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For fans of the Lucky Craft Pointer......

Randy D

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Those who like this bait might find this interesting. Bass Pro currently has all Pointer Minnows 20% off. Found a decent selection of colors online. They also have free shipping for the month of February. Code is on their website. Hope you enjoy. You don't often find Lucky Craft Pointers on sale.


By the way.....


I know that your buddy Bubba's Kmart brand suspending baits are just as good for $3 bucks. That is good for you. Post not intended on discussing the benefits of Pointers v. others. If you think they are "too expensive", that is fine. Some have seen the light.


By the way, if anyone spends the winter looking at some of the various premiums baits out there (Lucky Craft, Megabass, etc) and you have questions about them, feel free to send me a note via PM. It can be a little hard to figure out actions and sizes. Translations are not always very good. As Jim J can attest, I have tried a ton of premium Japanese baits over the last several years. Have a few more to try this year. It is not for everyone, I happen to enjoy the "exploring" especially during a cold winter / busy work time. Happy hunting.

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Scott, yep. I was thinking about you. I know that you are a convert. I picked up a couple there as well. That is what got me thinking about checking to see if the sale was online as well. That is how I stumbled across the online sale plus the free shipping. They have the same prices in the store and online for this one. The advantage online is that there are a lot more color and size selections online, plus you do not need to leave the couch. It is cold out there.

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Here's one for you, Randy. 100 years ago, while floaters churned the surface, sinking prop baits churned underwater. I did not realize this till about a year ago when I read Ray Bergman's 1942 description of his favorite sinking prop bait that sported 5 trebles, two on each side and one on the tail end. Previously when I saw pictures of antique props I presumed they all were floaters. Probably not. Now within the last 5 years the Japanese are reviving the sinking prop bait and many mfgrs have several models. Stateside even Eric has not shown up using one though after his adoption of that Megabass number he probably will soon. So what is your skinny on the Japanese sinking prop baits?

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Mike -


Ahhh yes. Spybaiting. All of the rage.


I had one of these baits 3-4 years ago that Lucky Craft made. I think it was called a screw pointer or something like that. At the time, I bought it from a source in Japan via Ebay. The descriptions of what the bait does are very limited, if even there. I thought it might be a topwater similar to a Devils Horse so I got one. Tried it figured out it was a sinker. Read up on the concept via the internet. Tried this bait a couple of times without success and moved on. This was probably the summer of 2010 or so.


Fast forward to last summer, 2012. I was killing time on Tackle Warehouse (who has a good selection of hard to find stuff, free shipping at $50 and no sales tax) and saw the Evergreen Prop Magic. Tackle Warehouse has this bait listed as a topwater. It looked like a floater with a rear prop. I grabbed two to try on my upcoming trip to the Chippewa Flowage. Had plans to try it. As usual on trips, you start with your go to baits. During the day, I often have time to kill on the docks while waiting for wife and daughters to get ready......lots of time. I start horsing around with this bait on the dock. Crap....it sinks. So much for topwater. But I did notice that the little panfish could not get enough of this bait. They seemed to be chasing it with more vigor than "normal". I was determined to try the bait that evening.


Disclaimer.......this is true. Absolutely true.


I took the bait out in the evening. Fishing a rocky shoreline that drops fairly rapidly into about 6-8 feet. Good boulders. Good smallmouth area that I have caught fish before. This trip had not produced in that area. First three casts.....three smallmouth. Primarily on the fall. One cast, a smallie hit it multiple times when I had a hard time hooking him. Had a couple more fish in this area. Moved to another sunken island. Similar drill 5-6 casts. 3-4 fish. Smallmouth and largemouth. Then disaster struck. Can't remember the specifics but I lost the bait that night.


No problem. Still had one back in the cabin to use for the rest of the trip. Got a couple of days out of the second bait before I lost it like an idiot. Needed to retry and was too lazy. A nice smallouth broke me off....then proceeded to jump a couple of times and I saw her throw the bait. I had a couple of more days with no baits. Oh well. Get some when I get home.


Are these "miracle baits"? Absolutely not. Just another technique to fit into the rotation. They will catch them under certain conditions (more in a minute).


Who makes these baits? Lucky Craft, Evergreen, Megabass, DUO, Tiemco come to mind. So far, I like the Evergreen Prop Magic a lot but I have much more experimenting to do.


