You’ve likely heard about the incredible number of big muskies posted by select fishing guides in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana this summer and early autumn. What each of these anglers share in common are early production models of a hot lure that’s taken the muskie scene like a squall.
There have been numerous confirmed 6 to 8 fish days, up to 60 muskies in one week alone, caught by anglers such as guide Chae Dolsen, working a Northland Fishing Tackle Boobie Trap inline spinner on Lake St. Clair, Michigan and Webster Lake, Indiana. There was the day Walker, Minnesota guide Bob Landreville boated 6 muskies. And lest we not forget, guides Paul Nelson and Tim Anderson who duped multiple huge fish, including beasts to 55-inches. Meanwhile, on heavily pressured waters in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, as well as on that renowned yet stingy Mille Lacs, another top angler has been quietly setting hooks into numerous large muskies. Again, the common denominator has been Northland’s new phenom.
Ten years ago, Dan Burrow caught the muskie bug in a big way. Today, the affliction compels him to spend several days and nights a week chasing the big green fish. Like most of the sport’s top practitioners, Burrow has fished with many of the all-time greatest lures. But until this season, he’d never seen anything catch muskies quite like this new lure.
“My baits don’t stop flying until they bounce off ice at the end of November,” Burrow states, in true diehard fashion. “While hunters are climbing into their deer stands to get that shot at a wary buck, I am climbing into my boat to try for that 40 or 50 pound giant on the icy waters of Mille Lacs Lake.”
For Burrow, who lives just south of the big lake in Milaca, Minnesota, most of these late season muskie runs revolve around evening hours, when highly pressured fish turn slightly more aggressive. Still, pressured fish are pressured fish, and that means relying on baits that perform at high levels all the time. Each cast can count in a big way, and Burrow simply isn’t willing to gamble with other inline spinners that may or may not run flawlessly on every cast.
Regarding extra selective muskies, it may seem contrary to rely on one of the most commonly cast lure categories in the lake – the inline spinner. But as Burrow has discovered, the Boobie Trap Spinner features design elements that set it critically apart from the masses of other monster-bladed baits available today. To Burrow, it’s all about the blade.
“One of the biggest problems with most inline spinners is that the blades fail to “start” on the retrieve,” he offers. “This can be very frustrating, and it wastes many valuable casts. The Boobie Trap is a tremendous “starter” bait. The blades have just the right cup, or bend, and start thumping along immediately after your first crank. This is a great attribute because the lure is immediately sending out those powerful vibrations, triggering fish that are near the lure at the very end of the cast. Then, while in the middle of the retrieve, I love that the bait is so well balanced—it comes in perfectly horizontal, not tail-down, even when I reel it slowly.
“Another huge plus for me is that the blades are slightly smaller than that of the typical double number 10 blade bait. This lets me get the bait up to warp speed in a flash. I can’t tell you how important it is that less effort is required to crank the Boobie Trap compared to other spinners. When you’re doing this for 12 to 16 hours a day, it can take a toll on your arms and hands.”
Burrow continues: “Burning these baits just under the surface over the tops of vegetation is one of my favorite tactics. I reel it as fast as I can physically get my reel handle moving so that the blades are about to blow out of the water, and bulging the surface. Even on heavily pressured metropolitan waters this can mean the difference between a few lazy follows and an arm jarring strike.
“I have found that pumping the rod tip while burning the bait sends a different turbulence into the water and causes the skirt to really ripple. The skirt on the Boobie Trap is another superior feature. The extra strands of Flashabou and tinsel they’ve built into the bait adds volume, increases profile and gives the Trap the right buoyancy to run above the weeds. That’s key.
“Also, the vortex created by the blades really gets the skirt moving, shaking, puffing in and out in ways that muskies find mesmerizing. This bait has just the right amount of skirt material—just enough bulk and flash to attract them, while the blades really ping the lateral lines of big muskies, particularly at night when locating food requires super senses.”
Anytime Burrow boats one of his beasts of the night, he’s found that lures can come out looking like the loser of a prizefight. Fortunately, he’s also discovered that his chosen bait is a real tough customer. “It’s incredibly durable. Muskies thrash lures like no other fish. But it’s an easy fix with this bait. Just bend it back into shape and keep on fishing! I’ve caught a bunch of fish on my favorite ‘Trap, and know it’ll be good for many more.”
In fall, even as waters cool and other anglers start tying on other lures, such as a Musky Innovations Bulldawg or a big crank or jerkbait, Burrow can’t wait to keep on slinging his beloved Boobie Trap. “Far as I’m concerned, there really is no expiration date for these baits. I’ll be catching fish on them well into November.”
Certainly, safe bets are wise moves where muskies are concerned. Given the success of these unique inline spinners, a betting man would wager that Burrow won’t be the only one hurling them this fall, either. “It’s just such a versatile tool,” he concludes. “Really, this bait has relegated every other spinner in my box to obsolescence. I love it!”