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> Lucky Craft and Megabass Smackdown, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye
Attila
Posted: Oct 15, 2019 - 08:35 pm


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Hello everyone,

As many of you who frequent this board know, Iíve really embraced jerkbaits over the last couple of years. This year was no different, with several 3+lbs falling prey to my usual offerings which included the Strike King KVD J300 in Clear Ayu. Itís always been a great summer producer for me and the larger sized version really helped draw in the larger bass over the summer.

After Labour Day, however, things change in the world of Kawartha smallmouth fishing. With the days getting shorter, fish realize that they need to start packing on the pounds in preparation for the long winter which is just around the corner. For me, it means packing away the small baits and breaking out the bigguns, as Al Bundy would say.

At the beginning of September the days and nights were still relatively warm, with daytime highs in the high 20ís and low 30ís and overnight lows in the high teens or low 20ís. As the month passed, daytime highs dropped into the teens with overnight lows dipping below freezing occasionally. The wind changed daily, sometimes blowing around 20km/h and at other times being non existent. I threw every jerkbait and topwater I had and time after time fish would be following the bait in but not committing to it like they had during the warmer summer months.

At the beginning of the month there were still expansive weed flats present in my target areas. As the temperature dropped the weeds slowly began dying and instead of expansive flats I had to search for isolated weed clumps that small baitfish were using as cover which, in turn, drew in the larger bass and walleye. As well, I was only fishing water ranging from 2-8í in depth up until the end of last week. There may have been fish deep, however, I was finding my fish related to structure including weeds, rocks, and even docks during this time period.

It was clear that the fish were still interested in jerkbaits and poppers, however I needed some new patterns and lures with some different actions to them so off to Pro Jís I went. I picked up a couple of Megabass PopMaxís and Vision 110ís in the perch, Table Rock SP, and the French Pearl OB patterns. I also went into my own vault and broke out some Lucky Craft Slender Pointer 112ís in the Half Metallic Ayu pattern. I tied the PopMax to a 6í8Ē MF St. Croix Mojo Bass casting rod paired with a Daiwa Tatula 100 HSL which was first spooled with 15lbs Power Pro. This same combo was then spooled with 12lbs Seaguar InvisX when used to throw jerkbaits. The Vision 110ís were rigged on my 7í MF Daiwa Tatula spinning rod paired with a Daiwa Procyon 2500 loaded with 20lbs Power Pro. Both setups had 5í of 10lbs Sunline FC Fluorocarbon Leader attached to ensure the zebra mussels and rocks wouldnít result in any unintentional break offís.

The Lessons -- donít overwork these baits, keep it simple and the fish will eat them up. The product specifications can be erroneous. Case in point, the Vision 110 doesnít suspend. It slowly sinks in a nose down profile when paused. There are days when the fish wanted this type of lure while on others they preferred the true suspending qualities of the Slender Pointer. Finally, throwing a 1/2oz topwater on 15lbs braid will result in very long casts which I think paid dividends in catching my larger fish.

The Good -- the detail on these lures is incredible. I tried other perch patterned lures and didnít have anywhere near the success that I had with the Vision 110ís. Their action is also incredible. They survive well when they come into contact with rocks and dock pilings and their paint doesnít chip even after several fish. I tried some new fluorocarbon leader and it also held up well to the rocks and zebra mussels that it encountered along the way.

The Bad -- these lures arenít cheap. Vision 110ís will run about $30 and the PopMax comes in at $25. They are available at Bass Pro, Sail, Gagnons, and Pro J Fishing Tackle. The largest assortment of patterns is available at Pro Jís. As well, while you can cast great distances with 15lbs braid on a baitcast outfit, it will result in line getting buried on the spool which will result in line breaks which will then launch your $25 lure a very far distance. I went swimming a couple of times to retrieve my luresÖplease donít attempt this when the water temperature is cold. Next year I will be upgrading to 30lbs braid to avoid any line burying issues. Finally, the hooks on the Vision 110ís suck. I swapped them out to Owner ST-36ís and never looked back.

