December 16th, 2013
Get Squirrely With A Little ‘Super Surgery!’by JP Bushey August 12, 2014
A quick, in-the-boat modification that supercharges an already deadly lure style for pike and muskie.
Have you done much trolling with ‘hybrid’ lures? You know, the ones that are part soft plastic, part hard bait? Drifter Tackle and Musky Mania wrote the book on these things many years ago, adding nasty, soft rubber action tails to All-World calibre lures like Jakes, Ernies, Burts and two of my absolute favorites, jointed Believers and Stalkers. These two baits alone take probably 1/3 of my trolling pike and muskie every season.
With the rubber tails added, they’re labelled Super Stalkers and Super Believers and trust me, that’s a fitting name. It doesn’t matter if I’m working slop cabbage at six miles an hour in stained water on Lake Nipissing in July, or slowly rubbing shoals right before freeze-up on crystal clear sections of Georgian Bay—this is a family of baits that simply generates trolling strikes year after year. Here’s a little tip to help you really get these babies working their magic.
I use a pair of first aid scissors to trim the rubber tail roughly in half. The rounded, safety blades on these scissors actually make for a cleaner cut, with less burring and jagged edges. Doing this really frees up the lure’s built-in action, while still offering that tantalizing, flowing tail. Believers, in my opinion, are the best lure on the market for ‘wandering’ left to right as you troll. They’ll shoot left, track back to center, then swim out to the right. There’s no better trolling trigger, there really isn’t. Do a quick scan of the most consistent muskie trollers in the game, they’re all big Believer guys: Jody Mills, Marc Thorpe, Rich Clarke, Richard Collin, etc.
To get that bait really rumbling, I’ll even slit the trimmed tail into two halves, with the lower tail slightly shorter than the upper. It’s magic in the water. You can get all kinds of sizes and colours in Replacement Tails from Drifter. Not only that, but also a massive array of localized colour patterns and rattle configurations, too. Stalkers and Believers really are one of the most customizable trolling baits you can get. That split tail deal is just deadly on the Super Believer, in both 10” and 13” models. The carp colour pictured is a clear-water winner for me.
Try trimming the tails as I’ve shown here with a couple baits that are right out of my boat. Like most years, Super baits from Drifter have been getting our clickers ripping this summer. Anytime you’re looking to troll hard and release big fish, this is a solid way to trick out an already wicked stable of baits. This modification works just as well on Musky Mania Squirrely Ernies and Squirrely Jakes, too!
About AuthorMore info about author
JP Bushey is a multi-species, multi-season fisherman living in Barrie, Ontario. North-Central Ontario’s ‘big water’ is where he spends most of his time, from his home waters of Georgian Bay to The Great Lakes, Lake Nipissing and The French River. JP’s been a freelance fishing contributor for over fifteen years, and enjoys helping people to improve their fishing through his articles, speaking engagements and on-the-water instruction.More by JP Bushey