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Five Can't Miss Fishing Baits

By Mark Romanack          

Salmo Hornet  in Gold Color
What’s hot and what’s not, is something on the minds of anglers everywhere. A lot of what fishing boils down to is having the right bait in the water. From the salmon angler who trolls spoons, to the guy who targets walleye with harnesses and everything in between, hot lures are something every angler should pay close attention to.

In the world of crankbaits, one unique lure is slowly making a name for itself. The buzz about the Hornet started in the Dakotas where walleye fishing is a form of religion. More recently the gospel has spread to other popular walleye fishing destinations like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and the Canadian provinces.

Salmo lures, produced in Poland, bring something to crankbait fishing that few lures have offered. Made of a high density foam material, every Salmo bait is precisely manufactured and hand tuned to deliver maximum performance. When you buy a Salmo Hornet or another one of the many Salmo lures, you can have confidence the bait is tuned to run straight in the water, reach maximum depth and deliver maximum action.

One of the other unique features of the Salmo Hornet is it’s ability to have great fish catching action at a wide variety of speeds. From 1.5 to over 5 mph, the Salmo runs true and delivers a tight quivering wobble that is literally death to walleye and other species.

Add in ultra realistic natural finishes and the Salmo Hornet ranks high among crankbaits designed to catch walleye. Don’t take my word for fit. Tie on a Hornet this year and see for yourself how attention to detail makes a crankbait worth bragging about.

Wolverine Tackle Mini-Streak in Copper Greasy Chicken
Wolverine Tackle has been making quality trolling spoons since the early 1980’s. Few would argue that Chuck Cartwright, the founder of Wolverine Tackle, pioneered the standards for what makes a trolling spoon funtion. From producing spoons that can be fished at a wide range of speeds, to developing the latest fish catching color patterns, Wolverine Tackle is the Great Lakes spoon all other manufacturers emulate.

When the Mini-Streak was introduced some years ago it was designed to fit into the growing salmon and steelhead trolling market. A lot of trollers were looking for a slightly smaller spoon to use on sliders, add-a-lines and stackers. A spoon that was big enough to interest salmon, but small enough to target steelhead and lake trout. The Mini-Streak fit the bill perfectly. It wasn’t long before the Mini-Streak also developed a strong following among walleye trollers on Lake Erie.

Recently Chip Cartwright took the Mini-Streak back to the drawing board and made some refinements he feels have taken the Mini to the next level. “What we wanted was to create a mid-sized spoon that produces a little more action at slower speeds,” says Cartwright. “Retooling the Mini-Streak to provide more cup has transformed a good spoon into one that fills a wealth of Great Lakes trolling niches.”

The latest generation of the Mini-Streak has walleye written all over it. Because of the smaller size and ability to deliver great action at slow speeds, the Mini is destined to be a solid producer for walleye on Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. This bait is also perfect in size for steelhead, brown trout and spring cohos.

Now anglers who fish the Wolverine Tackle “Streak” family of spoons can choose from the Magnum Streak, Silver Streak, Mini Steak, Jr. Streak and Micro Streak.

Yakima Mag Lip 3.5 in Metallic Silver Blue Pirate
The Mag Lip by Yakima started out as a steelhead plug and has rapidly become a go to lure for all kinds of anglers targeting a wealth of species. To date I have used this bait to catch king salmon, coho salmon, brown trout, lake trout and walleye. Like a Flatfish on steroids, the Mag Lip has a rather unique “skip beat” action that does an amazing job of triggering strikes from all kinds of fish. 

Unlike the popular Flatfish, the Mag Lip will troll at faster speeds. The Mag Lip is also at home in rivers, natural lakes, impoundments and the Great Lakes.

Hidebrandt Hammer Time Walleye Spinner in Metallic Cerise
Walleye beware because the new Hammertime Spinners by Hildebrandt are tailor made for putting eyes in the livewell. These spinners feature premium quality Hildebrandt blades and UV coatings, quick change clevises, premium No. 2 red beak hooks and are tied on fluorocarbon leader material. Ideal for matching up with the new Hammertime Bottom Walker Sinkers, anglers can also use these spinners on in-line weights and small diving planers. Available in 12 popular walleye colors, the Hammertime Spinner really does put the hammer down on walleye.

Reef Runner Skinny Stick in Prowler Bare Naked
The Skinny Stick is the latest crankbait in the Reef Runner family of lures. A completely new body profile, bill design and action, the Skinny Stick truly does have a trimmed down body profile and a tighter action. According to the guys at Precision Trolling Data, the Skinny Stick runs an impressive 22 feet down just 200 feet back. For a full “Dive Curve” for this lure contact and purchase the $1.99 sticker that has all the diving depth information included for both 10 pound test monofilament and 10/4 Fireline.