FISHING NOT IMMUNE TO COVID-19
WASHINGTON STATE BECOMES FIRST STATE IN THE NATION TO BAN RECREATIONAL FISHING AMID GROWING COVID-19 CONCERNS
controversial decision in the release. “This is not a decision we take lightly, but it’s the right thing to do for the health and well-being of Washington’s families,” said Susewind. “Monday’s extraordinary order for the residents of our state to stay home requires all of us to work together to ensure these measures have the intended effect.”
BY MACK’S LURE
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced its decision to temporarily close recreational fishing and shellfishing statewide in the wake of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s order directing Washingtonians to stay home and stay healthy to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a WDFW press release on Wednesday. The closures, which went into effect March 25, are expected to last until April 8. The closure, however, is expected to be extended in the coming days. WDFW Director Kelly Susewind defended the
WDFW Fish Program Director Kelly Cunningham notes that as concerns over the coronavirus continued, anglers were seen crowding banks in local fishing areas.
“We’ve seen an uptick in outdoor recreation at some locations in recent weeks as people have looked for ways to get outside,” said Cunningham. “We’ve had reports of crowded boat rapms and busy fishing on some rivers, which runs counter to the governor’s direction to stay home and practice social distancing.” Several states are also taking measures to limit access, but have thus far not closed fishing. What are your thoughts? Let us know on social media at Facebook.com/MacksLure.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind joined John Kruse on Northwestern Outdoors Radio for a long-ranging conversation on their decision to close recreational fishing to anglers. (Link: Facebook).
BY MACK’S LURE
As we all navigate unknown waters, we just wanted to take a minute to let you know how current restrictions and shutdowns are impacting Mack’s Lure and our ability to provide the customer service you’ve come to expect for the last 51 years. As of now, Mack’s Lure is operating in limited capacity due to state restrictions regarding non-essential businesses and employees, however that is not expected to impact MacksLure.com or delivery times. If you place an order, you can expect your order to arrive in 3-7 business days, depending on your location and when you ordered. If that changes, we will notify you directly. On behalf of Mack’s Lure, our employees and our retail partners, we want to say thank you for continuing to support us as we all work towards a better tomorrow. If you have any questions, you can reach us directly at 800-525-8737 or by email at customerservice@ mackslure.com. Please give us at least 24 hours to respond to your inquiry. For up to date information on how COVID-19 concerns are impacting Mack’s Lure, anglers and the fishing community in general, stay tuned to our social media at Facebook. com/MacksLure or on Instagram by following @MacksLure.
Germs got you stuck inside? Yeah, us too. Good news is, though, that if you live in a state that understands fishing is a safe, isolated activity perfect for today’s current landscape, you’re in luck. You get to go fishing! Congrats. However, if you live in a state where fishing is temporarily considered a crime punishable by hard labor washing your hands a thousand times a day, you’re stuck inside to stare out the window and imagine hooking that state record fish on a calm, sunny spring afternoon. We all know you weren’t actually going to catch a state record fish, but that’s not the point. You can’t go outside and enjoy the sport of fishing because of a microscopic monster named Corona. So instead, we’ve created the Official How To Survive a Quarantine: Fisherman’s Edition to help you (and your spouse) survive this tragic period in your life. If you complete each of these tasks daily, we can personally guarantee it will likely not help ease your urge to fish and is rather just a bunch of things to do while you procrastinate yard work.
We know you have lures in there you haven’t touched in 30 years. And you’re not going to use them next time you go fishing either. Make room for something that actually catches fish. Like a Wedding Ring. We hear they’re awesome. You’re also going to enjoy the hell out of a nice, fresh start when you get back on the water.
Never caught a walleye? Fire up the YouTube machine and watch one of 14 million videos posted by a bro wearing a flat bill teaching fellow Interneters how to catch these delicious bottom dwellers. Or learn to fly fish, if that’s your kind of thing. No judgement here.
At this rate, you’re going to be really ready to fish. There’s no better time than now to load up your finally-clean tackle box with shiny new lures ready to slay anything below your boat. And Mack’s Lure has you covered when it comes to components. Grab some new Smile Blades, beads and wedding rings and get to work.
