The Blade Bait 1/11/19
Ok. I give up. I keep thinking the ice is going to form up any day and I’ll be out ice fishing with wild abandon. Or at least with as much abandon as one can have in a largely sedentary sport… Anyway, while I continue to wait for ice on the local waters, I figured I’d step back and review a lure from the good old sunshiny days of summer. Here’s to you folks who are already sick of the single degree temps and sporadic windy days of winter that have only intermittently come so far.
The blade bait. As some of you will know, I was at Cabela’s just before the New Year. While I was there I picked up a blade bait made by Cabela’s. Lots of different companies make blade baits as they are a fairly simple design. Just like crankbaits, they are all fairly similar with variations in color, size, and accessories (hooks, tie-ons, holographics, etc.).
The blade bait I picked up is classified as a “Red Craw,” pertaining to the color scheme which starts deep red at the belly and transitions to a shady bullfrog green on the spine. It is also characterized as a “Mean-Eye” blade bait, which refers to its rather aggressively slanted holographic red eyes. As a matter of principle I prefer any eyes on my lures to be round. I think it gives a more natural appearance and can even act as a trigger based on that shape. However, I really don’t think the slanted eye hurts your chances, it’s just a personal thing I have. What’s great about the eye is that it is that shiny red holographic that is known to be a color trigger to bass. It also goes very well with the red body color which surely serves much of the same purpose with getting those strikes from pre-spawn bass. The body is covered with silver-white dots and striping to even further light-refraction. Another reason this lure would be a good choice for sunny-day fishing.
Along the back of the blade bait are three holes. And here’s the neat part. In one of these holes is the tie-on snap. You can remove it and place it in any of the three holes to change the pitch of the lure in the water. The farther forward you place it, the shallower it dives because it pulls the nose up. Placing it further back pitches the lure steeply down and forces it to dive more aggressively. So especially on those hot days when you just can’t get deep enough with a conventional crankbait, maybe tie one of these on and troll the deeper parts of the lake. Low and slow, just like a good roast.
The blade bait has two treble hooks. One in the chest and the other trailing the tail; again, much like a crankbait or even a wally diver. The hooks present vertically of one another behind the lure and give ample opportunity for that all-important hook-set. Just above the chest treble hook there is a wider mass of metal. The head also is slightly wider than the rest of the quarter-thin body. This adds weight to the forward part of the lure, preventing it from turning or flopping unnaturally in the water. It also allows the lure to dive with accuracy, wiggling as the blade that follows is whipped through the water like the tail of a kite.
Blade baits can be great as I said, for going after those deep dwelling bass trying to seek cooler water with higher oxygen and less traffic. They are how they appear, lean, mean, fish-finding machines. Pick up some different colors, maybe some different brands and see how they perform come summer. They are an excellent lake lure. I wouldn’t take them on the river unless you have a nice deep eddy you like to fish. Other than that I just don’t see them performing well in shallow or fast-moving water.
They really aren’t built for ice fishing either. Maybe you could jig with them, sure you might be able to catch something on them, but they really aren’t designed for it.
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