Thursday, June 27, 2013

June Walleye Lure of the Month: Storm Thunderstick

June Walleye Lure of the Month
Storm Thunderstick

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.

June Saltwater Lure of the Month: Acme Kastmaster

^Check them out! Many great lures!

The Kastmaster is a popular and deadly spoon-type lure for both fresh and salt water. Many anglers use this lure or know about it. But very few anglers know the story of Art Lavallee, the man who discovered and perfected the Kastmaster and put it on the market.

Art Lavallee was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1918, and as a young boy liked freshwater fishing. After returning from W.W. II where he served on submarines in the Pacific, he resumed freshwater fishing and in 1947 he caught an 8 3/4 lb. largemouth bass that held the Rhode Island state record for many years. But when he caught his first striped bass in the ocean, striper fishing became his primary fishing interest.

In 1949, Art Lavallee and his brother Al formed the Spencer Plating Company, which polished and electroplated jewelry. Art took some of the jewelry and bent and changed their shapes to create metal fishing  lures. He and his friends enjoyed successful angling results with these inventions, so Art decided to enter the fishing tackle business and founded the Acme Tackle Company in 1952. Then Art learned about a lure called the EDA Splune developed by the Engineering Design Associates. This metal lure was the forerunner of the Kastmaster. The Acme Tackle Company entered into a royalty agreement with EDA and acquired the rights to market the lure. Art field tested the lure and then modified it, making it longer and giving it the jewelry like finish for which Acme lures are famous.

The Kastmaster was quickly accepted by both fresh and saltwater anglers and is now used to catch all kinds of fish. An amazingly versatile lure, the Kastmaster is equally deadly whether cast, trolled, or vertically jigged.  It casts like a bullet, and its unique side-to-side darting action is something which pursued baitfish do, but which ordinary spoons do not.

June Freshwater Lure of the Month: Rapala Floating Lure

June Freshwater Lure of the Month: Rapala Floating Silver Lure

In the 1930's, Lauri Rapala had a very simple revelation: wounded fish get eaten by big fish, so all he needed to do was to create a lure that resembled a wounded minnow.  Such a simple thought process, but it is one that has transcended generations and helped to catch millions of fish.  The Rapala Original Floater was originally made of timber, and has since been updated to what is included in this month's selection.  It's easy to use, durable, and most importantly - it catches fish!

Used as a trolling lure, it is easy to maintain a consistent speed.  Also because of the balsa wood construction, you will find that it has a nice, rolling action through the water, further enticing the fish.  If you are lure casting, simply cast it out and pull it back in.  

As a variation, if you see fish flashing at the lure but not striking, try this: cast it out, increase the tempo of the retrieve, and add in short, sharp stops that get the Rapala minnow darting and weaving, darting and weaving.  This may "wake up" the fish that were previously not interested, and get them to chase and try to catch the lure with a new life to it.

For more info, check out to watch a video put together by Patrick Brennan on best practices of fishing this beautiful lure!

*Swimming Depth: 0.6-1.8 m
*Available in classic and bleeding patterns
*Can be fished top to bottom
*Balsa Wood Construction
*Natural Minnow Profile
*Run Fast or Slow
*VMC Hooks