Monday, February 18, 2013

February Saltwater Lure of the Month: Hurricane Salted Minnow Green Mackerel

February Saltwater Lure of the Month: Hurricane Salted Minnow Green Mackerel

This month's Saltwater Lure of the Month was selected as much for the story behind the company as for the amazing quality of the lure itself.  Hurricane Lures has been a name that that saltwater enthusiasts from the casual to avid angler have grown to respect over the years for both high quality and exceptional value. The reason is simple; they balance high-end technology and countless hours of on-water experience to meet the specific needs of the inshore, back country, offshore and blue water anglers. From Florida waters to the Texas Gulf Coast, Hurricanes line of tackle not only have the feel and the balance of equipment two to five times the cost, but also have the performance level required to get the job done.

The Hurricane Tackle Company was founded by a lifelong fisherman Gary Ellis.  Capt. Gary is a charter captain down off the coast of Islamorado Florida with over 30 years of experience on plug, fly, or spinning tackle.  He leads a charter company called Redbone Charters if any of you anglers are ever in the area down there.  He built a company around his experience of fishing, and has created some of the finest quality lures, rods, and reels in the saltwater community.  

What really drew me to Gary and the Hurricane Tackle Company was his charity effort with the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series.  In 1984 when Gary and his wife Susan found out that their newborn daughter Nicole was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, they knew they had to do everything they could to help fight it.  So, in 1988, with the help of friends and the hall of fame baseball player Ted Williams, they founded the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series to help raise money to research and cure Cystic Fibrosis.  In the first year they raised over $16,000.  From the small beginnings, the tournament has ballooned to 25 tournaments throughout North America, and have helped to contribute over $10 million to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation! In 2009 alone, they were able to raise over $1.5 million to help "catch the cure".  

In addition to their work with the Tournament, a portion of each sale of their Hurricane and Redbone Rods and Reels gets donated to the CF foundation as well.  Gary has made it his life's work to help fisherman and those affected with Cystic Fibrosis, and it is a truly inspirational story to tell.

February Freshwater Lure of the Month: Arbogast Jitterbug

February Freshwater Lure of the Month: Arbogast Jitterbug

In 1932, Fred Arbogast was out fishing with his friends and experimenting with creating his own lure with some leftover supplies he had.  After a few go’s at it, Fred created a metal minnow that he called the Tin Liz, which as he described it was “the most natural cripple ever made”. His friends thought so, too, and demanded he share his newly created lure.  Word spread quick, and all of the sudden the Tin Liz was in such hot demand across the country that Fred decided to create his own fishing lure company, Arbogast Lures.

Fred experimented with many different lures over the next five years, but didn’t hit it big time until 1938 when he created the now infamous Jitterbug.  There probably isn’t a bass fisherman alive who hasn’t heard of or used the famous Jitterbug. The wobbling surface bait immediately captured the attention of the fishing fraternity when it was introduced. As soon as the Jitterbug hit the water, letters of praise from enthusiastic fishermen began pouring in to Fred. Fishermen throughout the country wanted to share their successes with the inventor, and his company quickly outgrew his basement.

Fred’s business philosophy was based on his belief that one must be a fisherman to understand and respond to the needs of other fishermen. He designed each lure to solve specific fishing problems he encountered, and developed one of the most popular lure companies in America. Arbogast lures have been in the business for 75 years, and have that very first Tin Liz for its creation, and the Jitterbug for vaulting Fred into the spotlight.

The Jitterbug, without a doubt, is the number one nighttime, topwater fishing lure of all time. On a steady retrieve, its concave lip creates a "plop-plop" sound while its body has a side to side action that fish cannot resist. It catches all types of surface striking gamefish from bass to musky in all types of water. This lure is mainly fished during the warmer months of the year, especially full moon nights in the summertime. Black has always been the most productive color while fishing at night.

