I mentioned to my fishing companions I had some “secret” lures to try out. “The secret,” I said, “is instead of having rattles inside to attract the fish, they have an internal electric sound maker which would activate when the lure went into the water. The sound is supposed to mimic the ‘scream’ baitfish make as they flee for their life when a predator is near.”

They laughed and looked at me trying to gauge if I was serious or just joking to make the miles to the Erie Islands area go a little quicker. I told them, “Seriously, I’ve got several of these.” They continued giving me the stink-eye look as their bullshit meters pegged well into the red. (Actually, my BS meter was pretty well pegged, as well.) 

On the boat, that first afternoon, I tied on one of the “scream-like-a-baitfish models” from Livingston Lures – an EBS Walleye 90 – licked my thumb and fore-finger, then touched them to each of the hook hangers to complete the circuit and activate the “sound system.” Then I held the lure up to their ears so they could hear the sound. Whether or not it sounds like a screaming baitfish, I don’t know. To me, it sounded something like a squeaking mouse. In use, the water is what switches on the EBS – electric baitfish sound.

I sent the lure out on one of the planer boards and in a few minutes, we caught our first fish of the trip. It came on the “screamer” lure, as my fishing partners dubbed it. Then it caught another and another – not every fish, but it got enough bites we tied on an LL Voyager 15 Walleye model and put it on the other side of the boat. These lures, in the Purple Tiger and Wonder Bread colors, caught their share and more that first afternoon and for the next few days. The EBS Walleye 136 stickbait in Fire Tiger deployed deep using divers and downriggers contributed to our limits each day, as well.

Livingston Lures feature VMC hooks, sturdy hardware, great paint and most important, even the deep diving Voyager 15 ran true at speeds over 3 mph. Very impressive lures and performance.  

There’s no doubt the addition of some sort of “sound” makes a good lure better, whether that’s a rattle, a spinner blade or something else. Why not a sound produced electronically? The Livingston Lures guys say their EBS “screaming” baitfish sound attracts fish three times farther than rattles. The battery life is 300 hours. I’m sure I have some lures which have more than 300 hours on them, but not many, and if I lost one of those veterans, I’d happily purchase a replacement. I’ve already ordered some other “screaming” baits in different models and colors to use for salmon and trout.  My BS meter is back in the green. Available at retail outlets as well as online at



Roughly one out of ten people are left handed so most tools and equipment are made for us “righties.” Some products are available in lefty versions, some lefty products are available only at a higher cost and many items just aren’t available in a made-for- southpaws version..

Most lefties just learn to deal with it. How hard could that be, at least in some instances?

When it comes to fishing reels, I didn’t think it would be all that tough. After all, when I’m wielding a casting or trolling reel, I turn the handle positioned on the right side of the reel. When I’m using a spinning reel, it feels just as natural to crank with the handle positioned on the left side.

So when Dena Vick from Traditions Media arranged for Daiwa to get me the most current model of the Daiwa’s Sealine Linecounter she asked, “Left hand or right?” There’s something many reel makers don’t offer – a lefty version.

 I’ve got a dozen or more line counter reels from several different companies – all right handed. “Why not try a left handed version?” I thought.

 I’m sure the features of the SG-3B in either lefty or right-handed versions would be equal. The carbon fiber drags would be the same, the three ball bearings that make the handle and spool turn smooth as silk, the clicker, the line counter and all the rest would be similar. “Send me the left handed model,” I said. “It will be an interesting trial.”

I introduced it to my line-up on a trip to Lake Erie with three friends. One of them was a lefty, the rest of us were right handed. I didn’t mention one of the reels would be a left-handed version. I wanted to gauge their reactions the first time they hefted it.

I made the initial set with “Lefty” and my friends didn’t immediately notice the reel was different. When the first fish hit on that set-up, one of the right handed guys grabbed it and though his back was to me, I could tell he was fumbling with the reel until he realized everything was back-assward.

When the walleye was in the boat, he asked me, “What’s with the left handed reel?” I told him it was a demo and he’d just been a part of the demonstration.

“Let Doug (the other right hander) reset that line and see what he thinks,” I said.            Doug’s comment after doing so was, “Well that was weird!”

 We each caught a several fish with the outfit and experimented with using it deployed on both downriggers and planer boards. I agreed with Doug – it was weird.

