Your Favourite Lures

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lure (loor)

verb
  1. tempt (a person or animal) to do something or to go somewhere, especially by offering some form of reward.
noun
  1. something that tempts or is used to tempt a person or animal to do something.
Fishing lures have been around for at least 2,000 years, first having been made out of bone and then thin bronze. The first modern fishing lure is said to have been commercially made in the United States in the early 1900's.

"According to the Antique Angler, a quarterly newsletter devoted to old fishing tackle and the history of the sport, the first commercial artificial lure was a spoon developed by a Vermonter, Julio T. Buel. He dropped a spoon of the household variety overboard, and as it oscillated down through the water a fish seized it. This launched him on a successful career in manufacturing fishing spoons.

It is difficult for today's young angler to realize that there was a time when tackle shops festooned with an angler, not finding what he wanted, often manufactured his own. I recall, on the New England seacoast in the 1930's, when extremely effective trolling spoons for bluefish, mackerel and pollock were fashioned from the headlights of automobiles. They had just the right curve and flash.

The most recent issue of the Antique Angler - the address is Post Office Box K, Stockton, N.J. 08559- also observes that the earliest commercial wooden lure, or plug, was probably made by the Comstock Company of Fulton, N.Y., in 1833. The spatre of wooden lures didn't begin until late in the century, however, when James J.Heddon of Dowagiac, Mich. formed his own lure company. Legend has it that Mr. Heddon, like Mr. Buel, also discovered the efficacy of his lure in a serendipitous manner: He is said to have been whittling a stick on the edge of a mill pond while waiting for a friend. When he tossed the stick in the water, a bass promptly engulfed it. This, the story goes, gave Mr. Heddon the idea for his first wooden plug." Nelson Bryant, NY Times 1981

I have fished myself only occasionally since a child, and haven't really acquired the zeal for it. Not yet. But there have been moments.
I remember standing on the banks of the Grand River in S. Ontario with my fishing mad uncle Arch, feeling bored and neglected as 10 year olds do, and holding a rod and reel "waiting for the big one" I was convinced would never come. But it did. All of a sudden the fishing pole lurched towards the river with me holding on for dear life. The line screamed while my uncle barked with crazy joy "Don't let go!!" He helped me reel in the biggest blackest slimiest ugliest river monster I'd ever laid eyes on. He called it a Channel Cat. He warned me not to touch it, which of course I suddenly felt the urge to do, and learned why not to. He soon released it into the river perhaps to haunt other 10 year old boys that summer.
Over the years other fishing mad uncles treated me to early morning expeditions through the predawn mist to their secret spots on Lake Temagami. And by noonhour they'd be returning me to the dock empty handed and empty headed. No luck. No fun. No more of that nonsense.
A decade ago I and some friends went on a fishing charter from Cape Hatteras out in search of big fish. We all held on to whatever we could as our 30'er crashed it's way through wave action out of the sound. Soon the gentle ocean swells rocked us as we motored out to deeper water. I fought off seasickness laying on the cabin floor focusing on a point on the ceiling thinking "I'll never go fishing again." Eventually we arrived and the 1st mate rigged us up. It turned out to be a beautiful day with the ocean an impossible smooth blue green glass. I caught a yellowfin tuna! Most of us were rewarded that day with tuna and mahi mahi, all of which we ate later in the OBX trip. And although the trip had been memorable I decided it would be my last attempt at fishing.
But a few years ago my wife and I accompanied some friends on a canoe trip that included fishing, or was it the other way around, maybe it was a fishing trip with some canoeing? Below charming rapids, in many sweeping bays, and along promising stretches of languid waters the canoes would float quietly while lures were cast and hopes were gambled. After instruction and encouragement from my fellow trippers I finally caught one! And I felt the lure.

I got to thinking about lures this past summer as I was cleaning out my van. I came across a small collection I'd kept in a pocket just in case. The Mepps have seen no water but the Williams has. Oddly enough I found that many years ago up in a tree in an Algonquin campsite 20 feet above the lake. Strange place for a fishing lure.

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Another strange lure story for you. I was recently sitting on a bench beside a favourite cycling trail overlooking a marsh with rolling farmlands beyond, enjoying some rich (spiked) hot chocolate soaking up the sun and splendid view, when from the wetland below up flew a hummingbird. It raced right up to my bench and hovered within a couple feet of me flitting from side to side sizing up what I had sitting beside me. The little Rufous stayed for less than a minute before darting back down to the cattails and marsh marigolds. I'm not sure but I think I know what lured it to me. My Parisian Thermos I bought on a trip to the City of Light a few years ago. (They didn't have plaid.)

