Even thought it is the wrong time of the year to be thinking about open water walleye fishing, I find myself planning for next spring already. Good or bad, I actually started looking back in October on the Do-It Mold website and had them mail out a catalog. One nice thing was that they included a 25% off offer for folks placing a direct order for the first time. That actually took a little sting out of placing an order so close to Christmas time.
This is going to be my big leap into pouring lead for the first time, so I did a lot of research on melting pot options. I asked guys I know who have done it before, specifically their likes and dislikes. I chose Lee Pro 4-20 self pouring, 110 volt model. It has a 20 pound lead capacity, that is 320, one ounce jigs at a time!
Even though I was not going to out of control in ordering things I might like to have, when it came to the molds, I ordered the ones I knew for a fact that I would get the most use out of right away.
Going left to right, I can use bell sinkers for just about any application. The lighter ones for drop shotting for bass, and I know, people who know me are screaming….”WHAT???” because I mentioned bass fishing. Truth be told, the drop shot approach is a lot of fun, it reminds me a little of jigging for walleye a little bit. Then there is always live bait rigging with a three-way swivel, and that works with panfish and walleye. OK, just got a thought for a new approach for pike and muskie under a float, will have to save that for another day after I toy with the idea a little more. Mostly I chose this mold for perch fishing and went with the brass eyelet versus the swivel model because it just looked like a better product. Besides, there is already a swivel at the top of the perch rigs that I make, and usually a snap and swivel on the main line attaching to the rig.
Second from the left is the Walleye Head Jig mold. Bottom left in this picture. There several types to choose from, but the WHJ-7-AR model has a ring and a barb for better securing plastic like a Wyandotte Worm or a Fin-S Minnow. It still doesn’t hurt to carry around a tube of crazy glue in your jig box just in case, not only for securing the baits to the jigs, but repairs to the plastics from bites, as well.
The next two choices were simple to make, starting with the Vibrating Lure or what has become simply called blade baits on Lake Erie. This type of lure works the best it seems when spring rains turn the lake into stained tea or chocolate soup. The vibrations created on the lift call the fish in, and they seem to thump it when it hits the bottom or right at the beginning of the next lift.
The Ultra Minnow Head Jig mold over on the far right was the one I really wanted the most.
The plan is to work this winter on tying my own hair jigs for the spring bite down on the Maumee Bay. It looks like last year’s big buy from TJ’s Tackle and all the powder painting equipment and supplies are going to be put through a workout this winter. In the picture above I already got started with some 5/8ths oz jigs that I had gotten off Ebay earlier in the fall. You cannot give an angler a new tool and expect it to sit on the shelf until it is time use it!
Will the average angler ever justify getting all the gear to make your own lures and rigs? Possibly, maybe not, but do not under-estimate the thrill and feeling of success whether you catch that one monster for the wall, or simply fish after fish. Knowing you did do that can be a measure of success all on its own.