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Posted By:
The Fisher
Joined 12/13/2004
Msg 1 Posted: 10:52 AM 02/03/05 (CST)
He used to say that the secret to catching lots of fish was to put high percentage lures in high percentage places a high percentage of the time. That has been real apparent in several fly ins where I was only allowed 50 lbs total weight for gear, lures, clothes, etc. With that in mind, What would you pick for your lure/bait selections if YOU WERE LIMITED TO ONLY 3 LURES/BAIT FOR A PARTICULAR SPECIES FOR THE ENTIRE OPEN WATER SEASON? Here's my picks.

MUSKY- Spinnerbait, Minnowbait(Magnum 7" Rapala or largest Smithwick Rogue--pick em'), 6-12 inch sucker, (Suick as honorable mention)

PIKE- Spinnerbait, jig (choice 1 is a 5" curl tail grub), minnowbait (6" Rapala)

LARGEMOUTH- Zara Super Spook, jig (3-5 inch curl tail grub), spinnerbait

CRAPPIE- Bait rigging w/ minnow, jig (1 1/2 inch curl tail), never needed a third choice

WALLEYE- Crawler spinner rig, jig w/ minnow, minnow bait (#1 choice is original Rapala) can be weighted w/ a split shot on line in front of lure to become a suspending lure----very versatile

LAKERS- Spinner Rig w/ minnow or chub, jigging spoon(Pirk minnow is choice 1), Magnum size Rapala Husky Jerk. ALSO--a great combo is to put the husky jerk on the bottom portion of a 3 way swivel w/ the spinner rig on the top potion. By doing this you can troll a 10 - 15 foot depth range. By using weight on the line you can then troll that range at whatever depth you find fish at. The husky jerk dives deeper and the spinner rig rides up---especially if floating rig is used. Have not used on walleye yet but would think effective also--if someone has used on eyes let me know how it worked.

STREAM TROUT (RAINBOWS,BROWNS,BROOKIES,CUT THROATS)- Nightcrawler w/ split shot and hook, small in line spinner, small jig (crawdad or crustacean imitator)

SMALLMOUTH- live bait rig (minnow or crawler), Minnowbait (original Rapala), #4 Blue Fox in line spinner

Those would be my picks--obviously some other lures/baits would be more effective at certain times or under certain conditions than the ones I chose, but if limited to only 3 options to cover all conditions for all open water season for that specific species these would be my picks.

With all the wisdom contained on this forum there must be a lot of knowledge in the ability to simplify choices quickly to the higher percentage bets.

So these were my picks, What are yours?


Posted By:
Joined 02/26/2004
Msg 2 Posted: 11:51 AM 02/03/05 (CST)
Hold on... This is going to actually require some thought. I see the lures, most I am unsure of the name. I'll get back to you.

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Posted By:
Senior Member
Joined 07/13/2004
Msg 3 Posted: 12:24 PM 02/03/05 (CST)
I wouldn't be able to survive on just 3 lures. I have 4 huge boxxes full of lures that I take with me on almost every fishing trip I take.

Posted By:
The Fisher
Joined 12/13/2004
Msg 4 Posted: 12:36 PM 02/03/05 (CST)
I understand. I just went out to the garage and counted and have 8 total tackle boxes, but several are for specific species only and not used unless I am targeting those fish in particular. But the "picking only 3 lures" made me closely consider versatility and effectiveness. For example, I think the most important factor is depth--after all, if I'm fishing for bottom hugging walleyes a Zara Spook topwater is a poor choice for those walleyes even though it may be a tremendous lure for topwater feeding largemouth bass, so I need 3 lures that cover me from top to bottom of the water column for the species I am targeting. Second most important factor in my opinion would be speed of retrieve--so I try to find lures that cover top to bottom of the water column in addition to allowing me to fish at all rates of retrieve speed. And so on down the line of factors. I have fished several tournaments where you were only allowed a certain poundage of lures in the boat. So come on, if push came to shove, what would you pick as the ones you have confidence in?
Posted By:
Senior Member
Joined 07/13/2004
Msg 5 Posted: 01:25 PM 02/03/05 (CST)
Top water: Scum Frog.

Middle: would be some type of crank bait. (I would need to know what's in the lake that the game fish are feeding on.)

Bottom: plastic worm.

Posted By:
Senior Member
Joined 02/01/2005
Msg 6 Posted: 02:17 PM 02/03/05 (CST)
This will sound wierd, and I don't know about the other two baits, if I was limited to only 3, but my top favorite lure is the Luhr Jensen Super-Duper.