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My Williams Wabler was my favourite lure, until the Thermos incident.

Show us your favourite lures!!
 
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For fly fishing my favorites are Klinkhammer and Adams dry flies, partridge & red or partridge & orange soft hackle flies. For spin fishing silver & copper Sutton #5 spoon, 1/4 oz. copper Eppinger Dardevle spoon, Solid gold #6 Panther Martin spinner. These lures are what I use for Arctic Grayling, char & trout.
Ice fishing I use a plain jig with salmon eggs or shrimp.
Anyone have a favorite method of hooking whitefish through the ice?
 
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I fly fish probably 99% of the time these days in both fresh and saltwater and have been tying my own flies since the early 70's. My favorite fly for freshwater would be whats known generically as a deer hair slider, which is a variation of a Dahlberg Diver. Its basically spun deer hair trimmed into the shape of a cone and flattened on the belly. Largemouth bass destroy these things. I'll also use a variety of panfish poppers in sweetwater, but nothing trumps deer hair bugs for bass. The sliders also work very well in saltwater too. Estuary game fish like snook, spotted seatrount, redfish and tarpon will attack the deer hair creations.

In terms of lures my favorite would have to be the Rapala swimming minnow. I have caught more fish on those than any other lure, primarily in freshwater, but also with the larger salt water versions.
 

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When I'm fishing with my spinning rod my go-to lure is a #2 Mepps; usually with a gold blade. When fly fishing I'll toss some old deer hair bug I made years ago with my Dad. Both continue to serve me well and have given me many enjoyable days on the water mixing two of my favorite hobbies.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

snapper
 
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I used to fish voraciously and would always have half a dozen tackle boxes and 8-12 rod/reel combinations. As my enthusiasm for the sport(?) waned so did my selection of gear. When I was still fishing I was down to a handful of different lures that fit what and how I liked to fish. Now I just have a small pill bottle with Cap's Rock-a-roos of a few different weights and patterns. They're just a simple hair jig that's been made locally for a long time. I've taken that setup on a couple Canadian canoe trips and they haven't disappointed.

My other favorite setup for taking kids fishing (which I still do occasionally) is a small hook, a couple small split shot, and a bobber. You can catch anything with that and a worm or leach.

Alan
 
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As a fly fisherman, that's a hard question to answer, sort of like asking which is your favorite child. My favorite "lure" or fly would change depending on the time of year, type of water, etc. Most of the time my favorite fly is the one I've had the most recent success with. But over all I would call myself a old school wet fly fisherman. For non fly fishers a wet fly is fished under the surface of the water while a dry fly is fished floating on top of the water. Some wet flies still used today have been around since the 1600's , which speaks to how effective they are. While dry flies are very popular today, they really didn't popular until the mid 1940"s.

These old flies are my favorite for a lot of reasons. First, they catch fish. Second, I enjoy learning and reading the history and tradition of these flies.
Also, tying these old flies has provide me with hours of enjoyment.
 

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I don't know... Everything I try don't catch fish.... Fly fishing or else... I suck at fishing, sure I can catch lots of graylings, but graylings will bite on a lure less hook less line lol!!
I fly fish most of the time and I caught lots of graylings, and a few pikes....
When I use to go salmon fishing in Haines Alaska, everybody uses Pixies, and I have a friend that uses pixies for everything... and he does catch many fish trout and all!!
 
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I like to use rapalals most of the time, mostly trolling. My favorite is 7 inch floating original. I also use jigs with a black rubber tail for walleye.
 
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Deer hair bugs for bass and egg sucking leaches for trout for fly fishing. For spin fishing I also liked the floating rapala for bass and a #3 silver fox spinner for trout.

Most of my fishing is catch and release and I prefer lures with a single hook, which I crimp the barb, to lures that have multiple treble hooks for ease of unhooking the catch.
 
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Beatle Spin and a minnow if you have.

This is my favorite in the BWCA.

Jim

Memories of our old moose hunting camp, fly-in only. I was 14 the first time I went - a "fishing" trip that was more of a "prepare for moose season" trip. Beetle-spins were all we brought - yellow, green, or white. Deadly on walleye.

