YAKIMA SPINFISH

Reviewed by CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD

It’s a long story of what led me to be at Lake Erie last year, stuffing a three-inch Yakima SpinFish with sardines packed in Louisiana Hot Sauce. Previously I’d used oil-packed sardines to add scent and taste to these lures on Lake Michigan and I’d proven these “meat-packed” lures were solid salmon and laker lures. I actually didn’t even mean to include the SpinFish in the assortment of crankbaits I was taking to Ohio with me.

But I did, and my brother pulled it out of the tackle box thinking it was a Yakima Mag Lips. We had a Mag Lips working well on the port side, why not put another on the starboard side planer? 

When I saw the package Brother Al had pulled out I explained that though the banana-shaped lure he’d grabbed looked similar to a Mag Lips, they were miles apart in action. The Mag Lips is a diving crankbait – the SpinFish doesn’t dive. They just spin round and round, supposedly like a crazed or wounded baitfish swims. On Lake Michigan I always rigged them behind a flasher and used a downrigger, diver or weighted long line to put them at what I hoped was a productive depth. Additionally, I explained, they are designed to be stuffed with bait – sardines, tuna, herring or something else to leave a scent trail through the water.

Al pointed at the port side diver and said, “We haven’t caught anything on that Dipsey so far today. There are some sardines in the snacks cooler, so let’s try it.” Alan is stubborn so I knew there was no arguing with him. I showed him how to pull the SpinFish apart to add the sardines and tied the fluorocarbon leader which comes with each SpinFish to the Dipsey Diver.

Rigged and ready, Alan reset the diver rod with the “Red hot spinny.”  That’s not what we called he SpinFish at first, but when it elicited bites on a steady basis, one walleye after another, that’s what we renamed it – both because of the color and the hot-spiced sardines. Was it the lure? The action? The hot sauce? I doubt the Tobasco added as much attraction as the sardine juice washing out of the lure, but what ever it was, the walleye loved it.

Will this be the next “hot lure” craze to hit Lake Erie and other walleye hot spots?  I doubt it. But there will be several SpinFish in my lure assortment the next time I head over to Lake Erie.  SpinFish come in several sizes, a multitude of colors and are widely available at tackle shops and on-line sources. See them all at www.yakimabait.com.

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