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Happy New Year everyone! And with the New Year comes fishing license renewals for all you PA fishermen. New York fellas are ok, gotta love that year-to-date license. But for all of us it’s time …
Happy New Year everyone! And with the New Year comes fishing license renewals for all you PA fishermen. New York fellas are ok, gotta love that year-to-date license. But for all of us it’s time to start fresh, start our counts over, reset our personal best stats and pretend we don’t already have five fish in the freezer. (Or 20…)
Around the holidays I travel a lot for family stuff and it just so happens that amidst my travels this year I realized we were within a few minutes’ drive of the Cabelas in Hamburg PA. So with an afternoon free of any further commitments, my wife and I decided to stop. Along for the little side trip was my sister Summer and her newly engaged fiancée Jesse. Best part about Cabelas is always the atmosphere. We spent some time checking out all of the mounts, as you really must do if you have never been, before heading over to the tall and colorful racks of lures and fishing equipment. Now Jesse is a good friend of mine and has been since college. He also reads my blog every week, so I decided to let him choose this week’s Lure of the Week. Jesse goes Ice fishing with another friend of ours on occasion and mentioned that the last time they were out, Cody, our friend, had been using these little softbait worms. Jesse perused the racks and held up the Whipworm in natural white by Berkley Powerbait, exclaiming that this was what they were using.
Jesse explained to me that they put the small, one and a quarter inch worms onto 1/32 oz jigs. Apparently, when using these little worms, the tail—as per the name—whips around frantically, almost like a tadpole tail. The worm shape starts at the head with two small spheres atop one another and then a long semi-flattened body that gets slightly wider towards the tail. The package we picked up had 15 of them in it and only cost two or three bucks. I picked the jig myself, a 1/32 oz Pug Bug, which is a size #10 on their chart. The jig has a chargeable white top with yellow eyes and a pink belly. I thought with the white worm it would go nicely.
According to the packaging of this whipworm, they have a special Powerbait formula that makes “fish hold on 18x longer.” Mull that one over for a second before you get my take on it…
These chemicals and formulas that Powerbait and other companies put on their soft plastics and sometimes hard lures are a topic very close to the likes of football fan superstitions. Some guys swear their success by one kind or another, while other guys completely swear off the brand and never touch anything with an artificial scent or flavor. I will tactfully claim the middle road. While these scents and flavors may be useful in drawing fish in, or even helping a fish to feel comfortable enough to strike when in proximity, I hate advertising that suggests it’s a guarantee or in this case causes the fish to “hang on 18x longer.” I know there will be some skeptics out there but listen. If that fish has been hooked… then the only reason that fish hangs on is the half circle of metal dragging it up to the surface. Does the formula help fish take the hook? Maybe. Possibly. In some cases probably. Does it have anything to do with the fish remaining clamped on the lure? No, it really doesn’t because if you’ve inserted your jig right, they are going to be fighting steel instead of sucking on gummy worms as they intended.
Regardless, I’ve made my point. The way I would fish these is just to insert the jig into the head of the whipworm as you would into a swimbait. Place the hook through the head and allow it to curve out through the body facing forward. It’s very simple and balanced and from what my friends tell me, it works great jigging through the ice.
Jesse noted as we were looking at some other lures that he liked the whipworm because it showed up cleanly on his MarCum fish sonar. He and Cody love jigging along the sonar. I have to admit when I saw Cody doing it for the first time I was rather jealous of the apparatus. You can see as you lift the jig off the bottom and where the bottom is. What’s more, you can see the fish rise off of the bottom structure and follow your jig, then like a dream you’re fighting a fish.
I plan to try the Whipworm by Berkley Powerbait along with that Pug Bug 1/32 oz jig. I may not have sonar but sonar isn’t what catches fish ladies and gentlemen. Go out and give it a try once this ice forms up. Try other jigs too. But if you get the Pug Bug like me, charge them with your flashlight before you drop them. I think this really adds to their overall effectiveness.
*If you have any luck with the lure of the week, feel free to email your pictures to email@example.com for an opportunity to share them on our website. If you have a favorite kind of lure we haven’t reviewed yet, feel free to send that lure to our office at PO box 150 Narrowsburg, NY 12764. We will add it to our weekly reviews and share the results. Check back each week on Fridays to see the new lure of the week!