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> Best Lures of 2018, What brought them in...
Attila
Posted: Oct 28, 2018 - 03:57 pm


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Thought I'd share the lures which I had the most success with this year when it came to pike, panfish, walleye, and both large and smallmouth bass.

Starting from the top left, my best jerkbait for bass this year was the Lucky Craft Pointer 78 in the Ghost Baby BG pattern. While others caught me numbers of fish, I found that the larger smallmouth really liked the bluegill pattern this year more than others that I fished with. I rigged this on a 7' MF spinning rod loaded with 20lbs braid and some 10lbs fluorocarbon leader to help against rock and zebra mussel abrasion.

Below that is the Rapala Skitter Pop in Frog pattern in size 5. This topwater popper has been a staple of mine for many years and this year it landed more and bigger small and largemouth bass than any other topwater lure I threw this year. I think it caught more and bigger fish because I always had one rigged compared to my other topwaters... I have promised myself that next year I will try other topwater popper and walking type baits in hopes that I can find some that will work in other bodies of water that I fish. I rigged this on a 7' MF spinning rod loaded with 20lbs braid and some 10lbs fluorocarbon leader.

Starting at the top in the middle column of lures is a 4" Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw in black/blue fleck. I rigged this soft plastic Texas rigged style with a pegged 1/2oz Ultra Tungsten weight on a 3/0 VMC Heavy Duty Flipping Hook. I fished this setup on a 7'2"MH baitcasting rod w/ a baitcasting reel with only 1/2 a spool of 20lbs test fluorocarbon specialized flipping line. This was the first time in many years I tried flipping and pitching and this setup gave me a lot of confidence and the powerful scent really helped me with hookups.

Beneath that is a 2" Berkley Powerbait Ripple Shad in the glow/chartreuse pattern rigged on a 1/64th oz Bass Pro Shops jighead. This lure helped me land a lot of large crappie and perch this fall and was a lure I had never tried before now. It has rightfully found a place in my UL box and is something that I look forward to using again next year, perhaps in larger sizes as well for other species such as bass, pike, and walleye. I rigged the bait on an UL setup spooled with 4lbs fuorocarbon under either a slip float or a smaller sized fixed float.

Third in that column is a simple 2" marabou jig weighing 1/16th oz in the pink head/white body pattern. This simple lure can be fished in many different ways, ranging from under a slip float in shallow water just after ice out for panfish to just a regular jigging retrieve in fast water for walleye and panfish. This small bait accounted for more walleye this spring than any other lure I used and I believe it had a lot to do with matching the size of the baitfish that were present. I rigged this small bait on an UL setup spooled with 4lbs test either under a slip float or with no float at all. If you're using this lure in fast, rocky water, be prepared to lose a few as you find out where the fish are located and what type of retrieve they want. On the upside, you won't find a cheaper bait out there so you won't have to replace them if you need to.

Under that is the Lucky Craft Pointer 100 in the Aurora Green pattern. In my opinion, I don't think you'll find a better jerkbait that will catch the pike which we find in many locales through Ontario. I fished this lure from ice out to season end and pike of all sizes just couldn't leave it alone. Retrieves varied from a fast burning retrieve to trigger fish to a slow retrieve filled with pauses on days when cold fronts would be passing through. I rigged this lure on a 7' MF spinning rod and sized 2000 reel loaded with 20lbs braid. I used a Stringease Fastach Titanium Tippet to prevent bite offs from these toothy critters.

The final lure that I want to highlight this year is the 3/8 Strike King 2 blade Scorcher/Burner spinnerbait in the Chartreuse Sexy Shad pattern. I hadn't spent much time throwing spinnerbaits before but this year I found that on more than 50% of the days I was able to get out and wet a line the wind was blowing quite hard on the main lake spots I fish. I caught both large and smallmouth bass as well as pike on this lure over the course of the year and it produced some decent sized fish as well in the 3-4lbs class in water ranging anywhere from 2-12' in depth. My retrieves ranged from waking in shallow water to yoyoing in deeper water depths. I like to fish spinnerbaits on a 6'6" MM fibreglass baitcaster setup loaded up with 12lbs fluorocarbon line. Due to its design, I never had a pike break off a spinnerbait and this particular brand held up well to aggressive pike and especially the hard pulling and feisty nature of the smallmouth bass I was hooking into. An important feature for me was a stinger hook which comes packaged with the spinnerbait. On some days the fish were just swiping at the bait and if it weren't for the stinger hook I wouldn't have had as many hookups as I did.

Cheers everyone, and I hope that you have a great ice season.

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Summer679
Posted: Oct 28, 2018 - 07:07 pm


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Thanks for another great read Attila. I'm going to have to go shopping.
Cheers J

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Hank Jr
Posted: Oct 29, 2018 - 06:26 am


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Thanks for the report looks like you have the water column covered from top to bottom . I always enjoy your articles and learn from them . Now all you have to start giving pointers on Muskie fishing

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Attila
Posted: Oct 30, 2018 - 11:54 pm


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Thanks Summer679 and Hank Jr, appreciate the kind words.

Thinking about doing some musky fishing next year...will have to do a lot of homework this winter if I want that to come together. We'll see I guess, after all, there sure are a lot of them around the Kawartha's!

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muskybw
Posted: Nov 01, 2018 - 10:37 am


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great lure description & post ATTILA.

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MikeyLovesMuskies
Posted: Nov 01, 2018 - 03:11 pm


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Great read as always, sir. One day next year let's do a 2 day event. 1 day we fish for bass and the next time we go out we'll target Muskies or vice versa.

There's nothing really I can add to your arsenal of lures for bass since you seem to have that covered but I can definitely help you out with Muskie fishing.

Take care for now,

Mikey

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Chevy
Posted: Nov 01, 2018 - 04:02 pm


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Appreciate the information. Thanks for passing along your knowledge.

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Attila
Posted: Nov 01, 2018 - 06:42 pm


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Thanks for your kind words muskybw, MikeyLovesMuskies, and Chevy -- they're greatly appreciated.

muskybw -- link in your signature isn't setup correctly!

MikeyLovesMuskies -- that 2 day event sounds like it could be a lot of fun, will have to talk more about it next summer. As for having bass fishing covered...lol I still have and want to learn all the finesse patterns (spybaiting, dropshotting, hair jigs), buzzbait fishing, flipping jig fishing, and believe it or not, a tonne more about crankbait fishing as well. It's a learning experience and I have alot of time and patience to learn...

This winter I'm going to spend some time on Simcoe going after some perch but will also be spending time in the Kawartha's going after pannies...still a lot to learn!

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Chuck Enwinde
Posted: Nov 02, 2018 - 05:31 am


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Best "new" bait for me this year was the Z-man trick shotz. They work well on a drop shot rig but on a mushroom head they really shine. I did a fly in trip north of Nakina and they whooped the traditional grub offerings to the point that I had to start sharing lol. And they last forever. You'd have a tough time using more than one in a day unless you brake it off.

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Bredan2003
Posted: Nov 11, 2018 - 12:38 am


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Thanks so much for the detailed information, great read! Thanks!!

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oogie8
Posted: Nov 14, 2018 - 12:42 pm


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Attilla, you may be surprised at what lives in your bass haunts if you put on a bucktail spinner for a few casts, Kawartha muskies arenít that difficult to raise if youíre casting big enough baits to interest them

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