Final thoughts -- September can and often is a crazy month. Changing weather conditions coupled with decreasing sunlight and the resulting cover changes really scatter the fish and make finding them challenging. If you happen to be fishing from shore, take time to really cover the water that youíre fishing. Where you found fish in the summer could now be vacant with the fish located on a different type of weed cover a little further down the same shore that didnít hold any fish during the summer months.

Pictures are as follows; a 4.36lbs smallmouth caught on a PopMax; a 4.72lbs smallmouth caught on a Vision 110 in Table Rock SP; a 4.09lbs smallmouth caught on the Slender Pointer, and finally a 3.87lbs walleye also caught on the Slender Pointer.



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Attila
Posted: Oct 15, 2019 - 08:36 pm


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Attila
Posted: Oct 15, 2019 - 08:37 pm


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Lucky Craft Slender Pointer Smallmouth

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Attila
Posted: Oct 15, 2019 - 08:38 pm


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Slender Pointer Walleye



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Skippy
Posted: Oct 15, 2019 - 08:58 pm


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Amazingly detailed post Attila. Great information and some great looking fish there.

I agree with you on the megabass hooks. Broke one of the hooks clean off (not bent just snapped) on a lipless this summer. What size owners do you swap in?
Gotta say it really hurts to spend that much on a lure just to have to go and upgrade the hardware.


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Attila
Posted: Oct 15, 2019 - 09:16 pm


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QUOTE (Skippy @ Oct 15, 2019 - 09:58 pm)
Amazingly detailed post Attila. Great information and some great looking fish there.

I agree with you on the megabass hooks. Broke one of the hooks clean off (not bent just snapped) on a lipless this summer. What size owners do you swap in?
Gotta say it really hurts to spend that much on a lure just to have to go and upgrade the hardware.

Thanks Skippy, appreciate your feedback.

Yup, I forgot to include my treble hook size; that'd be #6 trebles.

One thing I should mention is that the split rings on them are amazing.

Regarding trebles, I think everyone likes a different one hence why a company will never make a deal with a specific hook manufacturer to supply their trebles. Some like Owners, some Gammies, and others VMC's. If anything, a partnership would only increase the cost of the baits...don't know if that's a good idea.

I'm actually putting together a piece about what I used to swap out the trebles, should be ready in a couple of days.

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chazD
Posted: Oct 15, 2019 - 09:34 pm


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Great report Attila. Thanks for sharing with us. Very informative , thanks for the insight on line breaks due to burying with the baitcaster, I was wondering why I was breaking off on cast sometimes.👍

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Attila
Posted: Oct 16, 2019 - 02:18 pm


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QUOTE (chazD @ Oct 15, 2019 - 10:34 pm)
Great report Attila. Thanks for sharing with us. Very informative , thanks for the insight on line breaks due to burying with the baitcaster, I was wondering why I was breaking off on cast sometimes.👍

Ya, it happens. Fishing is a learning experience...lesson learned.

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toothhealer88
Posted: Oct 16, 2019 - 08:24 pm


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Great report,congrats on some nice fish.

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MeatEater
Posted: Oct 17, 2019 - 07:46 am


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Great write up! Never considered jerk baits but this has me thinking.

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metalbuckle
Posted: Oct 20, 2019 - 06:26 am


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Great read Attila... Very informative!

It's like reading a fishing magazine ..

Loved it. Thanks for sharing.

Also well done nice quality fish.

I haven't had that much success with jerk baits and top waters. But now I think I am going to review my tackle inventory and give them a shot. ..

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Attila
Posted: Oct 20, 2019 - 11:19 am


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Thank you toothhealer88, MeatEater, and metalbuckle.

I appreciate all the kind words about my writing and the reports that I put up. I used to write, but now...I just enjoy sharing information with people. That brings its own type of reward.

Next year I'm changing things up...less jerkbaits and topwaters, more finesse like drop shotting, neko rigging, and spybaiting.

Cheers, and have a great winter everyone.

Attila

PS -- jerkbaits are for largemouth too...caught 8 yesterday along a weededge on the perch patterned Vision 110.

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