2024 will mark some significant changes to my lure lineup. Component availability has, and will continue to be a problem. Consequently, the large Top Prop Plunking Lure will no longer be available, once my present inventory is sold out. In addition, the Silver Shaker Wing will no longer be available due to component availability. I will be replacing it with two new designs which we field tested last spring and summer. They are called the Cowlitz River and Skagit River Specials. The Cowlitz River Special is a redesign of the ever popular Silver Shaker Wing, and the Skagit River Special is an entirely new color combination of metallic chartreuse Lil’ Corkies® and UV beads. So far, both of the new lures have shown to be very effective Chinook plunking  lures on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. 

Skagit River Special


During the 2023 Brewster Pool salmon season, we tested several lure designs and here is the winning lure. I call it Xander’s Brewster Pool Special, named after ten year old Xander Black, who did most of the testing for me, and absolutely slayed the Sockeye (see below). 

The lure has a trailing red #2, Gamakatsu octopus hook and a 2/0 Gamakatsu Big River hook inside the glow in the dark hoochie. The Big River hook is tied with an egg loop knot so you can easily attach a small piece of bait beneath the hoochie. The beads fluoresce, the hoochie glows in the dark, and the lure is topped with a mirror finish  blade. 

These lures are attractive to both Sockeye and Chinook, and have hooks large enough, and strong enough to land both.

Cowlitz River Special

Xander’s Brewster Pool Special


In early September, Cole Vercetti wrote “Hey Mike, love your gear. Was wondering if it’s possible you could make me a Snake River Special with the rainbow blade?”

I agreed to produce a custom lure combining elements from my two most popular lures. The results spoke loud and clear. Cole landed a beautiful 22# fish. In Cole’s words, “I have full faith in your lures”


My friend John Smith was fishing in the Brewster Pool with his friend Reggie and Reggie’s 10 year old son Xander.

 John Smith & Xander

 Reggie & Xander

I asked John if he would test a new Sockeye lure design for me. According to John, Xander had the hot pole, catching several fat Sockeye on the new lure design.

So far, the new lure seems to be a winner but we will continue to test and tweak it for the rest of the summer. Perhaps it will be added to our lure lineup next year.


The Silver Shaker Wing and Top Prop plunking lures produced these beautiful Springers .


I fished the Snake River for Steelhead in late September. The results were spectacular, to say the least.

I was using the Snake River Special with a tiny dab of Trout/Steelhead Lunker Lotion on the back side of the blade.

This has been my go to lure for Steelhead ever since I designed it in 2017. At the end of the day, I caught and released five wild fish, lost two and got a 15# keeper! I love this lure!


I developed a smaller version of our new Top Prop lure as Winter Steelhead prefer smaller lures when the water gets clear. In this version, I tied it on a .040 stainless wire and used a 2/0 Gamakatsu Big River hook. Add a small bit of shrimp or a nightcrawler to the hook and you have a very effective winter time steelhead lure. I had two groups testing this lure on the Snake and Clearwater Rivers since early October. Like it’s big brother, the Steelhead Special has out-fished all the other lures on each boat!

WINTER 2022:

Brian S. says, “This is how I rig up a sand shrimp on the Top Prop Plunking Lure. I remove the corkies, the lure and beads. I then slide a red bobber stop about 3” above the hooks. Then I thread the sand shrimp on a needle and then on to the line. I then put the lure back together minus the corkies. I try to keep about 4 sand shrimp setups rigged up so I can swap it out when the bait needs changing.


Well, the results are in. The Top Prop lure is a winner! Opening day of plunking for Spring Chinook on the Snake River, we caught 6 fish in under an hour on 6 of the 7 poles rigged with it! For more information on this lure, click on the plunking lure link below.

Brian S. says, I picked up a couple of the Top Prop lures by Orion Tackle for springers in SE Washington. We had good luck during the spring season and I decided to troll with them at Hanford Reach this fall. I removed the corkies (as suggested by Orion Tackle), and what a game changer! Our boat ran 4 poles and the hot pole had a Top Prop on it. Boy did that get the guys talking about my setup and where they could get one. We've fished 5 weekends in a row and the Top Prop is by far the best setup for us. Nothing can resist it. We're fishing for kings, but we've released steelhead and sturgeon. Orion has done their research and made something so versatile the fish can't resist it.’’

Here are a few pictures Brian sent.

Even though the chrome plating on the body of the lure has been destroyed by fish strikes and hitting the bottom, it continues to attract fish, because the plating on the tiny wings is undamaged.

FALL STEELHEAD: September, 2020. 

We did well, despite low numbers of Steelhead this fall. As always the Snake River Special and the Rainbow blade did the job enabling us to land several 12-18# fish.


Well, we kicked butt on spring Chinook this year. My friends and I limited out every day using the tried and true Lil’ Corky®/Shaker Wing combo plunking lures.

SPRING CHINOOK: April 8, 2019. 

We modified the Lil’ Corky®/Shaker Wing combo we successfully prototyped last spring, to get better hookups on jack Chinook. We were getting a lot of bites but the fish just wouldn’t stay on the hook. Hmm. Jacks have a much smaller mouth than adult fish. Perhaps the bottom 3/4” Lil’ Corky® is preventing the jacks from closing their mouths and getting a better hookup. Solution? Remove the bottom 3/4” Lil’ Corky® and replace it with two smaller ones- a 1/2” and a 3/8”. Wow! That did the trick. We immediately began to land jacks. Sometimes, a small change makes all the difference.


Well, the Spring Chinook season has ended on the Snake River. Despite harsh fishing conditions, we did much better than most fishermen, landing over 30 fish. Some of our success can be attributed to luck (as always), but I believe the use of the new plunking lure with the Shaker Wing made the difference in attracting many of the fish we caught. Like most fishermen will do, several made changes to the basic lure so it is difficult to report exactly how many fish were caught on the original version. Some fishermen added small, pink hoochie skirts to conceal the bait. Some changed the Lil’ Corky® colors. We all used different types of bait. However, the bottom line is, the addition of the Shaker Wing attracted more fish to our lines than using plain Lil’ Corkys®. I did not change any of the elements on the lures I used, and had results equal or better than the rest of the fishermen doing the prototyping. Therefore, all of our Lil’ Corky® lures will now include Shaker Wings.


The results so far have exceeded my expectations! My friends and I have caught 16 Chinook to date on this lure, despite extremely high, dirty water on the Snake River. We have used shrimp, sardines, tuna belly and herring for bait with equal results.

SPRING CHINOOK: April 15, 2018. 

We will be prototyping a new version of the ever-popular plunking lures this spring. I have added a Shaker Wing to the lure to make them even more effective with the Big River single hooks.

Please click on the links below for additional information.