Some Lures Are Memory Makers
By Stan Fagerstrom
Iíll never forget the wonderful two weeks I spent fishing in Argentina. Youíll recall I talked about that in my previous column.
That big and beautiful country was a whole lot different from what Iíd anticipated. Part of my time was spent in Patagonia. I came away from there convinced the trout in some of its beautiful mountain lakes hadnít seen much of certain lures Iíd brought along.
One that turned out to be especially effective was the lure I talked about in last monthís column. That lure was a Number 7 original floating Rapala. This plug is only 2 ĺ-inches long and weighs
1/8th-ounce. The original Rapala is still made in seven sizes. At one time or another I've caught fish on all of them.
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Rapala lures come in a variety of colors. The wise angler will have a variety of them.
I recall visiting one time with a professional bass fishing friend from Arkansas. He had, among other things, won the prestigious Bass Masters Classic. If you're familiar with the original Rapalas, you know they floated at rest and dived a little way beneath the surface on the retrieve.
The Arkansas expert Iím talking about had excellent success weighting his floating Rapalas. He did it by wrapping lead wire around the treble hooks of the lure.
What he was after when he used this procedure was neutral buoyancy. He used just enough lead so the lure dove deeper on the retrieve and then stayed at one level when he stopped cranking. That way, depending on the depth at which bass were holding, the Arkansas pro could keep his bait down where the fish were. He told me his lures so weighted worked particularly well with an underwater twitch-and-pause routine.
The Rapala folks must have talked to same guy. I say that because now you can get Rapalas called the ďCountDown. Itís no longer necessary to wrap your hooks with wire. These lures will dive to where you want them and stay there.
As I mentioned in my previous column, the Rapala lures Iím mainly talking about are the old timers that have been around for awhile. Among these lures, the Rapalas you most often see bass fishermen throwing are the Numbers 11 and 13. The Number 11 is 4 3/8th-inches long and weighs 3/16th-of an ounce. The Number 13 is 5ľ-inches inches and weighs ľ-ounce.
The proven Rapala fish catchers shown here also come in a variety of sizes. Just three of those sizes are pictured here.
I mentioned the Number 7 was the lure I used trolling for trout in Argentina. I've nailed bass now and then throwing a Rapala Number 13 Husky. This one is also 5 ľ- inches, and weighs 1/4th- ounce.
While it's far easier to handle most Rapalas on a spinning outfit, you can throw the Husky with a level wind reel. If you decide to these originals for bass, give the following procedure a try.
Cast the lure up next to the outside edge of the cover. Let it stay exactly where it lands. Leave it completely alone. Don't even make it quiver until all the ripples from the splash have disappeared. If you can stand to do so, even leave it alone a little longer.
Once you do move it, take it slow and easy. For starters just make the bait shudder enough to send out small ripples. Then rest it again. Increase the amount of movement gradually and wait long moments between twitches.
Sooner or later you'll catch fish with this procedure. Use it when the water is flat and calm. Early morning and late evening are the best times, but don't hesitate to try it smack in the middle of the day.
I mentioned in my previous column how I eventually regretted having given the Argentine guide the Rapala I did so well with on Patagoniaís mountain lakes. Youíll remember he used the trout Iíd caught for a lakeside lunch.
The guide prepared a great lunch. For starters he opened a bottle of fine Argentine wine to along with our freshly caught trout. Then, as we prepared to leave, that knothead set the empty wine bottle up on a rock and busted it into a jillion pieces. Why anyone wanted to leave a pile of broken glass scattered along that beautiful lakeís almost untouched shoreline was more than I could understand.
As I also mentioned, had I known what he was going to do Iíd have preferred to kick his butt instead of giving him that fish-catching little Rapala that had provided our lunch.
Lures come and go. Few are around a decade or two after their introduction. The Rapalas have been and will be. These deadly lightweight lures are still among the best baits you can place in a tackle box tray.
And that applies to the fishing youíll find in this country as well as foreign lands. If you don't have a variety of them in your tackle box, you'll be wise to do something about it.