Enough about you. Teach the kids a thing or two. While it’s a shame you can’t take them out on the water, it’s a great time to head down to the hardware store, grab that epic Hot Wheels push button rod and take the kids out to the back yard for a little lesson on how to cast and retrieve. Just make sure it’s not into a body of water -- that would be very illegal. Anyway, there’s a few tips on how to stay occupied during this awful time. Send us your quarantine pictures! 2
SONIC BAITFISH™ TIPS & TECHNIQUES
THE DESIGN OF THE 1/10 OZ SBF BY PETE ROSKO
SBF TECH GUIDE
When I designed the 1/10 oz. Sonic BaitFish™ (SBF), I had two primary types of actions in midn besides vertical jigging. They were swimming and “skittering.” Swimming is selfexplanatory. On the other hand, I do not think skittering is even a word. It could be a remote derivative of skittish, a real word. It means lively, nervous or easily frightened. Whatever interpretation is applied to it, skittering can produce strikes when all else fails. Generally, when I’m casting to near-surface freshwater fish, like largemouth bass, trout and walleye, my retrieve is slow and steady. The swimming, darting and vibrating action of the SBF is very effective because it imitates a real swimming and semi-frantic baitfish. However, I deviate from that action when largemouth bass turn negative to the swimming action. That’s when skittering can dramatically change the day. Bass find it extremely difficult not to attack something that is attempting to escape them. If I have a thousand bass photos, with an SBF hanging in its mouth, 75% of them were caught by skipping the SBF over the surface. The relatively thin design of the 1/10 oz. SBF was formed for a frisbee-
Mack’s Lure President Bob Schmidt joins Pro Staffer Shelby Ross of Ross Outdoor Adventures for a summer day on Potholes Reservoir with Angler West TV. Plenty of good tips on catching these summe walleye, including rigging tips and more.
type action on the surface in addition to its swimming action on the troll or retreive. When vertical jigging, the actions on the fall include darting, fluttering, flashing and vibration. The accompanying photo (right) shows a 1/10 oz. SBF. This version of the SBF has been altered by me. I have about ten different ways, thus far, that I can catch fish on every alteration. That’s the beauty of the versatility of a SBF. This alteration includes using the provided snap as an attachment for the hook and Indiana attractor blade. I would prefer to have the hook and spinner blade to be attached to a split ring instead for added strength. Then, attach a snap swivel to the nose of the SBF to minimize line twist. Always make sure the snap has a wide bend, similar to the one included in the package. This prevents the loss of lure action. The blade action creates extra flash and vibration, in addition to helping the planing action of the SBF.
technique, you will be rewarded with impressive strikes. Glow white and glow chartreuse are two of my productive finishes. TIPS: The attractor blade and hook eye must be free-swinging to be effective. Binding of either adversely alters the BSF action. Also, to enlarge the eye hole of the attractor blade, use a drill bit in reverse. This will prevent binding of the bit into the metal and will still enlarge the hole. Place the convex side down against a block of wood or tree stump before drilling. Better yet, use a bench press. As always, be safe of the water and handle your catch and release fish with loving care. Thank you for subscribing to the Mack Attack Magazine and join us next month for the May issue.
The SBF will skip over the surface on its flattened side with a gurgling or darting sound, similar to the all-time surface bass killer, the Fred Arbogast Jitterbug. Practice with your 6 - 6 1/2 foot spinning rod held vertically with a constant fast-twitching retrieve between 11-12 o’clock. By becoming proficient with this 3
WALLEYE FISHING BANKS
LAKE IN WASHINGTON STATE BY DANNY COYNE
For the serious walleye angler, Banks Lake has to be on the bucket list. Located in Grant and Douglas county in Washington State, it sits a mere five minutes south of Grand Coulee Dam and offers one of the best walleye fisheries in the entire Pacific Northwest. For Canadian anglers, the drive is only 2.5 hours from the Osoyoos border crossing.
for Banks Lake is 8 fish per day, per angler -- and a retention slot size limit of 12- to 22-inches; one fish can be over 22-inches. As May approaches, the large females have completed their spawn and become active again. Sticking around the north end of the lake near Steamboat Rock until early summer will help you improve your odds in locating fish. As the summer and fall move in, the fish will be found throughout the entire lake. The most effective way to target these fish is by bottom bouncing trolling with a variety of Mack’s Lure walleye setups, such as the Wally Pop and other spinners equipeed with a Smile Blade and Slow Death hook. The bait of choice is, hands down, good ole dew worms. Adding scents to your baits, such as Mack’s Lure UV Bait Scents Trophy Walleye will give those stubborn fish something they can’t resist.
Stretching close to 27 miles, Banks Lake offers fantastic walleye fishing throughout all regions of the lake, from March through October.
Trolling speed is critical, like in all walleye fisheries. In the early spring, start off trolling less than 1 mph and, as the temperatures rise, increase your speed. The best way to find out what the optimum speed is is to start slow and increase until the fish strike.