While tripping I don't bring much. I bought some countersinking drill bits from Lee Valley that came in a little 6x6" plastic case which fits perfectly in my PFD's front pocket (no, I don't bring the bits). I keep some basic tackle for brook trout, but I really like a blue/silver Moose Look or pink/silver, hammer-finish Williams Wabler for general purpose/trolling. For brookies I return to my youth and use a Hildebrandt Idaho-style, bright orange, double bladed spinner with appropriate split-shot for the conditions. I used to carry that stuff in a small, pipe tobacco tin.

I've filleted more than one large fish that had a giant water bug (toe pincher) in its belly (I really dislike those things). Since then I've searched unsuccessfully for a lure of some resemblance.
 
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Memories of our old moose hunting camp, fly-in only. I was 14 the first time I went - a "fishing" trip that was more of a "prepare for moose season" trip. Beetle-spins were all we brought - yellow, green, or white. Deadly on walleye.

While tripping I don't bring much. I bought some countersinking drill bits drill bits from Lee Valley that came in a little 6x6" plastic case which fits perfectly in my PFD's front pocket (no, I don't bring the bits). I keep some basic tackle for brook trout, but I really like a blue/silver Moose Look or pink/silver, hammer-finish Williams Wabler for general purpose/trolling. For brookies I return to my youth and use a Hildebrandt Idaho-style, bright orange, double bladed spinner with appropriate split-shot for the conditions. I used to carry that stuff in a small, pipe tobacco tin.

I've filleted more than one large fish that had a giant water bug (toe pincher) in its belly (I really dislike those things). Since then I've searched unsuccessfully for a lure of some resemblance.

The beauty of the Beetle spins, they were cheap. We caught everything in the BWCA, except Lake Trout.

But Most important, the kids didn't get snagged all the time, and with a single hook, they were safer to handle ! I enjoyed paddling, and not playing Dr Ben Casey !

Jim
 
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The better the fishing is, the less the patterns matter. I have fished the Grand Canyon above the confluence with the L Colorado R and it is fish every other cast with a Rapala.
On pack trips with mules, we have been able to access remote country, and catch 4 kinds of trout in one day with simple spoons like Daredevil. Mepps, or Krockodile.
I spent a night once catching golden trout on a fly. The most beautiful fish anywhere. I had some old flies a friend gave me that were beat up and ugly looking but they caught the Hell out of the goldens.
IN BWCA it is totally different with big noisy lures like Hula Poppers. I enjoyed eating Walleyes, but liked catching the big northern pike. Small mouth bass were fun too.
The Sacramento R is has a large run of king salmon. Fishing from a canoe in the current we have hooked plenty of salmon with really large spoons of many types. Getting them in the boat is a challenge.
 
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I primarily fish lake trout anymore as tourists have so overwhelmed most of our accessible fishing holes. My go-to lure for LT is the Williams Whitefish spoon.
 
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The first “house” I bought (using that term loosely- it was returning to the earth) was on a lake stocked with Kokanee. Odd for New England. All the old timers would sit out with lanterns at night and jig with corn. Tried it once... that was enough.
 
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I am a dedicated Jig fisherman, I primarily target walleye but will seek out smaillies or northern on occasion. I do troll a bit and will use rapalas, but my mainstay is jigging. Fishing the Mississippi for smallies and eyes as well as the Wisconsin River, I vertical jig, flip jigs, swim and troll Jigs.

I utilize hair jigs as well as jigs with plastics, paddle tails and my favorite would be a 4 inch ring worm.

Yesterday flipping on the Wisconsin River, jigs yielded some smallies - fun stuff.

Smallie One.jpgSmallie 2.jpg
 
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For extended trips in walleye, laker and pike territory, the red and white #2 Len Thompson catches everything. I really like them because pike generally don’t inhale them like a spinner or plastic, so they don’t get stolen. They are super easy for my kids to use, just chuck em out there and crank em in, which means I can do more fishing and less rescuing of their snags. I’ve come back from several 4/5 week trips having only used 1 lure and catching a mind boggling amount of fish. 20 lbs Power Pro is a must!
If there’s grayling or brookies on the menu, the #4 or #6 gold and black Panther Martin.

If it’s a local or short easy trip in more heavily fished waters, a worm harness and bottom bouncers with a chunk of Berkeley power worms fills the fry pan.
 
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