Search Gulf Coast Fisherman's
Spinnerbaits Combine the Action of a Spoon with the
Once on the water, I didn't know what to expect for aerodynamic performance. As I prepared to give it a throw - I halfway expected it to fly about 20 feet and then flutter to the water. When it launched, though, I quickly saw that casting wasn't going to be a problem. It sailed away and landed at a distance perhaps slightly farther than a soft plastic with a lead head would have gone, but not as far as a bare spoon. Definitley castable, though.
The next test was its performance in the water. When I started cranking the reel there was a noticeable resistance produced by the single spinning blade. I felt this would be a good thing as the light vibration should attract attention, not to mention the flash of the gold spinning blade. Stopping the retrieve, the vibration stopped immediately as the lure sank toward the bottom. Resuming the retrieve the resistance was quickly felt again. This would be a nice retrieve pattern to follow, even on the flats.
After about an hour of casting, while using the trolling motor on my Chiquita flats boat to work along some channels and flats, I was beginning to wonder if it was time to make a switch to a more familiar fish taker. I hadn't seen any reds though, but with the tide high and the water slightly off color they would've had to bump into the boat to have been noticed. But suddenly came several quick taps and with a lift of the rod tip firm resistance was felt. The water erupted in a spray and large circular puffs of silt were give aways a group of reds had been basking here in the morning sun. The hooked red made a couple of strong runs but soon came to the boat and was welcomed aboard.
The entire bait, spinner and all, was in the red's mouth and the hook was firmly lodged about an inch into the side of the mouth. Once removed, the plastic bait was no worse for the wear. Over the next 10 minutes, the bait was tapped a few times by flounder, hung up on oyster shell several times and even managed to fool one 18" flounder. As the flounder came to the boat, I was expecting it to spit the bait, as they so often do and just swim away. However, this one was hooked solidly in the corner of the mouth and the hook took a little effort to work out. By this time, I expected I'd have to replace the soft plastic bait but it showed no signs of damage and it still fit snuggly on the hook.
The final attack on this bait, that by now I was liking pretty well, was from another red. The conditions were similar to the first hookup. Water was shallow, there was a large burst of energy and signs there were more than one red in this pack soaking enjoying the sun. There was one minor difference, however. After about 10 minutes I was wondering if I'd ever get this fish to the boat. It was full of energy and I could tell it wasn't coming in without a little more pressure applied. With a little tighter drag and some cautious thumb work on the spool, I finally got it onboard (without a net). The hook was implanted just inside the mouth and easy to get to, but it was firmly set. I really didn't expect to see the plastic bait still attached. This had been a real workout. But it was still there and not just hanging on but ready to throw again.
I bid adieu to this red as it was over the Texas size limit of 28". I could have opted to use the tag attached to my fishing license for one oversized red , but I had plenty of fish already - and big reds are a handful to clean. Maybe next time.
It wasn't too many casts later, though, I noticed the bait had started slip down the hook after most casts; it was tired and so was I. A good time to head in!
That afternoon, I went back to Wal-Mart to see if there were replacement baits available. Luckily, they did have them in a variety of flavors. (Be sure to pick up a pack or two when you buy the spinner(s).) For colors it's hard to beat chartreuse or white. They also stocked pumpkin with chartreuse tail I'm looking forward to trying. It's also not necessary to use the original manufacturers baits and you could opt for most soft plastics similar in size to the original, and even curly tailed grubs would be interesting to try.
- Gary Ralston