2024 will mark some significant changes to my lure lineup. Component availability has, and will continue to be a problem. Consequently, the 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 them with two new designs which we have been field testing this summer. They are called the Cowlitz River and Skagit River Specials. The Cowlitz River Special is a modification of the ever popular Silver Shaker Wing, and the Skagit River Special is an entirely new color combination of metallic chartreuse Lil’ Corkys and UV beads. So far, both of the new lures have shown to very effective on Chinook in the Snake and Columbia Rivers.
Cowlitz River Special
Skagit River Special
CUSTOM DESIGN PAYS OFF!
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”
2023 SOCKEYE FISHING IN THE BREWSTER POOL:
My friend John Smith was fishing in the Brewster Pool with his friend Reggie and his 10 year old son John.
John Smith & John
Reggie & John
I asked John if he would test a new Sockeye lure design for me. According to John, young John had the hot pole, catching several fat Sockeye on the new lure.
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.
2023 SPRING CHINOOK FISHING ON THE SNAKE RIVER:
The Silver Shaker Wing and Top Prop plunking lures produced these beautiful Springers .
FALL 2022 STEELHEAD FISHING:
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!
NEW STEELHEAD TROLLING LURE:
I developed a smaller version of our new Top Proplure 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 1/0 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.
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.
NEW SALMON AND STEELHEAD TROLLING AND PLUNKING LURE:
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.
I am adding a new line of lures to our product line. These unique lures are designed to catch kokanee, walleye, trout and panfish. We will be doing extensive field testing this winter and next summer. For more information, please click on the KOKE/EYE Lures link below.
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.
SPRING CHINOOK: 5/30/18
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.