Let’s Look Back – Part 30

I kept wondering if a 5-inch Uncle Josh pork rind strip might work better as a trailer for this Bomber Waterdog than the tiny spinner that was attached to its hind end when I took it out of the box. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I kept wondering if a 5-inch Uncle Josh pork rind strip might work better as a trailer for this Bomber Waterdog than the tiny spinner that was attached to its hind end when I took it out of the box. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Are the larger lures you’ve got in your tackle box your best bet for taking big bass?

My own fishing for a generous chunk of the past century tells me they are. As I mentioned in my previous column, this certainly isn’t “always” going to happen. But neither is almost anything else associated with putting bass in the boat.

If you read that previous column you’re also aware that I mentioned the old Bomber Waterdog being one of my big baits that produced some big bass. It didn’t happen, however, just the way that bait came out of the box.

If you go back a couple of decades or more you undoubtedly remember what the Bomber Waterdog looked like. These lures floated at rest and then dove sharply on the retrieve. I can’t tell you the exact name of the color of the lure I’m talking about, but I sure can describe it.

The wooden lure had a pale white body and belly. The body had a green stripe running from the head to the tail. The big lure of the lip was also pale white and also had a sprinkling of chrome flakes as did the body.

If you fished these lures you undoubtedly remember the little spinner that was attached to the hind end of the lure. It was designed to twinkle and twirl as the lure made its way back to the boat on the retrieve.

I’d fallen in love with Uncle Josh pork rind long before I got my hands on my first Bomber Waterdog. Undoubtedly it was that fondness for lures and trailers made from the pork of the pig that got me to wondering about something each time I snapped a Waterdog onto my leader.

“How,” I thought, “would this thing work if I removed that little spinner that it has on its hind end and hung a strip of pork rind back there instead?”

I’d been catching fish on the Waterdog just the way it came out of the box now and then but my results hadn’t been particularly successful. Those thoughts about using it with a pork strip kept gnawing at me until I finally did something about it.

I tried a number of different ways of attaching the pork trailer to my Bomber Waterdog before settling on what you see here.  I replaced the tiny spinner that came with the lure and replaced it with a metal snap.  I simply attached the pork strip to the snap. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I tried a number of different ways of attaching the pork trailer to my Bomber Waterdog before settling on what you see here. I replaced the tiny spinner that came with the lure and replaced it with a metal snap. I simply attached the pork strip to the snap. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

What I wound up doing was to first remove the spinner blade on its rear end. The next step was to hang a small snap where the spinner had been. All that was left was to attach an Uncle Josh pork rind strip to the snap.

When I finally got that plug and rind all rigged up and ready I remember the thoughts that crossed my mind the first time I held it up and really took a good look at it.
“Great flaming balls of fire,” I thought, “this damn thing is at least 9-inches long. If I throw it around some of my favorite spots it’s a cinch to scare hell out of anything that sees it.”

Well, as you’ve probably already guessed that’s not quite the way things eventually worked out. I didn’t just run out, make a couple of casts, and hook a really good fish. That why you saw the word “eventually” in the previous sentence.

As a matter of fact, I never did score often with this Waterdog & Rind combination. Once I did get a reasonably clear idea of what I had to do with it I’d occasionally get results. And as I’ve already indicated, some of those results involved a few of the largest bass I ever took out of my home lake.

That lake, as regular readers of this column already know, was Silver Lake in Southwest Washington State. I lived smack on its shore for decades. Silver Lake was and is one of Washington’s best bass lakes. But the lake size record for more than the half century I fished there was, and as far as I know still is, just a couple of ounces over 10-pounds.

You don’t have to fish any of the Pacific Northwest bass waters long to realize that bass running from 8-pounds on up just don’t come very darn often. When they do they’re going to be remembered.

At least that’s the way it worked out for me and that Bomber Waterdog with its trailing strip of rind. I never managed to take a 9-pounder on the lure but I did get some that ran between 8- and 9-pounds.

The technique that sometimes turned out to be the very best way to get a big fish to grab the plug & rind combination surprised me. And I still haven’t really figured just why it did. I’ll detail just what that procedure is in my next column.

That column will start right here December 1.

  • William Sonnett

    As usual Stan I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment!

  • Trena Grasser

    That 10 pound 2 ounce bass was caught July 1, 1971, by my father, Dale Sanders, and yes, he still holds the record for Silver Lake 🙂

    • Terry Battisti

      Thanks for sharing that with us Trena! I’m sure Stan remembers that fish.