Midwest finesse tackle: lures

Anglers have requested more details about and  photographs of the soft-plastic  lures that Midwest finesse anglers employ throughout the year.

The three photographs below focus on the 10  soft-plastic lures and the four jigs that I and many fellow finesse anglers use while plying the small flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas. These baits also work well at several of  the natural lakes in Minnesota that we have fished across the years.

Names of the baits and jigs, as well as other details,  appear in the captions under each photograph.

All of our baits are affixed to a jig, and across  the top of this photograph are three of the four jigs we use. They are Gopher Tackle's 3/32-, 1/16-ounce and 1/32-ounce Original Mushroom Jig Head. The soft-plastic baits are Z-Man Fishing Products' green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ, green-pumpkin  Rain MinnowZ,  PB&J Rain MinnowZ, Junebug 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ and  green-pumpkin 3.75-inch StreakZ.  The StreakZ was added to our repertoire in 2011, but we rarely used it. In 2012, we are planning to spend a lot of time experimenting with it.  Besides the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ, we use the Junebug, purple-haze, PB&J, black-and-blue, black-neon and watermelon/red Finesse WormZ. We also use the Rain MinnowZ in green-pumpkin and pearl.  For more details about  the colors of  the Z-Man's ZinkerZs that we use, see our  Jan. 16 blog. Z-Man makes the Finesse Worm and Zero for Strike King Lure Company, and they are the same bait as the Finesse WormZ and ZinkerZ

Z-Man's 3.75-inch StreakZ was featured in the first photograph. Since it is a new bait in our repertoire, we though that we should include some additional colors and information.  The colors of these two are shiner and pearl.  Midwest finesse anglers who plied waterways that are graced with significant populations of threadfin shad,  rainbow smelt and small  gizzard shad in 2011 found these two colors to be very fruitful.  In northeastern Kansas in 2011, however, we caught only a few bass on these two colors, but we used the 3.75 StreakZ only a few times.  The gizzard shad populations in most reservoirs in northeastern Kansas are rather paltry, which is why didn't use the these StreakerZs.  As 2012 unfolds, we hope that finesse anglers will send us reports about their experiences with the 3.75-inch StreakZ.

The bait on the left is a watermelon-red-flake four-inch grub, the second is  Gene Larew Lures' Junebug 3 1/2-inch Long John Minnow, the third is Larew's  green-pumpkin three-inch Baby Hoodaddy, the fourth is Zoom Bait Company's  green-pumpkin four-inch Mini Lizard, and the fifth is Strike King Lure Company's black-and-blue Bitsy Tube.  Above the Bitsy Tube is a 1/16-ounce jig that slips inside the tube. Besides a watermelon-red-flake four-inch grub, we use green-pumpkin ones, pearl ones, various smoke hues and a salt-and-pepper ones. We also use a pearl-white/blue-back Long John Minnow.  We also use green-pumpkin, red neon and smoke-red-and-black tubes. 

Besides the lures photographed  above, some of us use a variety of hair and marabou jigs. To see photographs of a few of those jigs, please examine the three blogs that were posted in December. Here are the links to those three blogs:  http://www.in-fisherman.com/2011/11/18/the-manifold-virtues-of-the-small-hair-jig-according-to-brian-waldman-an-update/;   http://www.in-fisherman.com/2011/11/17/the-manifold-virtues-of-the-small-hair-jig-according-to-brian-waldman/;  http://www.in-fisherman.com/2011/12/18/cold-water-smallmouth-bass/.

In a few days we will post a blog that describes some of the spinning rods, spinning reels, lines and leaders that Midwest finesse anglers employ.

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