Or you can just fish with the 1/4-ounce, round-head jig with a three-inch white single tail because that will catch just about everything probably 90 per cent of the time. If you are a real jig expert, then you probably will use the 1/8-ounce head with a 2 1/2-inch tail. This is a little harder to cast and must be fished a bit slower to keep it near the bottom. And even though the white twister works just about all the time, you'll probably want to bring other colours too because twisters are just so cheap you can afford to have lots. Favourite colours for walleye are: white, black, orange, yellow, chartreuse, red-and-white, brown-and-orange. Pike like: white, pink, orange, red-and-white and chartreuse.
The head colour doesn't seem to make much difference. Nor does it need to have an eye like the model above.
For walleye, cast this out and let it sink to the bottom. Then reel up your slack and SLOWLY move your rod tip away from the jig. You want to feel for the resistance of a fish holding the jig, then set the hook. Keep doing this until the jig is back to the boat. 
For northern pike, cast it right where you would cast any pike lure -- near the shoreline, logs, rocks, weeds, etc. and reel it straight back to the boat without doing the rod tip sweep. You can reel quickly when the jig is in shallow water because it sinks real fast. Then slow down your retrieve and let it plummet when it comes to deeper water.
It's the same technique for lake trout and whitefish except you are fishing in deep water all the time. Cast it out and let it sink to the bottom, then slowly reel it back in.
I got to go fishing twice last summer with my son, Josh. On the first occasion he caught and released a 44-inch northern pike on a jig and twister. On the second occasion, months later, he caught about 30 walleye in an hour on the exact same rig.
It takes a bit of experience to master the technique but once you get it, you're hooked for life.

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