As we wait for the transition from frozen to open water, it’s time to go through the tackle and clean up the boat. I always like to spend time looking up new tackle on the market and planning some of my fishing adventures for the open water season.
Over the years my use of live bait has diminished to almost zero. There are isolated situations when I will use a leech or nightcrawler, but those have become extremely rare. Recently I took a tour of our local tackle retailers in Winnipeg to see what new plastic lures were on the racks. While stock in many of the stores is coming in on a daily basis, I did find enough to capture my imagination.
In the last ten years, I have tied on a swimbait in many of my fishing situations for a multitude of species. Northland Tackle just came out with a new one for 2017 that has me really excited. Called the Core Swimbait, it is from the Impulse family of soft plastics. Friend and top tournament anglers Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson always has one tied on whether he is fishing a U.S Bass tournament or on his home water on Lake of the Woods.
“This bait is a true utility player,” Gussy states. “The extra-soft, ribbed body maximizes action and scent release, while the aqua-dynamic boot tail throbs, swims and vibrates at all retrieve speeds. Plus, the IMPULSE® Core Swimbait features Northland’s breakthrough Core-Shot technology,” he adds. “The proprietary process wraps the bait’s vibrantly colored midsection, or core, inside a clear outer shell to mimic a wide variety of live prey in all water conditions.” The Core Swimbait is available in 2.5-, 3.5- and 4.5-inch sizes and eight Core-Shot colors, appealing to wide variety of gamefish. Gussy also notes that the bait is super-charged with Northland’s patented IMPULSE® Instinctual Attractant, which features a baked-in MicroPlankton formula gamefish can’t resist.
I have really expanded my Impulse selection and my go-to bait for smallmouth is the brown 3 inch Impulse Leech. I can remember a trip two years ago to Sioux Narrows when we absolutely some of my best smallmouth action all time pitching a 1/8 ounce plain lead head jig rigged with an Impulse Leech to shallow windswept shorelines. These fish were up feeding on small minnows and insect larvae and this presentation was deadly. We also caught a number of bonus walleye and pike.