The pre-spawn season starts near the end of February and really starts to heat up in mid-March. The north end of the lake near Electric City and Steamboat Rock are great areas to pursue these early season walleye. Once the water temperature hits over 43 degrees, the walleye start to spawn and the fishing slows down for a couple weeks, usually the first part of April.
Banks also offers all of the amenities and accommodations to make your trip the perfect excursion. There are numerous boat launches, camping and facility options for you to use. It’s truly an experience that all anglers should take advantage of and enjoy. Of course, when you’re allowed to fish in Washington State again. But that’s a story for a different pandemic.
It is highly recommended and good fishing ethics to relesae the spawning female walleye during this period. This way, they can complete their spawn to sustain this amazing fishery. But don’t worry -- there are plenty of decent-sized male walleye between 15- and 19-inches willing to bite. The current limit of walleye 4
5 TACTICS FOR TROLLING
TROUT IN DIRTY WATER BY DANNY COYNE
The spring can be a very challenging time for anglers to target rainbow trout. As the freshet sets in, so do the dirty water conditions in our valley lakes. If you have ever tried to catch rainbow trout in these murky water situations, you know it can be difficult. However, these periods can also offer some of the greatest fishing opportunities of the year. As anglers, we need to work extra hard to discover ways to increase the fish we catch in murky water conditions. Here’s our top five tactics for trolling rainbow trout in dirty water to help increase your odds the next time you are faced with these conditions.
for reflection. Using lures such as spoons with color combinations with brass and fluorescent or glow can be lethal combinations. Fluorescent UV and glow colors will give that eye appeal to the fish, as these colors require less light to reflect the lure’s color. Choosing lures such as a Hum Dinger or Cripplure that has dark or fluorescent spots on them will also stand out to the fish. In extremely milky water circumstances, using dark flashers or dodgers with dark lures can payoff dividends. Sound & Vibration Rainbow trout are the apex predator in a majority of our fisheries. They are very good at homing in and attacking their prey. Once of the ways they do this is by detecting the low frequency vibrations or movements of smaller prey fish by utilizing their lateral lines. Using lures that create a small vibration (sound) can help the trout locate your presentation from a far distance, even during stained water conditions. Mack’s Lure offers several lures, including the Cripplure and Hum Dinger, which emit a ringing sound. Lures that have small rattles in them have a tendency to out-fish non-rattle lures, such as spoons. Another great way to put off an
attractive vibration is to use lures such as the Wedding Ring Classic or Pee Wee Spinner Hoochie. These blades put off sonic vibrations that entice a trout to track down your gear and strike. Using attractors will also really put the odds in your favor. Using Double D Dodgers, Troll Lite Flashers or Sling Blades are a huge benefit during dirty water conditions. Attractors create displacement in the water that help the trout find your presentation. During these low visibility periods, you can size up the size of attractors without spooking the fish like it can in clear water conditions. The new Double D Dodger 5.8 or Sling Blade 6” are deadly in these situations. Speeds Your trolling speed needs to adjust to the conditions. unlike in clear water, when we troll a variety of speds with pulses and intervals, I find it more productive to troll at a continuous speed. In murky water, the trout have to work extra hard to locate your baits. By trolling at a constant speed, the fish won’t give up as quickly when hunting down your gear. The key to this is that you need to find the productive speed that your lure’s action continues to work effectively and you start to get
WATCH THIS: FLAMING GORGE TROPHY TROUT
Contrast & Fluroescent UV Colors While fishing in stained water, paying attention to color and contrast is very important. In fact, in my experience, it’s the time of year that changing your lure color can make the biggest difference. You need to think about contrast! There is a lack of light penetrating the water, so using darker colors will create contrast to stand out much better to the fish. Using attractors with brass and copper will out-produce regular silver or chrome 4-to-1 due to the low amount of light available
Learn effective trout fishing techniques from Mack’s Lure Pro Staff Mike Hall and Melissa Nokes on Flaming Gorge (Wyo.) on this episode of Angler West TV. This highly instructional episode also features tips on cutthroat, lake trout and brown trout.