Not a popular lure here in Minnesota, I know, but...I have caught every variety of fish all around the country with the thing. The original brass finish with the red near the tie-on is the only one worth fishing.

You can still get them up to 1/4 oz, but the larger sizes are no longer made, as far as I can tell. I have a couple of 3" one and a 4" one in my tackle box, but am afraid to use them for fear of losing them.

Do they work in Minnesota? Well...yes. My first outing here was shore fishing last mid-July near the launch ramp at Phalen. All I had was my ultralight outfit and some baits I brought from California. So, I tied on the little 1/8" Super-Duper and tossed it out.

A very, very slow retrieve is the technique with this thing, with a little stop and go to let the lure flutter down, and maybe a rod twitch now and then.

First cast: Largemouth...just a little one about 10" long.
Second Cast: Yellow Perch -- 8"
Third Cast: Some species of sunfish.
A few empty casts next.
Another Cast: 8" Walleye youngster.

The last fish I caught was a Northern, about 18" long. I landed him, too, even with the ultralight outfit and the 4 lb. line.

I took the same outfit over to Beaver Lake, off McKnight, and caught lots of little sunnies. Then, just before I finished a retrieve, this big (to me) Northern grabbed the little 1/8 oz lure. I hooked it, but my outfit just wasn't up to the fish, and it broke off.

All on the same bait.

Elsewhere, I've caught stream trout, lake trout, steelhead, three salmon species, largemouth, smallmouth, crappie, countless panfish, and even a catfish once on a Super-Duper.

In the ocean, I've caught makerel, bonito, yellowfins, one halibut, numerous surf perch, a couple of barracudas, and more, using the larger versions.

I've come to the conclusion that the Super-Duper is deadly on any fish that eats other fish. It's a terrible line-twister, but you can't use a snap swivel near the lure or it spoils its action. The fix is a ball-bearing swivel about 12" up-line.

Very, very slow retrieve, or it's especially deadly when trolled while rowing a boat.

Anyhow, I'm going to see what the larger versions do for Northerns, and I might even hang the largest one out if I'm in Muskie water. Betcha it works.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


O So Minnesota Blog -- Fishing Page
Posted By:
Robbie G
New User
Joined 01/17/2005
Msg 7 Posted: 10:59 PM 02/03/05 (CST)
I am die hard bass so my three would be:

1. Plastic craw. Smallies and largies love them. You can slop fish them, deep fish them, or work a river channel with them.

2. Buzzbait. My alltime favorite topwater. Has caught many hawg smallies and largies for me.

3. Jig n Pig. Doesn't always produce the bites of the two lures above it but the bites are usually quality.

Rob Gleason
Catch-N Tackle Pro Staff Fishing Forums
Posted By:
New User
Joined 01/28/2005
Msg 8 Posted: 09:42 PM 02/05/05 (CST)
I'd agree it probably depends on the game fish in the lake or river I'm fishing in.. but for the lake I'm at my three would be

1) shiner or leech on a floating jig with egg sinker
2) countdown rapala
3) krockadile spoon
Posted By:
esox stalker
New User
Joined 02/07/2005
Msg 9 Posted: 12:29 PM 02/07/05 (CST)
ooohhh the brain cramps----but as the question was asked I usually only fish 4 of those fish. But heres what i would throw at those 4 if i only had 3 baits to choose from to cover the whole year

muskie---bucktail(windells muskie harrasser) - Mouldy's Hog Wobbler- 7inch shallow running cisco kid with a 5" plastic mister twister on the rear treble.

pike---3/4 ounce little cleo spoon, mainia 6 inch jake minnowbait, #5 blue fox super vibrax bucktail.

smallmouth---rattlin rap crankbait, bitsy bug with 1/4 inch pork trailer, zara pup( a 4inch version of the larger spook)

lake trout---northlands big bucktail jig(add a minnow on the back hook with a trailer), i have used that 3 way swivel rig also but you can also do a deep diving crankbait on bottom to increase how deep it goes without using as much weight on the line and a plain sucker strip on a hook on the top side. or even a heavy spoon on bottom and a flutter spoon on top.

Guys in Canada get the big bucks to tell you this--this site let's you in the know for free. UNBELIEVABLE !! so come on guys, enlighten me to some of your real success tactics.
Posted By:
New User
Joined 01/28/2005
Msg 10 Posted: 08:08 PM 02/07/05 (CST)
Indeed good info. I may have to try some new tactics this year.
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