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



If I were forced to fish with only one type of lure, there’s a good chance I would choose in-line spinners, which are astonishingly versatile. I particularly like the Mepps Aglia. I’ve annihilated black crappies, yellow perch and brook trout with the smallest versions, and cashed five-figure cheques in bass tournaments with the mid-range models. As the for largest spinners, I’ve used them to win province-wide fishing contests, releasing the biggest northern pike and muskies. And they work just as well in rivers—perhaps even better—as they do in lakes.


Unfortunately, most anglers only fish these lures with a straight, do-nothing retrieve. To maximize their versatility, however, you need to stop reeling for a split-second when they’re halfway to the boat or shore. Do that and they’ll throw up their blades, then flutter, stutter and fall into the mouth of any trailing fish.

Another tactic, which was a secret for many years, is to slow-roll them along bottom and let them fall into the mud, where smallmouth bass will scoop them up like ice cream. Then there’s bulging a white bucktail spinner with a single silver blade for muskies. I reel it so quickly that the swelling behind the bait looks as though a crocodile is hunting it down—just like the big toothy critters you can expect to catch.