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Spinning a Yarn, True! True!

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On: Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 12:54PM | By: Captain Ron Kowalyk

It doesn’t take genius to realize that the brown water influx into the bays and saturated feeder creeks need some extra oomph to get the ball rolling. Livebaiters have the luxury of the bait critters natural struggling motion in attempts to escape the hook or flee from predators and seek shelter in more hospitable venues. Boy, that was a long-winded way of saying live baits wiggle around. That said, livies have other attributes such as they exude chemical traces and oils that create an attractive scent trail. Live baits vibrate and some even generate flashes as they reflect surface light. That’s great, so why use anything else?

Well, we’ve described the upside, so let’s look into the downside of livebaiting. First you’ve got acquire ‘em, this means spending money to buyor time to capture critters. There are, of course, whole battalions of purist and super sporty anglers that wouldn’t touch a livebait: “it’s cheating”, “too easy”, “doesn’t take skill or commitment”. They’ve got their points, I guess.

Artificials are as varied as stars in the evening sky. Even those choice have their devotees: “any fish that won’t take a surface plug is a trash fish”, “jigs tipped with bait are cheating”, “trolling isn’t fishing” and on and on.

I concur with some of this stuff and can’t make rhyme or reason ouyta some of it. I like to use artificials that are versatile; jigs are an old timey favorite and as old as angling itself. Jigs tipped with softplastics are a good to presentation in about ever fishing venue. Fished high, low or on the bottom, they cover the ground or, in our case, the water; everything that swims will strike a jig, bucktailed or dressed with a scent softie.

There are now umpteen variations of the basic lead-headed jig in a zillion different weights, shapes, and color, even holographic finishes. Long, long ago some radical, fish-minded thinker decided that adding some flashy elements to a jighead would be, well, really exciting. He must have been a radical genius.

Bass and pike anglers from up north have used spinner blades on the traditional straight shaft spinnerbaits for as long as I can remember. The first ones I used belonged to my dad and he got ‘em from some old French Canadian, whose grandfather made for Teddy Roosevelt, and on and on!

The advent of the safety pin-style offset bass spinnerbait found its way to the salt via fisher dudes in Louisiana, Texas or probably Florida as well. It didn’t take these county smarts good old boys long to figure out that anything a bucket-mouth green trout will eat a redfish or snook will find attractive as well. Spinnerbait foolishness has prevailed upon some of us blackwater anglers to stick everything from tube worms to Gulps and fish bait belly strips to all manner of softplastics. This pattern is a go-to option when fishing stained backbay water, brackish feeder creeks, and roiled up flats.

The number, size, and color of the spinner blades are up to the anglers’ personal preference. Backbay spinner fishers prefer gold, generally. I like gold but silver blades will do just fine.

This diatribe was inspired by a trip to the new giant Walmart Super Store just around the corner from my house—safety pin-style spinnerbait just a buck. I bought four in back-water colors that I think reds and snook like, who really knows? One has a black rubber skirt, one in reds and yellow, and a couple of white-skirted models. They had a nice selection of Gulps on sale so I matched the hatch with new pint shrimp, white swim shad tails, and some goofy brown paddletails.

Flashy, stinky, noisy, covered all the bases, well I hope so!

Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312


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