Using Lures New to You

Each year, shortly before spring gets into full swing, plans are made on some lures that will be used and experimented with for the upcoming open-water season. That doesn’t mean that the old favorites will be put away, in fact, they will be close by to quickly pick up if things are not going well for the “newer” items.

New items don’t necessarily mean that they are “new” to the market. The lure, or techniques being used, are new to the angler. For example, many anglers ask about fishing plastic worms and jigs—they are not new to most experienced bass anglers, but they are to some people who have not fished with them, which makes it a good idea to target them with various techniques to hone down a productive pattern.

This year, I have selected four lures on which I will be concentrating. Three of these are new designs of previously established lures, while the other has been around for a long time, but now has several new colors and patterns.

Experimenting with a Mad Bug Dragon Hopper ad Havoc Pit boss Jr. was a big bonus.
Experimenting with a Mad Bug Dragon Hopper ad Havoc Pit boss Jr. was a big bonus.

The first selection is the one which will most likely provide the most opportunity for experimenting. It is Blakemore’s Casey’s Runner head. This is the specially designed Road Runner head that Casey Ashley used with a Zoom Super Fluke Jr. to win the Bassmaster Classic. It is designed in a way that I’ve been thinking about for several years for use with several other trailers, especially the Havoc Deuce. It is a 1/4-ounce head with a willow leaf blade on a ball bearing swivel, and a larger hook, which provides a longer shank. This makes it perfect for several other types of bodies, which in my case will be the Deuce, 4-inch Power Minnow, 5-inch Power Jerk Shad, B-Fish-N Pulse-R and Moxi, Smash Tube and whatever else may come to mind once things start clicking. The same goes for retrieves: slow, pump and stop-and-go, with the last two being primarily for the Deuce, are the plans for now.

My second selection will be great for cold- and deep-water situations. This is Blitz Lures’ new 1-ounce Blade. I’ve had excellent luck with two of the company’s other models, but primarily the 1/2 ounce. Blades are good in cold water because of their tight wiggle, which also puts off great vibration and flash, but this is not saying they won’t work in warmer water, because they will. Most of the time I fish in shallower water, so this 1-ounce will be big, but by keeping it higher with the help of my 8-foot, 6-inch Buzz Ramsey Steelhead rod—which also provides long casts—this should work well. The length is no larger than most of the crankbaits I use, such as the 1/2-ounce Rat-L-Trap and Echo 1.75 (1 3/4 inch), so size is no problem.

For retrieves, I plan on going fast enough to bump whatever cover, especially submerged weeds, as well as using a fast pump action. If there is a chance to fish Bull Shoals Lake, then letting the lure reach the “magic fish depth” along bluffs and over points, and paralleling them with the right speed, will be the retrieve of choice.

Rat-L-Trap brings us to my third selection, which is the Tiny Trap. This is a 1/8-ounce version of the Rat-L-Trap, which has been around a long time. I’ve had excellent luck in the past with the variety of colors available, but in the past few years some great additions have come about that has renewed my attention in the smaller lure. It has also sparked an interest in using them for ice fishing, but for now let’s stay with open water. As I said, it isn’t new, but the new part will be developing some different techniques, such as trying it with my “finger jigging” to hopefully give it a quick-short darting action. With that and the rattles it should be dynamite for bass and larger panfish.

The fourth selection will, in a way, bring in a fifth selection. I’m talking about Berkley’s new Power Tube, which is available in three sizes. My main selection will be the 3 1/2-inch size, using it with Mad Bug’s Dragon Hopper swinging football jig head (the fifth “season plan” selection), which has the Xgap or Fat Gap hook. Otherwise, I will be doing normal Texas rigging with TTI’s Xpoint Xgap and Daiichi Fat Gap hooks – with/without bullet sinkers, or using the B-Fish-N H2O jig heads for open hook experimenting. In the same train of thought, this brings me back to the first selection in the season’s plan, and using perhaps the 4 1/2-inch Power Tube on the Casey’s Runner. Remember, normal Road Runners have tube bodies, which are very effective on panfish—so why not the same, but for larger species such as bass?

Well, those are my selections for the season I’ll be concentrating on. Now we will see what happens, and if all goes well, there will most likely be a few more articles coming out of it. The selections for last year’s open-water season did very well.

As said at the beginning, all of my old standbys will be close at hand, and definitely not forgotten. That is what makes it fun to experiment with new items/techniques, because you always know that there is something to fall back on. So, set down and make yourself a plan for the season, whether it is new lures or learning certain techniques, and always remember to have fun while doing it.

If you have any further questions about this or any other fishing subject, drop Dan Galusha a line through the Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales® website at dansfishntales.com, or at his Facebook page at facebook.com/dansfishntales.