A part of the weirdness, for me, was how much different it was when reeling in a fish with this reel than if I’d been using a left handled spinning reel. It was a completely different, surprisingly awkward experience – and I’ve caught thousands of fish on spinning reels. For some types of fishing I like spinning reels better than revolving spool reels.

It’s not just the free spool lever being on the “wrong” side or the star drag in an unfamiliar spot. Just the act of holding and reeling seemed strange.

On the other hand (pun intended) the lefty in our group loved it! Being an avid fisherman, he was no stranger to using right handed, revolving spool reels. Actually, this was the first left handed one he’d ever experienced. Evidently, reeling “right” to a lefty is just as awkward as reeling “left” was to me.

So if you are a left handed angler and looking for a good quality, line counter trolling reel, consider the Daiwa Sealine SG-3B – available in the small “17″ size, the medium “27″ size or the salmon-sized “47″.  Your right-handed fishing partners may not be thrilled, but why should you mind? Give them a taste of what you’ve been putting up with your whole fishing career. 



Challenger lures sent me some of their new, copper backed – Three D Worm Harnesses. The front of the spinner blades – either willow leaf or Colorado are available in more than a rainbow assortment of walleye-popping colors, including glows, and UVs, but the reverse side is copper plated. They looked good so I wanted to give them a swim.

Most guys using worm harnesses on Lake Erie and other locations pull them along at slow speeds when trolling or while drifting at even slower speeds. I’ll go with what-ever-it-takes to get fish on the line, but our spread was doing just fine with a variety of crankbaits trolled at 2.5 to 3 MPH, so pulling out the bottom bouncers and backing down to half that speed didn’t seem like a winning plan.

Rather than slowing down and totally switching to a worm and harness plan, I decided to pin the harnesses to my downriggers and Dipsey Divers to get them into the same zone the cranks were getting bites, then “whizzing” them right along with the hard-body baits. Would that work?

I learned a secret. The walleye didn’t care if the rig was going 1.2 or 2.8. The rods with the harnesses did their fair share of damage to the Lake Erie walleye population, right along with the other lures.

We alternated colors and blade shape each day and though none of them failed to score, we did better with the Colorado blade models and the patterns heavy with blue/purple/pink seemed to have an edge over the ones with the green/orange/chartreuse paint schemes.

All were well made, had plenty of beads, sharp hooks and strong enough leaders to hold up to numerous fish.  Check out the Three D Harnesses at



On a recent trip to Lake Erie I had the chance to test out a variety of “walleye” spoons. One of the spoons which exhibited an all-star performance was a Moonshine RV Walleye model.

Why not? It checks all the boxes about what a good walleye spoon should be. At three-inches, it’s the right size and has a good action over a wide range of speeds.

The one I used started with a copper colored blank, easily visible. Making it even more visible, it’s painted – as are all Moonshine Lures – with long-glowing, glow-in-dark paint (which isn’t just for low light conditions) and then it’s covered with a UV activated coating to make it even more visible. If the fish didn’t see it, they were blind.

Seeing it and biting it is different, but the JJ Mac Muffin color must have looked tasty to the walleye near our boat. They bit it regularly.  Check out to find this and other patterns as well as where to purchase them.



Bay de Noc lure company is best known for its Swedish Pimple spoon, used as a vertical jigging spoon as much as anything. Bay de Noc does produce other models (check them all out at including one called a Flutter Laker Taker. It’s unlike any spoon I’ve previously fished.

I’ve had plenty of trolling spoons, which after being inhaled by a big, tough fish, end up with an unplanned bend in the blade back towards the hook. I pound these bent up blades back flat before sending them out again. Some still work, some are ruined.

The Flutter Laker Takers start out with a sharp bend about a quarter of the way up the blade from the hook. This insures the spoon will have plenty of action, even at low, slow trolling speeds, says Bay de Noc.

I don’t troll low and slow with my crankbaits – normal, for me, is on the plus side of 2.5 mph. I didn’t have much faith in this well bent bait when I tied it on. Wrong!            

With a 50 foot lead, I set the L-Taker out on the port side of the boat four feet behind a #2 Tadpole. As it was sliding into position, it released (with a fish) before the rod was even put in the rod holder. “Good start!” I thought.

It soon became the star on that side of the boat, catching more like two of every three fish than just it’s share. The next day I put it first on one of the Dipsey Divers and once it caught a few fish there, I moved it to a downrigger set where it continued it’s winning way.

They come in various sizes and colors. The one I used was the three-inch model and had a simple nickel finish with a fluorescent yellow stripe down the side.