Monday, March 18, 2013

March Walleye Lure of the Month: Rat-L-Trap

"Often Imitated, Never Duplicated”

The Rat-l-Trap was invented by Bill Lewis in his small workshop in Boyce, Louisiana 30 years ago.  This lure is notable because it was the first crankbait of its kind in two respects.  Lewis designed his lure with a built-in rattle chamber and, more importantly, the Rat-l-Trap was the first crankbait to boast a lipless design.  These innovations allow the Rat-l-Trap to create a loud, unique underwater fish-attracting rattle and to display a tight wiggling action at nearly any speed.

Bill Lewis got his start selling the lure from the trunk of his car throughout Louisiana and Texas.  He knew immediately that he had a hit on his hands.  The Rat-l-Trap rapidly became one of the most sought after lures on the bass fishing circuit.  Today, the lure is a mainstay in most anglers’ tackle boxes and is fished successfully in saltwater and freshwater alike.

This made-by-hand lure has proven itself effective on big bass, stripers, and other game fish in all types of water.  It has been so successful, in fact, that nearly all recognized lure manufacturers now sell their own variation of this unique lure -- quite a compliment to Bill Lewis's ingenuity.  It’s interesting to note that there has not been a single change made to the Rat-l-Trap original design since its introduction, although Bill Lewis Lures has released several different versions of the original.  This truly classic lure can be found in a number of different sizes and dressed in literally dozens of colors.

Featured lure: Rat-l-Trap
Designer: Bill Lewis
Created: 1969
Manufacturer: Bill Lewis Lures ®

The Rat-L-Trap can be fished with a variety of retrieves in a variety of conditions.  The lure tracks perfectly with a fast retrieve, demanding attention from feeding fish.  It can also be trolled at a slow speed with equal success.  Experiment with a yo-yo like retrieve for added results.

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March Saltwater Lure of the Month: Heddon Super Spook

December 2010
“For any fish that feeds on other fish”

The Zara Spook was invented in Pensacola, a seaport in NW Florida, on Pensacola Bay, in 1922. This seductive lure with its trademark wiggle was originally called the Zaragossa, aptly named after the "wiggling" women on Zaragossa Street, which at the time was Pensacola’s red-light district.  A few years later the lure was given a new design (1939) and the name was forever changed to the Zara Spook.  The latter portion of its new name was inspired by the skeleton-like design painted along the sides of the first version of this popular lure.

To this day the Zara Spook remains one of the most often fished lures of all time.  In fact, even after all of these years and despite its enormous success, the Zara Spook's left-to-right, right-to-left top water action remains unique in the marketplace.  This 'walk the dog' motion pulls even the most stubborn game fish from the bottom when no other lure can.  The version of the classic enclosed is crafted from plastic and now called the "Super Spook", but the original was hand-carved from white cedar.  Not to worry, today’s Super Spook is as deadly as the original.  Heddon, a company whose history dates back to 1894, originally sold the lure.  It’s now manufactured under the careful eye of EBSCO Industries, Inc.

Date Created: 1922 (The original Zara Spook received its name in 1939 and the Super Spook followed)
Manufacturer: EBSCO Industries, Inc
Cast the Super Spook out into likely cover.  Let it rest long enough for the ripples to disperse.   With your rod tip at a 30 degree angle from the water, begin twitching the lure from side to side with an occasional short pause to induce its trademark 'walk-the-dog' style action.

March Freshwater Lure of the Month: Daredevle

March 2013
Freshwater Lure of the Month:
The creator of the Dardevle, Lou Eppinger, was making his living as a taxidermist in SE Michigan at the end of the 1800’s.  When Eppinger’s business hit somewhat of a slump, he decided to sell lures alongside his taxidermy services in order to help make ends meet.  As the tackle end of his business grew, Eppinger soon began to experiment with lures of his own design.  While on a fishing trip in the Canadian woods, Eppinger took along a spoon he had handcrafted back in Michigan.  He was pleasantly surprised with the results.  Eppinger particularly liked the long distances he could cast his lure—even into a stiff wind.  On top of everything, Eppinger’s prototype actually caught more fish than any other bait he fished on the trip.

After quite a bit of tinkering, Eppinger’s first lure made its official American debut in 1912.  Initially Eppinger called his lure the Osprey.  Eight years later, Eppinger changed the name of his wonder-lure to the Dardevle after the Marines, who had been nicknamed the “Dare Devils” for their feats of bravery in the first World War.  Today, Eppinger’s trademark red-and-white stripped Dardevle is perhaps the most recognizable and omnipresent lures ever to hit the fishing scene.  Alongside his trademark paint scheme, anglers will find dozens of color and size combinations.  Although all the colors have their fans, FE is partial to the classic red-and-white.
Featured lure: Dardevle
Created by: Lou Eppinger
Created: c. 1912
Manufacturer: Eppinger Manufacturing Company
Type: Spoon

While this lure is not considered to be the most versatile of all lures, as many anglers will confirm, it’s highly effective when others simply are not.  The Dardevle can be relied upon to be a good selection for a broad number of species when fished with a consistent, moderate to rapid retrieve.  If you haven’t used the Dardevle while trolling, you could be in for a surprise.