*Click here for Part 2
That sinking metal lures of one kind or another can sometimes be darned effective for bass comes as no surprise to experienced anglers who’ve been around for awhile.
If you’ve followed the Bass Masters Classic down through the years you’ve seen proof of it surface at this intensely competitive event. I was there when Stanley Mitchell outfished the other contestants. If my memory isn’t playing tricks on me, young Stanley got the job done primarily by catching most of his bass with a metal spoon.
I saw the same sort of thing happen while I was a media observer at one of the annual national tournaments held years ago by one of the western bass fishing organizations. I was the media observer for the guy who won it on the final day of that event. He got the job done by jigging a metal lure up off the bottom.
I won’t be one bit surprised if we see the new lure I wrote about in my last column getting the same kind of attention in future competitive events.
I think it might happen because Pete Rosko, the man who developed the BaitFish, has managed to build some special fish-attracting appeal into his new lure. He says it’s designed so it will work, depending on how you use it, partly like a blade bait and partly like a metal jig. Others anglers who’ve used it effectively say it could also be called a jigging spoon or a flutter spoon.
Whatever you decide to call it, it’s undoubtedly the vibration and flutter Rosko has managed build into this metal lure that is making it so effective for a variety of sports fish.
In my last column I told you about the experience the man who produces the popular Angler West TV fishing shows has done with the Sonic BaitFish himself. He’s also watched it produce for the anglers he’s been shooting pictures of as he produces his television fishing shows at different waters around the nation.
I recently had a chance to visit with a veteran angler who has been fishing and guiding visiting anglers on beautiful Flaming Gorge Reservoir almost from the day that popular angling area came into being. If you’ve spent much time in that area you’ve probably heard of him. His name is Mike Hall. He’s a friend of Pete Rosko and was deeply involved in the testing of the BaitFish before it came to the tackle shelves.
Hall started his trial runs of the Sonic BaitFish when Rosko sent him prototypes of the bait about four years ago. I have to smile when I remember how Mike responded when I asked him if he had any luck with the new lure. “I hope to shout!” he said. “You get it down where they are and they’ll hit it.”
Mike Hall did his testing of the new product throughout the year. If you’re into ice fishing you’re going to be interested in what Mike has to say about how those wintertime fish respond to the BaitFish. “While I was fishing through the ice at Flaming Gorge last winter,” he says, “I kept track of the number of crappies I caught on the smallest of the Sonic BaitFish. I wound up with 450 fish and some of them were in the 2 to 3-pound bracket.”
Hall is no stranger to sizeable fish at Utah’s Flaming Gorge. His largest lake trout, also caught while he was testing the BaitFish weighed 40-pounds. “I don’t think there’s anything else out there quite like the Sonic Baitfish,” Hall says. “For jigging it has vibration on the upswing and then it rolls and flutters on the drop.”
As I’ve mentioned, Pete Rosko, the man who created the Sonic BaitFish, lives in Florida in the cold weather months and in Port Angeles, Washington State when it’s warm. This is important to someone working with a new lure because it provides opportunity to experiment with it in widely separated areas of the country where different species of sports fish are readily available.
If you read my previous column you know I promised to detail one of the techniques he uses with his new lure to catch largemouth while he’s in Florida. He’s fished it in a variety of methods but there’s one way in particular he likes to employ late in the day.
“Late in the day,” Pete says, “I like to fish parallel to the shoreline. I do it by attaching a 2-inch popping cork to my line and then tying on a 1/10th-ounce Sonic Baitfish 14-inches behind the float. I use a “Walk the Dog” style retrieve. The popping cork creates interest but the bass wind up grabbing the BaitFish.”
Rosko says you can if you choose remove the hooks from a floating surface lure and use it for a float instead of a popping cork. The best bet is probably to try both approaches and stick with the one that works best.
Regular readers of this column will likely recall my having written in the past about using a similar approach myself when the bass are feeding on minnows just as the sun goes down. What I’ve done, and sometimes it has worked really well, is to attach a teensy little metal minnow shaped lure called a Pippin Wobbler to 10-inches of leader behind a Jitterbug plug.
The bass I catch using this procedure might have been attracted by the Jitterbug but invariably they wind up grabbing the little Pippin fluttering along behind the floating lure
The problem with my approach is that Pflueger quit making the fly rod sized Pippin Wobbler I use for this tactic years ago. I’ve only got a couple left. You can find Pippins here and there on the Internet but you’ll part with some bucks to get ‘em.
That’s why I’m especially happy to learn that Pete has been using the smallest of his Sonic BaitFish to accomplish the same thing. Just as Pete has obviously proven to his own satisfaction, my success with a similar approach was always by far the best in the very late evening when the bass were feeding up in the shallows.
I’ve just shared a part of what newcomers might want regarding this new lure. There are probably another ten thousand words needed to detail everything. I have hit the high spots. You can get more details on colors and sizes as well as other things of interest by taking a look at the website of the folks who brought them to market. You’ll find that by going to www.mackslure.com on the Internet.