Outdoors Xtras: A crayfish lure, a bluegill recipe and a reeling tip
TIP OF THE WEEK Fishermen who pack their tackle boxes with all manner of lures in all sorts of colors know that variety is important. That applies to action, too. Sometimes, a steady retrieve — be it fast or slow — will get fish to bite. Often, though, it's a sudden change in direction or speed that make fish strike. Predators need not even be hungry; they bite out of instinct. So when reeling a bait back in, even a live bait, stop and start it or twitch it or let it sink and then give it a sudden rip. And get ready to set the hook.
lure of the week
Sugg. retail price: $4.99 for a 8-pack.
Company: X Zone Lures. (xzonelures.com/site/home)
Lure type: Soft plastic
Sizes and colors: Available in a 4-inch model in 11 colors, including Okeechobee craw, purple shadow, Junebug, black red flake, black blue flake and watermelon red flake.
Target species: Largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Technique: The soft body and floating claws on this bait are part of its appeal. The specialized plastic lets it float for a period of time. That mimics the defensive stance of a real crayfish. When it moves, meanwhile, it swims, hops and undulates in the water, with its sharp ridge edges vibrating in a way that fish can sense. These baits can be flipped or pitched or even used with a tungsten weight and size 3/0 or 4/0 hook to punch down through vegetation.
Notable: These baits are infused with super-fine salt and scent. According to the manufacturer, that means that when bass bite it, they hold on longer, allowing more time for hook sets.