NO! It's Not A New Lure!
By: Dennis Bryant "The Fishing-Professor"
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OK! So, you've heard about the (in) famous "Helicopter Lure", the simply fantastic "Banjo Minnow", and about a hundred thousand other lures, GUARANTEED to give you the "ULTIMATE" fishing experience. Just spend nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents of your hard-earned money, plus of course, $9.95 S&H and you'll receive an amazing ~ 10 of these unbelievable (fish-catching?) marvels of modern-day TV sales hype! Right? Yeah! SURE!

Did they work when YOU used them? Were you and your friends impressed with their fish-catching ability? Quite honestly, they sure didn't do anything for me, except to reduce the thickness of my wallet!

How would you like to spend much less than a dollar per lure (totally complete estimated setup cost), and actually catch some fish for a change? How would you like to fish with a lure that's new to you, and that just might actually work; even on those days that the fishing is extremely SLOW, and REALLY tough?

AHA! Now I think I have your attention!

If you're looking for something "new" (actually it's been around for a LONG, long time) effective, and actually quite inexpensive, to add to your fishing-lure arsenal; take a good, long look, at these little gems. It just might be worth your while! No, they haven't been seen on national TV infomercials. They haven't been endorsed by the big money, tournament-fishing gurus, that have Saturday morning shows of their own. And, probably only one or two stores within a hundred miles of where you live, has any at all to even show you what they look like.

Have you ever heard of a "floating jig"?

About 30 or so years ago, some "darned dummy" down on the "gulf-coast" of Texas, had a fantastic day on the water catching fish after fish. However, after several hours, he'd finally run out of live-bait! Desperation set in! So, he broke a piece of Styrofoam off of his empty bait container, and used a drop of "Super-Glue" to attach it to a hook that was tied to his weighted fishing line. He 'borrowed' some fingernail polish from his wife's purse, to put a dab of color on it, and then dropped it back into the water. He kept catching fish after fish again! But why? No action at all! No smelly fish attractant! Nothing! Nothing that is, but a small dab of color and a sharp hook! How can any "REAL FISHERMAN" call that a lure?

About ten years after actually seeing that little stunt happen; it was time, I thought, to try to find out why and how it worked. After more than a couple of months of trial & error experimentation, I finally did! Paul Harvey from the radio show of the same name, would probably say now; "stay tuned for the 'Rest of the Story''!

Think about it! A jig that will actually float ABOVE those nasty little things that jigs ALWAYS get hung up on! With a little bit of your commonsense help, this type of jig will stay in the "strike zone", where the fish actually are! It can be used in saltwater or fresh. In freshwater, it'll catch everything from Bluegills and Crappie, to Bass and Walleye! Even Brookies, Pike and Muskie fall to its' amazing powers. In saltwater, it's amazing on Trout. It's so easy to use that even the youngsters can have a ball using it!

Today there are about two-dozen different sizes, styles, and about a hundred different colors, of a fantastic little thing called a "Floating Jig", a "Floating Hook", or a "Floating Lure". About a dozen different lure manufactures (including of course, yours truly) make their own sizes and/or styles of them, and call the idea their very own. Some are good, some bad, some work, and some don't! They all attempt to do the same thing; make fish-catching easier, not necessarily more expensive. It can be fished in still-water lakes and ponds, or in the current of rivers (thus the design differences). Some of them look like ball-head jigs; others like little tapered logs, or even like teardrops. Form meets function on each!

I've successfully fished my own style of floating jig, while fishing for Walleye and Smallmouth Bass during their springtime, river-spawning runs. I've used it for Crappie and Bluegill fishing in a small pond. I've caught Largemouth Bass using them while drifting across long, deep-water points on an inland lake. I've also loved using them in Lakes Erie and St. Clair, fishing deep for Smallmouth Bass in the middle of the summer, when they wouldn't look twice at a tube bait. Other than using an "ouchless jig"(Please, don't ask! That's a completely different story!), the 'floaters' have been my wife's favorite type of fishing lure, each time she's accompanied me on tournament pre-fishing outings. (Because she can lie on the back deck, read her book, and still fish at the same time!)

How to fish them:

Like any other jig, right? Wrong! Remember, these actually DO float! The idea is to put them in the 'strike-zone'. By themselves, they don't even weigh enough to cast with an ultra-light spooled with two-pound test line. Fly fishermen have had this floating-lure idea for ions. (Bugs float too, you know!) They weigh down their lines to take a floating bug or streamer to the depth of the fish. We have to do the same.

No matter where it's fished (and there's absolutely nowhere that they can't be effectively fished), the full Carolina-Rig setup is the best single way to fish these jigs! Six inches to three feet of leader (a good place to try out that new thin-diameter fluorocarbon line) is attached to the jig at one end (depending on the depth of the strike-zone, and the amount of current present), and a barrel swivel tied at the other. A bead is inserted above the swivel to protect the knot, and a slip-sinker (a worm sinker, an egg sinker, or a Walleye drift sinker) slid onto the line above the bead. Because of all the variables involved, the weight of the sinker used & the strength and length of the leader are strictly discretionary items.

The jig can be tipped with several types of live-bait, twister tails, or even pork strips, to 'match the hatch' as it were. Leeches, earthworms, minnows, 2" or 3" single-tailed grubs, 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" salt-tubes or 2" rubber salt-shad, and a #11 or smaller, pork spin strip, are all great trailers to use with this jig.

These jigs do take a bit of getting used to, though. Because they're nearly weightless by themselves, the only thing that you'll feel when fishing them, is possibly the weight of the sliding sinker that you're using. And then, only, if the sinker is against the swivel. When a fish takes the floating jig, chances are that all of a sudden, you'll no longer feel the sinker, or your line will just begin moving off in another direction. Sort of like fishing a 4" un-weighted finesse-worm and a thin-wire 4/0, hook. Different, right? They sure are fun to use, and, they certainly DO catch fish! The only problem may be; you'll never know what kind of fish you'll catch next! If you're not fishing a tournament, but, are fishing for fun or food, that's some problem! Right?

Try a couple the next time that you go out fishing with a friend, or you take the wife & kids fishing for the day! It'll probably be the start of a long relationship with something totally new and different!

Good Fishin'!
Dennis Bryant ( The Fishin' Professor )

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