What appear to be ideal conditions? Clear water (stained is ok, the Chip is stained tannic but relatively clear, muddy would be tough). Fish need to see the bait. I have had very limited success (read poor success) in moving water. This seems to be a bait that works much better in still water (lakes, ponds, etc). These baits do snag a lot. I would not try around a bunch of wood. You will lose some. They are not cheap (DUO seems to be the cheapest). It appears that keeping them close to the bottom is a good idea. Not a huge attraction bait so it appears fish do not chase them. It is recommended that you fish these with light florocarbon line. I have done OK on light braid (6# with a leader). I need to spend some time with light floro. The designers of the bait seem to advocate fishing these baits into very deep water (20 feet or more). Fishing them deep requires a lot of patience (moving them slow). I would build up some confidence in shallow to mid depths first.


Don't be afraid to dead stick this baits. Those props keep spinning and they shimmy on the fall. Bass will smack them on the fall.


It is likely that many will buy these baits and discard them. They do not feel like much when you are fishing them. My first reaction was that these baits were stupid. I needed to have them in the right conditions to build confidence. Bassmaster articles, In Fisherman articles, sport show discussions will really get people jacked up that this is magic. It is not. It is however a very good technique. I would try them in a decently clear water lake that you know has a decent population of bass (green or brown) this spring. I would work them on the flats and the first break into deeper water, especially on the break. Reel them slow. Slower than you think. You can not feel the props, that is OK. They are working. They will catch fish......then experiment.


After horsing around with these premium baits from overseas for last decade or so, I can tell you that some of the things look stupid and are different than we are used to but all of the techniques catch fish....especially bass. The Japanese fish in places that make Shabbona or the Cook County forest preserves look like Canada. Tremendous fishing pressure. In order to catch fish, they need to continuely evolve. We are blessed in this country with many places to fish. We can get by without fishing at the Japanese level of detail. That being said, sometimes adding those additional details can make for better catches on days when they are needed.....or you really want to work over a buddy (right Jim).


I get it. This stuff is not for everyone. If you have your way and you want to stick to it, good. Keep at it. Confidence is a major factor. I understand that some of the price tags on these baits are difficult for people. Cool. Maybe modify some domestic baits, it might be less expensive. We all have bills to pay. Those of us with two daughters have a lot of bills to pay. I would just suggest considering opening your mind to consider trying something new. You might be surprised.


Hopefully this ice will melt soon and we can all get out. Until then, happy hot stove fishing discussions.



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If you are interested in Spybaiting, here is a video on the technique from Japan.

I loved this.


That is the lake that Mothra crashed in 50 years ago. I love Japanese movies with subtitles. The fisherman makes some good points on the conditions where you would use a sinking prop. Also use 4-5 pound line; 6 is too heavy :wacko:


The Spybait is a variation on the theme in that the body rocks. Other models are specifically designed to have no body action. :ph34r:



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I was glad to get your independent take on this. I admit I was sandbagging to see what you would say. Having read Bergman's comments on the lure. I found a good short history of the Japanese reincarnation of this American plug. It is amazing how many variations on the theme there are since an accidental discovery in 2006. http://www.tackletour.com/reviewtackletrendspropbaits.html


During this long cold winter I have retooled a few baits that had seen better days. The water froze before I had a chance to try my sinking prop baits. They will debut this spring in place of the suspending jerkbait I was going to use.


Now before the Japanese discover another old bait, I should mention this. The Devon is another bait that is prop driven. In this case the whole body spins. One needs a good swivel or a model equipped with a keel to avoid line twist. I have some heirloom Tail-light Devons that I will dig out in spring.

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I had to show you this 15 point 1911 lure even though it may be more appealing to think of the Spybait as a new Japanese discovery. This is something my grandfather probably was using the year my father was born.

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I am sure of one thing Mike.....you do not want to put that bait in the water.


I dad has a decent sized lure collection (antique ones). Nothing like Dan Basore but a pretty good number of baits. When I saw that type of bait, I always thought those were floaters. They are too expensive to ever find out. If they were sinking baits, that is interesting.


Sell that antique bait and you can buy plenty of spybaits.......

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I saw one of those 5 hook Pfluegers in an antique store yesterday in southern Illinois. They were asking $157 for it. They also had a flyrod for $1,400,but I don't remember the brand.

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