strikes. Once you start to connect with fish, pay attention to your trolling speed and keep with it. It’s a fine balance from going too slow and too fast. Choosing lures, such as a variety of Mack’s Lure Smile Blade spinners that work in slow trolling applications will aid you in this process. Depth of your Presentation Before the freshet arrived, you may have been hammering rainbows in the deep water regions of the lake. However, rainbows’ behavior will change once the spring runoff starts to enter the lake. The tributaries are not only bringing in warmer water, but they are depositing a ton of nutrients into the lake. These elements attract small forage fish into the shallow schoals. The warm water can also provide extra comfort for the trout. Rainbows that were once chasing baitfish on the surface over a couple hundred feet of water can now be residing near shallow shoals or ledges, feeding upon baitfish while being in comfortable water conditions. A lot of the time, you will see a distinct divide within the water where the clean lake water meets the murky runoff water. These are excellent areas to target, as the trout will tend to hangout in these zones. Troll just on the edge of the clean water in these areas. it is important to note that during these spring runoff seasons, it is also the time of year where rainbow trout are staging in front of the tributaries to run up for their spawn. It’s an ethical angling practice to release these spawning fish so they can complete their spawning cycle. Your lure depth while trolling is also extremely important to pay attention to. Unlike clear water conditions, the fish’s strike zone is reduced during murky times. If you are marking fish at 50 feet on your sonar and your gear is at 65 feet, you need to adjust your downrigger to the depth in which you
are marking fish. This way, you can be confident that your presentation is within the fish’s strike zone. During dirty water situations, rainbows tend to not move quickly throughout the water column chasing forage, but rather wait for an opportunistic meal to present itself. The cloudy water conditions aid predator fish like the rainbow trout in providing them an advantage in ambushing their prey.
Double D Dodgers. This dynamic new size is the perfect addition to your trout, kokanee and salmon arsenal.
Suface Fishing Usually, on the bright spring days, the sun will push the fish down within the water column, as it’s harder on their eyes, as well as they will follow their food. when the water clarity diminishes, the rainbows are more apt to stay near the surface because the murky water provides a filterlike effect from the bright light. This can be a very good time to surface for rainbows no matter if you have bright or cloudy days. As noted above, the trout tend to use the low water clarity to ambush their prey. By trolling your lures on the surface, it delivers a silhouette effect to your lure, making for an easy target. Running dark colored lures that have erractic, vibrating action, such as the Mack’s Lure Pee Wee Wiggle Hoochie, is an excellent option for this method.
DOUBLE D DODGER 5.8 BY MACK’S LURE
Mack’s Lure recently released the Double D Dodger 5.8, an expansion of our current line of 4.4 and 7.6
“The Double D Dodger 5.8 was created out of necessity,” Mack’s Lure Sales Director Bob Loomis said. “The 4.4 works fantastic for kokanee and trout and the larger 7.6 version works great for steelhead and salmon, but you haev circumstances that leave you with a void. “Ultimately, the Double D Dodger 5.8 was created for fishing the ‘in between species and styles.’ This dodger specializes in being able to fish deep with a lot of movement at much slower speeds with larger lures. “You would generally hang up and lose more gear with the larger dodgers trying to fish the bottom and have problems attracting fish from much further away using the smaller dodgers. “The new 5.8 size works fantastic for all of these issues and will be a welcomed addition to the 4.4 and 7.6 line up.” Like it’s predecessors, the Double D Dodger 5.8 not only has the proven, traditional dodger action, but it also delivers its patent-pending stopand-go action to your lure (see above). With five attachment points, you can easily spread your lines, while also doubling as a side planer. The Double D Dodger 5.8 is now available at MacksLure.com in UV Lemon Lime, UV Pearl, Silver and Hot Pink. Pick yours up today. 6
HOT DEAL | USE CODE: DUBD58
OF THE MONTH Have a questions you want answered? Send your inquiry to us and yours may be featured! Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Just search @MacksLure and you’ll find us!
Q: What is a snubber and how do you rig it? A: Common question! A trolling snubber is essentially a rubber band that helps reeling in a smaller, more aggressive fish. It’s designed to act as a shock absorber, which minimizes the chance of losing a fish when reeling it in.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH Our good friend Ryan Zoch passed along this photo of a Columbia River walleye caught on a Wally Pop last weekend prior to the shutdown of state lakes and rivers.
In additoin to using a snubber, using a good monofilament line also gives a needed stretch to help hold that fish on. Monofilament line gives the most stretch and a snubber compliments its ability, especially if the rod doesn’t match the type of fishing. Another ideal situation of using a snubber is when fishing deep. Fishing deep gives more elasticity to the line, which will hold the fish on, as well. How do you rig it? From the main line, attach a swivel, then attach the snubber, which attaches to the top o the dodger. It’s just a preference, but you can attach the snubber either above or below the dodger.
VIDEO OF THE MONTH Check our this awesome video from Richy Harrod of the Northwest Outdoorsmen. He depicts the relentless pursuit of kokanee throughout every season of the year.
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