We spent plenty of time out deep on our recent trip to El Salto, looking for fish that had yet to spawn and were still fat with eggs and recent meals of tilapia and shad. Big crankbaits like the 10XD produced, but not as consistently as they do in May and June, when the schools are more tightly packed offshore. Carolina Rigs, football jigs and even just a plain Jane Texas rig all resulted in boated fish, as they have many times before, but on this trip we had a new player – a 1.5 ounce spinnerbait.
We caught plenty of fish in mid-depth ranges with 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ounce models from other manufacturers, but I really unlocked the bite with a couple of monsters made by Blade Runner that I bought a few months back. I didn’t have the cojones to throw them until our guide Antonio suggested that I slow-roll a big blade on an offshore ledge that dropped from 15 feet into 50. A few casts later I missed my first strike. It took me a while to dial it in – just like fishing a swimbait, most of the time you’d feel peck-peck-peck, and only when the rod loaded up could you finally swing. On spots that had been hammered with more traditional presentations, it often produced some larger-than-average bites.
The biggest one that I landed was a 7-03 stud that crushed it on a yo-yo retrieve, but I lost one over 8 (how much over, I can’t say for sure), when it rocketed to the surface, jumped, and spit the lure back to me. That’s an occupational hazard with these heavy lures. The underwater cover is too thick for a trailer hook, and while the lure comes with what appears to be a shark gaff, when they come up shaking, they can use the lure’s weight as leverage to free themselves. I’ll have to be especially careful not to let them jump when I fish Blade Runner’s massive 2.5 ounce “guppies” on my next trip. I feel like I’ve just unlocked a new toy, and I’m slowly spinning into a very special place.