August 25, 2020
By Ned Kehde
Since the winter of 2019-20, we have been corresponding occasionally with Michael Simonton of Berlin Heights, Ohio.
He is the proprietor of Venture Lures, which was established in January of 2018.
Since the summer of 2014, he has been a fishing guide on Lake Erie.
On top of those many duties, he has been a dedicated middle-school teacher in special education since 2006.
He began making his soft-plastic finesse baits in 2016 for two reasons. The first one revolved around what he described as curiosity and a desire to make his own and unique designs and colors. The second reason arose as his guiding business began to grow, which necessitated buying more baits for his clients to use. And he quickly came to the conclusion that he could reduce the costs of acquiring baits by making them.
Now at the age of 39, he has become a master at manufacturing hand-poured soft-plastic baits for finesse anglers.
One of those baits is his 3.75-inch Finesse Worm.
We asked Simonton if we could publish gear guides for our Midwest Finesse column about it. He said yes and sent some samples for us to examine and write about.
Here is what we discovered about his Finesse Worm.
According to our measurements, it is slightly longer than 3 ¾ inches.
It is devoid of the anatomical features of an earthworm. For example, it does not have a cylindrical body. It is barren of the multitude of subtle segments that graces an earthworm’s epidermis. There is no clitellum, and the tip of its anterior section is not pointed.
Instead, Simonton’s Finesse Worm is an abstract and artistic creation.
Its anterior section is 1 13/16 inches long. Its ventral is flat. Its dorsal is convex, and the tip or head of the anterior section is also convex. Its largest spot has a width of five-sixteenths of an inch, a height five-sixteenths of an inch, and a circumference of about 1 1/8 inches; this area lies 1 1/8 inches from the tip of the anterior section. The epidermis of the dorsal and ventral areas is smooth.
At the junction of the anterior and posterior sections, the width narrows to three-sixteenths of an inch with a circumference of seven-eighths of an inch and height of one-quarter of an inch.
The Finesse Worm’s posterior is 2 1/8 inches long. Its dorsal is convex and endowed with seven significant ribs. The first five ribs are three-sixteenths of an inch long, and the sixth and seventh ribs are one-eighth of an inch long. The area surrounding the third rib has a width of a quarter of an inch, height of a quarter of an inch, and a circumference of about thirteenth-sixteenths of an inch. The area surrounding the seventh rib has a width of a quarter of an inch, height of three-sixteenths of an inch, and a circumference of about eleven-sixteenths of an inch. These seven ribs accentuate the posterior’s ability to gyrate and undulate. These gyrations and undulations are also enhanced by the last half inch of the posterior section, which is somewhat elliptical shaped, and it is connected to the first 1 5/8-inches of the posterior by a significant joint. This half-inch section is a quarter of an inch wide and an eighth of an inch high with a circumference of five-eighths of an inch. The posterior’s entire ventral is flat. Except for the seven significant ribs, the posterior’s epidermis is smooth.
Simonton’s Finesse Worm is available in the following hues: Green Pumpkin Crack, Green Pumpkin Crush, Green Pumpkin Madness, Green Pumpkin Thief, Smerch, and Sunfish.
It is buoyant and enhanced with garlic and salt.
A package of eight costs $4.50.
- Here is a link to Venture Lure’s website: https://venturelures.com/. It provides information about its baits, and it is a retail venue, too.
- Simonton says his 3.75-inch Finesse Worm can be affixed to a drop-shot rig, shaky-head jig, and split-shot rig. Midwest finesse anglers, however, will affix it to a small mushroom jig with an exposed hook, and they will present it to their black-bass quarries by employing all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves. These anglers will find that the Finesse Worm’s flat ventral will enhance the gliding motif while they are executing the swim-glide-and-shake presentation and several of the other retrieves. These retrieves are always executed with what we call a no-feel presentation. And that means if an angler can feel the 3.75-inch Finesse Worm rig as it is being retrieved, the weight of the jig is too heavy. A no-feel retrieve somewhat replicates what a very slowly sinking jerkbait feels like when it is being retrieved with a subtle twitch-and-pause cadence. To properly execute those six retrieves with a no-feel presentation, it is essential that anglers use a lightweight jig, ranging in size from 1/64- to 1/32- to 1/20- to 1/16- to 1/15-ounces.
- Here are two links to Joe Balog’s BassFan columns about Simonton: http://www.bassfan.com/opinion_article/211/news.asp#.XlV9dUpMGUk; http://bassfan.com/opinion_article.asp?ID=212#.XlV7iEpMGUk.
- Here are links to a BassFan column about Simonton: http://bassfan.com/news_article/4116/simonton-to-transition-from-teacher-to-tour-pro#.XlV8pUpMGUk.
- Here is a link to Siminton’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelSimonton10/.
- Here is a link to our Midwest Finesse gear guide about Simonton’s Steady Swimmer, which was published on Mar. 20, 2020: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/venture-lures-steady-swimmer/374139.
- In the weeks to come, we hope to publish gear guides that feature Venture Lures’ Dropper, Supervisor, and Skinny Minnie.