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Oldies, but Goodies
By Glenn Walker

 

Veteran angler and accomplished tournament fisherman John Stears from Rochester, MN has a go to bait that many anglers might overlook.  When times get tough or if John is looking to catch a quality limit of fish, he turns to a Poe’s Super Cedar 300 and 400P crankbait.  These baits were once very popular on the tournament scene, but have taken a back seat to many of the new age crankbaits that are available.  These Poe’s baits used to be a top of the line bait that was designed by David Fritts and Rick Clunn.  A bait designed by Fritts, the “crankbait guru” and Clunn who has countless tournament wins to his name, must be a darn good bait.  John filled me in on exactly why these baits are his favorite oldie, but goodie lure.


Poe's Crankbaits

According to John the differences in the old bait and the new versions are so subtle that to the untrained eye they would look the same.  The old Poe’s crankbaits were made out of Cedar, which has a different buoyancy than balsa or plastic, which give the fish something completely different to look at.  The other attribute that John likes about these baits is that there is not a rattle in these baits and according to John that when everyone on a lake is “throwing rattle baits the fish can become conditioned and a rattle-less bait get more bits.”

The 300 series is a bait that John turns to when he is fishing weed-line lakes.  The 400P is a great bait to turn to when fishing “deep rocks in dark water lakes such as Chisago or North-South Center Lakes in Minnesota” said John. 

Fellow Future Bass Pro-Staff Darin Roddick-Small filled me in on a lure that he relies on in many situations and that this lure is one that has fallen by the wayside to many of the new age plastic baits that have flooded the tackle shop shelves. 

Years ago Darin started fishing a 6-inch electric blue with a red tail as a jig worm, years later he switched up to a Power pulse worm on a 1/8 oz. jig head.  Darin told me he doesn’t “why (he) stopped using it, it always catches fish, and some nice ones at that.” 

I asked Darin why this jig worm is one of his confidence baits and he told me “it gives me an opportunity to fish very slow, yet have a lot of control. Smaller baits can catch fish when others don't. Also, the smaller baits will help numbers go up if you need to just get a limit.”


Jig Head Worms

This once forgotten bait is now tied on one of Darin’s rods at all times and is used very frequently when he is fishing the Mississippi River when he is fishing away from weeds.  Examples of areas where this technique can be employed are rock bars with steep drops, wing dams, and docks. 

With the introduction of shaky heads on the market today, Darin has turned to the Bite Me shaky head for his jigs, but relies on numerous sizes, styles and colors of plastics for his worms. 

A lure that makes it way on to my line, time and time again that from what I have been told used to a standard in the bass fishing world, having only been in the fishing scene for a handful of years I didn’t know the ringworm used to be a staple lure for bass anglers.  This simple piece of plastic has become one of the tools I rely on too catch bass through out the summer months.  Some key situations that I use the ringworm in, is when I am pitching to an area after a bass has just missed my topwater lure, whether it be a frog or a Chug Bug.  For this presentation I use a 2/0 Eagle Claw offset hook to Texas rig the ringworm and for weight I use a 3/16 weight.  My favorite colors that I use are made by B-Fish-N Tackle and are purple white tail (RW-106), electric blue pearl tail (RW-107), black chartreuse tail (RW-121), and black white tail (RW-122).  Another situation when I throw the ringworm is around rocks and timber when other plastic baits being flipped have failed.  The ringworm offers the bass a small, compact package that is hard for them to resist.


Texas Rigged Ringworm

There are two ways that I work a Texas rigged ringworm, the first is a very slow approach and the other has a little speed to it.  When I am pitching the ringworm instead of a tube or jig, this usually means that the bite is tough and the bass on the bank I am fishing have already seen numerous jigs and other plastic baits presented in front of their face, this is when I utilize a slower retrieve.  I simply just cast it out to my target and just lift and drag the ringworm back to the boat.  The other retrieve is a little faster, which I use when the bass are actively feeding or a bass has just missed my topwater.  When a bass misses my topwater, I throw the ringworm just beyond where the fish missed my bait and let it sink and then give it a few quick pops; this is when the rod starts to bend!!!  An important piece of my equipment when fishing a BFT ringworm is my Seaguar fluorocarbon fishing line.  This line allows me the strength and sensitivity that is needed in situations like this. 

I urge you to go through your tackle boxes and find an oldie, but goodie lure of your own!!