FALL STEELHEAD: September, 2020.
We did well despite a low run of Steelhead this fall. As always the #01 Snake River Special and the #36 Rainbow blade did the job enabling us to land many fish 16-18#.
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.
We will be prototyping new versions of my ever-popular plunking lures this spring. We have teamed up with Money Maker Fishing to add their Shaker Wings to our lures! This should make them even more effective. We will be testing them in the traditional silver and fluorescent versions, with Big River single hooks.