3 must-have lures that catch fish almost anywhere in Canada



A five- or six-inch soft-plastic paddletail (above) is another one of my top lures for catching Goliath-sized walleye, pike and muskies, as well as bass and lake trout. In Greek mythology, sirens seduced sailors with their sweet songs, luring them to their deaths. Fish react to these swimbaits in much the same way.


After curly tail grubs, paddletails are the only three-dimensional lures that simultaneously wobble from side-to-side and up and down. It’s that combination of realistic appearance and irresistible vibration that first catches the attention of fish, then lures them to their destruction.

If there’s a secret to fishing a swimbait, it’s to use a much heavier jig head than you’d otherwise tie on. Think a 3/8-ounce jig is about right? Throw at least a 5/8-ounce offering—on most days, a 3/4-ounce lead head is my go-to. I also prefer hollow-bellied paddletails. They sashay seductively, and the empty body is perfect for filling with water-soluble scent that wafts behind the bait, then squirts into the fish’s mouth when it bites.