No such thing as an “off-season” for NWT pro John Hoyer — first tour stop of the 2019 season is barely a month out so what’s he doing? Leaning into the BIGS on Manitoba’s Lake Winnipeg. #DoubleWhammy
Hoyer always seems to be doing things a bit differently — in a really good way — so had to get the scoop on how they landed a baker’s dozen Master Angler greenbacks (28″+) during their trip.
Said fishin’ in 14-15′ out from the Red River was the jam. Caught ’em using a few different baits/techniques depending on the mood of the fish…some of which I know you’ve never seen before (me either!) and others equally interesting.
When the fish were angry:
He was fishin’ a 3/4-oz Berkley Warpig rattlebait. Does a 2′ rip — adds a decent amount of slack in the line after each pump — then follows it down on a tight line. That slack is key ‘cuz it really lets the bait ‘walk’ and get outside the cone angle. “Black gold” and “blue silver” were the best colors:
Heck with barbless…Hoyer doesn’t even need hooks ^ to catch ’em! Lol kiddin’, but would hardly be surprised if that was the case.
Next on the menu:
Switched to BIG flutter spoons for tough(er) midday bites. “Big” as in spoons actually designed for salmon. Said the best way to fish ’em is to NOT mark it the entire time: Let it flutter waaaay outside the cone angle of the flasher…catch it about 6″ off bottom and shake it back to center.
Would shut his brain off to the fact there was a fish down there and not change up how he was working the bait. Opposite of the MN deeper-water game where you’re (typically) playing keep away in the cone. Clearly it worked:
They were not tipping the spoon, which shows how aggressive they were working it. Also get the best-possible fluttering action out of big spoons when they’re fished naked. Doesn’t have the vibration of a rattlebait, but way more movement…they love it when the bite is “off.”
Best catchers were a “sarge” color 4″ Original Moonshine Trolling Spoon (top) and the “viseen” color 4″ Moonshine RV Series Trolling Spoon (bottom):
Secret weapon time:
Here’s a first look [!] at something Berkley has up their sleeve thanks to a mole we’ve got planted deep within the organization…. [*cough* Thanks Dan Spengler! *cough*]
If you still haven’t heard of the new-ish Berkley Snap Jig, it’s a winged jighead that lets you swap out the body with your favorite plastics to change up the color/action/profile. Right now goes up to 3/8-oz, but…
> Dan Spengler: “Here’s Hoyer testing new sizes and colors of the Berkley Snap Jig available soon [this Sept] from Berkley. New sizes will include 1/2- and 3/4-oz, and feature 2 hook sizes to accommodate a wide variety of soft baits.”
Why that’s important? It should open up a ton of plastic trailer options for the back-end. Imo straight-tail plastics seem to work best on those lighter sizes…but a heavier head could overcome the drag of a plastic that has more action (paddletail, curly tail, etc).
On this trip, Hoyer paired a 1/2-oz Snap Jig with a 4″ Gulp! Nemesis...still had enough momentum to swing the bait as far outside the cone as a big flutter spoon. Would do 3 big slack-line snaps then shake the bait down by bottom and they’d crush it.
First I had heard of the 4″ Gulp! Nemesis, so here’s a shot of that too in the “pearl white” color Hoyer was fishin’:
Hoyer spends a ton of time on the water, so had to ask him something I’ve been wondering for awhile now…
Q: How often do you wash all that fish slime off your SIMMS suit? Or do you forever rock the stank like a badge of honor??
A: I’m an annual snowsuit washer.
Note to self: Don’t ride shotgun with Hoyer on day #364 of his annual washing schedule lol. Thanks for all the info, man!