Here are jigs that can be really tough to find and they are really popular among lake trout fishermen both in ice and open water fishing. To use, simply wet the jig and stick it inside the tube and pop the eyelet out the sidewall of the tube. Attach with swivel or you can tie on direct. Swivel is a better idea though.
All you do to use these is pick a weight for your depth and the desired amount of drop. If you are in deep water, say 70 feet and using 15 lb. test mono, the 1-1/4 ounce will drop like a bomb. If you use, as many laker fishermen now do, a braided line, the 15 lb. test is only 4 lb. test diameter. With braided line, you can use a lighter weight jig for about the same drop because there is less line drag in the water. Lighter weight jigs will give a better swimming action than the heavy ones.
But, the advantage to heavy jigs is sometimes when you see a fish on your flasher and he’s ignoring your current lure. You want to get there now because it’s not like they sit down and have a delightful latte’ while they are reading the New York Times. They are predators and they are on patrol. If they feel like killing something smaller than themselves, they will do so with impunity. There’s no “well, that Rapala Rippin’ Rap has absolutely beautiful colors but I’m really not in the mood for them” going on down there in the trout’s brain as non-fishermen would try to have us believe. It’s a big, fat laker who is King of the bottom and he doesn’t give a crap about your Rippin’ Rap right now.
So, you crank up like a monkey with his tail on fire and drop down that white, pre-rigged tube jig already tied to your back-up rod. Your eyes impatiently watch the jig drop on your flasher. C’mon, C”MON! Down to that big red blotch as it falls, seemingly forever.
That big laker came in for a looksee with the Rippin’ Rap but now you are offering him a change of menu. It’s soft, it’s squishy, it’s easy to catch and the white-ish color looks delicious. He turns like a shark on a blood rampage and chomps on your helpless tube jig, his feeling nothing but squish with a bone on the inside, just as nature intended. You set the hook on “three” and drive that single, barbed point into the solid, bony victory of that trout’s mouth. The fight has begun. You brace and race to drag him to the top as the smell of lightly pan-fried trout chunks simmers in your nose. But, the non-moving force of those big fanned-out pectoral fins put the brakes on any vertical movement for you. You bend your rod to the breaking point, being sweaty careful not to cede an ounce of slack in your line because you know if you do, he is gone. He’s like a Russian submarine down there, not coming up no matter how hot the reactor is burning. But, then as your wrist begins to feel the strain, he starts to move. Slowly, but with awesome power your drag peels out line under great duress. You wonder if he’s gonna fit through the hole and where the hell did you put the gaff. But, you are a long ways away from the gaff. First, we’re going to see how your line holds up, then your drag, then your rod.
And, that is what I think of EVERY… single…time…. I go lake trout fishing.
I’ll be looking for lakers on Sunday. Can’t wait.