New Idaho Lure Gets Attention Of Bass Anglers
By Stan Fagerstrom
Bass fishing in the Pacific Northwest is one heck of a lot different today than it was when I caught my first one in that part of the world.
So what’s so different about it? The big change is in the number of fishermen who now fish for bass there. Believe me, that’s not how it was when I threw my first lures into Southwest Washington waters way back in the 1930s.
As I’ve mentioned before, back then it was often difficult to even find someone to brag to when you caught a good one. Many of the fishermen I encountered then felt like a largemouth was second cousin to a carp. They couldn’t figure out why I’d mess with bass when there were all those salmon, steelhead and trout to go after.
How times have changed! I was reminded of that earlier this year when I participated in an outdoor show at Sandpoint, Idaho. One of the booths at that show featured some new soft plastic bass lures you’re going to hear more about. These lures weren’t developed down South in well known bass country, they were designed and are now being produced right there in the Sandpoint area.
I learned a good bit about these new lures in just the brief time I was in Sandpoint. One of the stories I heard about it was particularly interesting. Following is what one angler who has used this new lure had to say about it.
The spot looked like it just had to be a good place for a bass. The opening in the water near a beaver dam was surrounded by cover of one kind or another.
The angler fishing from along the shore figured if he could get his lure into the opening just right he might hook a bass. He took a couple of moments to make sure the hook in his new soft jerkbait was positioned as it should be, then cast the lure into the middle of the hole.
This angler knew the hits he got on the lure he was using came most often as the lure dropped. He was tensed and ready as the lure disappeared from sight. A heartbeat or two later his line twitched and then moved to the right. The angler snapped his rod back---fish on!
Click to zoom
Here's the big bass that came back to grab a duplicate of the lure it had made off with minutes before. The original lure was still pinned to its big mug when it was finally caught.
The guy I'm writing about knew the water in the private lake he was fishing very well. He fished it often and was familiar with the average size of the fish he hooked there. He also knew the one he had had hold of right now was no average fish. This one yanked line off his spinning reel and then surged toward the heavy brush and other cover right next to the beaver dam. He clamped down on his reel and lifted his rod to try to turn the fish. There was a sickening snap as his line busted and the fish was gone.
The story might have ended right there for Dave Lotze, who lives near Sandpoint, Idaho, but it didn't. Like the rest of us, Dave hated to lose what was undoubtedly the best bass he'd ever hooked. He felt just as bad about leaving the fish out there with a lure in its mug.
He didn't have to feel bad long. Dave, a pastor in the Sandpoint area, quickly tied on a duplicate of the lure the fish had just taken away from him. He started to move on down the shore to fish another spot, but then stopped. Why not, he thought, throw back into the same hole just to see if there might be another fish around.
Once again he tossed his soft jerkbait into the same spot where the big one had picked up one like it a few minutes before. Almost before the lure disappeared his line twitched again and---wham! His rod tip jerked down and again there was that tremendous down and away surge a big bass makes when it realizes it's hooked.
Things worked out a whole lot better this time around. Lotze managed to keep the fish away from the heavy cover. Eventually it tired and he was able to lead it up next to shore. He knelt down and got a firm grip on its big mouth and pulled the fish up out of the water.
Remember, now, Dave Lotze is from Northern Idaho. The Sandpoint area isn't all that far from the Canadian border. Sure they have bass in that part of the world, but 8-pounders don't show up all that often. As a matter of fact, despite what you hear now and then, an 8-pounder is a sizeable largemouth anywhere in the country. And it was 8-pounds that Dave's fish weighed when he finally he got it on the scales.
But it wasn't just the size of the fish that widened Dave's eyes and increased his heartbeat when he finally got hold of it. What did darn near take his breath away was when he spotted the lure he had lost to a bass minutes before securely pinned to the mug of the fish he'd just lifted out of the water! It had to be the same bass he'd lost earlier. Evidently the fish just couldn't resist taking another whack at a lure identical to the one it had made the mistake of originally grabbing.
Rick Lawrence is the Idaho angler who designed the new soft plastic jerkbaits that are grabbing the attention of bass anglers all over the place.
This is just one of the stories I’ve heard about the effectiveness of these new soft jerkbaits now being sold in Idaho. I’ll be providing additional details in my next two columns. If you don’t choose to wait, get on the Internet and go to fnflures.com
to find out more about them.
If you’re a bassin’ man I’ve a hunch what you’ll find there will be of considerable interest.
-To Be Continued-