The Freshwater Lure of the Month is a great gift to send to the Fisherman who has everything! He will love this fishing gift!
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February Walleye Lure of the Month: Storm Deep Jr. Thunderstick Madflash Blue Shad

February Walleye Lure of the Month: Storm Deep Jr. Thunderstick Madflash Blue Shad

The abundantly versatile ThunderStick was introduced to the angling community in the 1980’s by the Storm Manufacturing Company.  It’s just one lure in a comprehensive line of premium lures sold by the world famous luremaker.  Back in 1965, Storm’s charter product was the innovative, if not unusual, ThinFin.  By the late 1990’s, Storm had established seven popular product families: ThinFin, Hot’N Tot, Wart, Chug Bug, Mac, Pygmy, and, of course, ThunderStick.  Many, if not all, of Storm’s products have been “renovated” as a result of the company being acquired by Normark, makers of the legendary Rapala minnow.  Although much of the Storm product line has been updated, we’ve seen many of the new products and can report that we’re excited about fishing them all.

Storm offered the original ThunderStick dressed out in a dizzying 65 different color combinations, and, incredibly, the company continued to introduce new colors regularly.  In the highly automated world of lure making, it’s worth pointing out that each of Storm’s baits were hand painted and clear coated to ensure the highest quality finish.  Storm’s roots are in freshwater fishing, but the company did make a saltwater ThunderStick (enclosed) specifically designed to withstand the unique punishment saltwater deals out day after day.  Although replaced by a freshly updated ThunderStick, the original still lives up to its reputation as an all-around fish taker, and, according to rumor, it’s becoming rather collectible.

Created: Late 1980’s

Manufacturer: Storm Lures (now owned by Rapala)

Storm suggests trolling or retrieving the ThunderStick at a steady speed.  A property that makes the ThunderStick so desirable is its ability to be retrieved at very high speeds without taking anything away from its wounded minnow action.  Experiment with different speeds as a practice.

If you notice that the lure does not track properly, tuning might be necessary.  To correct this, firmly grasp the ThunderStick and bend the connecting loop in the opposite direction the lure is swimming.  Needle-nose pliers work great in this situation.  Remember, a little force goes a long way here.

February Freshwater Fly of the Month: Nymph-Head Heavy Metal PRINCE

February Freshwater Fly of the Month: Nymph-Head Heavy Metal PRINCE


The innovative Nymph-Head™ design significantly improved the common, round fly tying bead when it was launched in 2007 by the American Fly Outfitters group. The simple addition of realistic 3D “nymph eyes” created a more realistic fly profile. It also added 15-20% more tungsten weight to the bead which greatly improved the sink rate of the fly. These features were combined with a wide range of vibrant new colors in a scratch-resistant anodized coating to produce an advanced fly tying product that allows fly tiers to make any ordinary fly pattern extraordinary.

The Nymph-HeadTM Heavy Metal fly collection is built upon proven nymph patterns found in every angler's fly box. The vibrant bead colors offer irresistible fly color combinations. With the addition of “3D nymph eyes,” a more realistic insect profile is born from the fastest sinking tungsten beads on the planet.  Nymph-HeadTM flies represent a more convincing imitation of aquatic trout food.

This month's Freshwater Fly of the Month comes from this same Nymph Head revolutionary technology.  Called the "Prince nymph", this universal pattern is especially effective in getting down deep to fish in faster flowing water. The green variation matches a heavy green tungsten bead with peacock herl used in the fly's body construction and shimmers brightly when in the water. 

Five reasons why Nymph-Head™ Heavy Metal tungsten beads are better:

  1. A more realistic fly profile.
  2. The fastest sinking tungsten beads on the planet.
  3. The widest range of color options in a superior anodized finish.
  4. In your fly box you can easily tell which beadhead flies are tungsten and which are brass.
  5. Best packaging with step-by-step tying instructions for original fly patterns.
Why is Tungsten used in this amazing flies?
  • Why Tungsten is about twice the price, but has over twice the sink rate of brass beads, getting your nymph down very quickly into the “feeding zone” and increasing your chances of a hookup by as much as 50% every cast!
  • Tungsten is environmentally friendlier than lead and this supports the trend of angling communities to move away from the use of lead based alloys.
  • Using tungsten beads can reduce your fly tying time since the need to add additional weight is often eliminated.