Friday, August 24, 2012

The Bare Essentials

Ok, here's the deal.  MNAngler has taken the opportunity to post a series of various challenges in order to help us all learn more.  This is pretty much why I started this blog to begin with, not only as a place to analyze my own time on the water and improve my outings, but also in the hope that others may learn something from my misadventures in bassin', birdnests, snags, and successes. 

So, I've decided to participate in MNAngler's first challenge:  Lure Limitation.

Context: I've made it no secret, currently I spend my time on Bald Eagle.  It is super clear in the spring and nearly week old pea soup as of this posting.  I don't think it'll clear up again until fall turnover.  Prior to this, I considered the Sauk River Chain my home water as I spent nearly every weekend there that I could spare.  It is a chain made up of flooded rolling farm land - the result of the dam in Cold Spring.  The "backwater" areas can be crystal clear in the spring (becoming a sloppy mess of pads and curly leaf pond weed in the summer), but in my experience, the main channel has been consistently pretty dirty. 

Challenge:  If I were to only limit myself to five lures for the rest of my life, they would be as follows (in no particular order):
  • All Terrain Tackle Swim Jig.  Color:  Bluegill  Size: 1/4oz.  
    • Being that bluegill is widely spread, this should go without out explanation.  I've done well with this bait nearly every where I've fished.  It fools fish in clear water and I think it's dark enough to provide a good silhouette in the dirty looking stuff.
  • Johnson's Beetlespin.  Color:  White w/red dot.  Size:  1/4oz.
    •  This is as versatile a bait as you can find.  This compact spinnerbait will yield everything that swims.  Particularily in the spring and fall, gills, crappie, bass, pike, and even walleye will grab them.  Get yourself into a weedbed, fish it right over the top and you never know what you'll end up with at the other end of the line. 
  • Megastrike Shake2 Jig.  Color:  Pumpkinseed.  Size:  1/4oz.
    • Sometimes Roland Martin can hit on something a little more useful than the helicopter lure, which induced more twist than Chubby Checker.  I use this jig with a craw imitation and primarily while wading the river for smallies.  However, I haven't used it enough while on a lake to get any opinion one way or the other because when I'm fishing this, there's usually a couple feet of ice in the way.  Although I posted the remedy for this inconvenient problem here.
  • Reaction Innovations Smallie Sweet Beaver.  Color:  Pumpkin Seed.  Size:  3.5"
    • I use this as a trailer for the Shake2 jig.  I've also used watermelon, but pumpkinseed seems to be the ticket for me.
  •  Lake Fork Ring Fry.  Color:  Watermelon/Chart/Pepper.  Size:  4"
    • I reviewed this lure a couple years ago, and I still stand by what I said.  It is versatile and produces when faster presentations will not.  It also reeks of garlic and the bass seem to like that as much as I do.  Yes, odd.  I know.  But I like pasta and what goes better with that than garlic bread?
 None of these lures will break the bank, unless you get into a pile of pike, of course.  The only one I've had a hard time finding is the Megastrike jig, it seems the only retailer that stocks them in MN is Cabela's, but the rest you can find in most tackle shops and can be less costly alternatives to bigger brand names.

I've also noticed that these are all fairly small in size, and yes, I do think that affects the size of my catch.  But if I'm stuck with these for life, I want to know that I'll catch something!  After all, it's all about confidence in this list.

Now, as a bonus and because I could not resist, until next time.  Enjoy!


  1. Thanx for participating in my meme, Jeremy.

    I've not heard of many of these lures, so I'm looking forward to trying some of them.

    I was also excited to hear that you are in my neck of the woods. I've fished Bald Eagle often, but have lately stayed closer to home. Perhaps we can do an outing together soon and learn each others' techniques first hand.

  2. Bald Eagle is a fun lake to spend some time on, but I've been wanting to get out on Green and Chisago for a while - I've heard that the bass can be sizeable and plentiful in that area.

    Moving back to the cities last summer has opened up a lot of shore fishing opportunities for me, I just need to find the time to get out! I was thinking about getting a tube to make it a bit easier to get to those hard to reach places too. Any suggestions on that?

  3. I'm always open to new water. I would love to hear about your shore fishing spots. I have a mental block when shore fishing because I always feel too limited.

    Float tubes are a great way to get beyond shore. I love mine. No trailers to hassle with. If you ever want to try one before buying, let me know. I have an extra one so we can take them out some evening or weekend.