LURE TESTING & USER FEEDBACK
FALL 2022 STEELHEAD FISHING:
I fished the Snake River for Steelhead in late September. The results were spectacular, to say the least.
I was using the Snake River Special with a tiny dab of Trout/Steelhead Lunker Lotion on the back side of the blade.
This has been my go to lure for Steelhead ever since I designed it in 2017. At the end of the day, I caught and released seven wild fish, lost two and got a 15# keeper! I love this lure!
NEW STEELHEAD TROLLING LURE:
I developed a smaller version of our new Top Prop lure as Winter Steelhead prefer smaller lures when the water gets clear. In this version, I tied it on a .040 stainless wire and used a 1/0 Gamakatsu Big River hook. Add a small bit of shrimp or a nightcrawler to the hook and you have a very effective winter time steelhead lure! I had two groups testing this lure on the Snake and Clearwater Rivers since early October. Like it’s big brother, the Steelhead Special has out-fished all the other lures on each boat.
Brian S. says, “This is how I rig up a sand shrimp on the Top Prop Plunking Lure. I remove the corkies, the lure and beads. I then slide a red bobber stop about 3” above the hooks. Then I thread the sand shrimp on a needle and then on to the line. I then put the lure back together minus the corkies. I try to keep about 4 sand shrimp setups rigged up so I can swap it out when the bait needs changing.
NEW SALMON AND STEELHEAD TROLLING AND PLUNKING LURE:
Well, the results are in. The Top Prop lure is a winner! Opening day of plunking for Spring Chinook on the Snake River, we caught 6 fish in under an hour on 6 of the 7 poles rigged with it! For more information on this lure, click on the plunking lure link below.
Brian S. says, “I picked up a couple of the Top Prop lures by Orion Tackle for springers in SE Washington. We had good luck during the spring season and I decided to troll with them at Hanford Reach this fall. I removed the corkies (as suggested by Orion Tackle), and what a game changer! Our boat ran 4 poles and the hot pole had a Top Prop on it. Boy did that get the guys talking about my setup and where they could get one. We've fished 5 weekends in a row and the Top Prop is by far the best setup for us. Nothing can resist it. We're fishing for kings, but we've released steelhead and sturgeon. Orion has done their research and made something so versatile the fish can't resist it.’’
Here are a few pictures Brian sent.
Even though the chrome plating on the body of the lure has been destroyed by fish strikes and hitting the bottom, it continues to attract fish, because the plating on the tiny wings is undamaged.
I am adding a new line of lures to our product line. These unique lures are designed to catch kokanee, walleye, trout and panfish. We will be doing extensive field testing this winter and next summer. For more information, please click on the KOKE/EYE Lures link below.
FALL STEELHEAD: September, 2020.
We did well, despite low numbers of Steelhead this fall. As always the Snake River Special and the Rainbow blade did the job enabling us to land several 16-18# fish.
SPRING CHINOOK: April 2020.
Well, we kicked butt on spring Chinook this year. My friends and I limited out every day using the tried and true Lil’ Corky®/Shaker Wing combo plunking lures.
We modified the Lil’ Corky®/Shaker Wing combo we successfully prototyped last spring, to get better hookups on jack Chinook. We were getting a lot of bites but the fish just wouldn’t stay on the hook. Hmm. Jacks have a much smaller mouth than adult fish. Perhaps the bottom 3/4” Lil’ Corky® is preventing the jacks from closing their mouths and getting a better hookup. Solution? Remove the bottom 3/4” Lil’ Corky® and replace it with two smaller ones- a 1/2” and a 3/8”. Wow! That did the trick. We immediately began to land jacks. Sometimes, a small change makes all the difference.
I began field testing a new Steelhead lure this fall. This new spinner lure has a custom-painted rainbow pattern. It is available in two versions, one with a Gamakatsu Big River single hook, and one with a round bend treble. Since I prefer single hooks, that’s what I used on my two trips to the Snake River. To say I was successful would be an understatement. The first trip was for two days. Day one, I caught a 14# Chinook on a #1 Special, followed by a 14# Steelhead on the new rainbow lure. Day two, I caught a 14# Steelhead on the rainbow lure and returned home. The second trip was for four days. Day one, 18# 6oz Steelhead. Day two, 14# 6oz Steelhead. Day three, 14# 2oz Steelhead. Day four, 14# Steelhead. All fish were caught on the rainbow lure. I should mention that once you catch a Steelhead, you are done for the day. If the limit had been like previous years (3-5 fish/day), I would have surely limited out on most of the days as I was usually done fishing before 9 AM. Since I was there for more than two days, I vacuum sealed and froze my catch at the end of each day so as not to exceed the possession limit.
SPRING CHINOOK: 6/15/18
Well, the Spring Chinook season has ended on the Snake River. Despite harsh fishing conditions, we did much better than most fishermen, landing over 30 fish. Some of our success can be attributed to luck (as always), but I believe the use of the new plunking lure with the Shaker Wing made the difference in attracting many of the fish we caught. Like most fishermen will do, several made changes to the basic lure so it is difficult to report exactly how many fish were caught on the original version. Some fishermen added small, pink hoochie skirts to conceal the bait. Some changed the Lil’ Corky® colors. We all used different types of bait. However, the bottom line is, the addition of the Shaker Wing attracted more fish to our lines than using plain Lil’ Corkys®. I did not change any of the elements on the lures I used, and had results equal or better than the rest of the fishermen doing the prototyping. Therefore, all of our Lil’ Corky® lures will now include Shaker Wings.
SPRING CHINOOK: 5/30/18
The results so far have exceeded my expectations! My friends and I have caught 16 Chinook to date on this lure, despite extremely high, dirty water on the Snake River. We have used shrimp, sardines, tuna belly and herring for bait with equal results.