Written By: Adam Zacharias
This last year has been eventful in more ways than one. My wife and I moved out of town and onto a beautiful 80 acre parcel of bush in the country. I explored new and wonderful back country parks with some amazing kayaking and fishing opportunities. True North Wilds has grown in quality and consistency, with no small amount of help from the Simple Fishing Brand Ambassador program. And of course, the RLM Elite boxes made their debut.
Looking back to the spring of 2018 and the very first RLM Elite box, I have gotten a lot of fishing tackle since then! Today I want to list for you my top 5 favorite lures to come from the RLM Elite boxes. I have received every type of RLM Elite box, Pike, Walleye, Bass, and Multi-Species, so this list will not be target specific.
#5 Freedom Tackle Hydra Shad
The Hydra Shad from Freedom Tackle is touted on their website as the “ultimate hair jig”, and boy does it seem to hold up to that name! Now, I love a good hair jig to begin with, but the Hydra Shad really ups the game. A combination of buck hair, feathers, and reflective streamers makes up the 6” profile of this bait. Topped with a ⅝ oz swivel jig head, this is a bait that will bring in some huge predator fish. Forget panfish or bass, this is getting thrown for big walleye and pike.
Fish this bait along weed lines in spring and early summer when walleye are feeding in shallower water. Toss it into a current where the water movement will ripple the hair and feathers around in a mesmerizing, life-like fashion. Irresistible!
#4 Bam Baits Gozilla
Bam Baits is one of my favorite brands of plastics. Their slogan on the package is “True North Tough” and it is well earned. The Gozilla is a perfect example of that toughness, and easily one of the most durable plastic lures I’ve used. On top of that, it catches fish. I use these lures to catch smallmouth bass and pike, both of which strike aggressively, fight hard, and are typically very destructive to plastics. I can use the same Gozilla for practically a whole day without worrying about it tearing off the hook or losing a tail.
Fish these plastics over boulder fields and along rocky shores for hungry smallmouth bass. Bounce in and out of sharp drop offs to target walleye, or rig it weedless and cruise the deepest vegetation you can find for some monster pike.
#3 Bumble Lures Flirty Frog
Surface fishing is insanely fun, that’s just a fact. When you think surface, you think some form of frog or popper, or possibly a duckling or rat styled bait. You probably wouldn’t think of a lure like the Flirty Frog, from Bumble Lure. This is a unique style of surface lure that immediately impressed me with it’s balance. The big exposed hook was originally cause for concern, but the way the Flirty Frog floats keeps it completely out of the way of any tangles, even in thick vegetation. Pike after pike exploded on this lure when I took it into the backcountry, even where other lures were getting no interest.
Fish this lure in heavy vegetation, hopping back and forth among lily pads, or close to the mouth of a river or creek. Be prepared for aggressive, violent hits from some hungry pike. This lure is particularly fun from a kayak, where you can get into those areas that a power boat can’t. Just get ready to hang on as those monster jacks take you for a ride!
#2 Lucky Bug Fusion Extreme
I received my first Lucky Bug Fusion Extreme in the RLM Elite Pike box and was admittedly a little skeptical. However, as soon as I put this into the water I knew it would be an effective lure, not just for pike but smallmouth bass, perch, and walleye as well. This plucky little lure has a variable retrieve depth, it will sink until you retrieve it. This lets you tailor the depth to exactly where you need it based on the fish you are targeting. On top of that versatility, it’s wiggling, side to side action in the water is near perfect, and entices even the laziest fish to take a bite.
Use this lure to cover some water when searching for fish. Target structure at varying depths to find where they are hanging out. When you find the right location, cast this lure and retrieve it at a medium speed for an aggressive bite. On a slower summer day you can retrieve it slowly for a short distance, let it sink to the bottom, and repeat. This twitchy fluttering style of retrieve will mimic an easy meal of a dying bait fish that many lazy predators won’t be able to resist.
#1 Ma-jik Canada Windigo
I’m a sucker for spoons, they are perhaps my favorite style of fishing lure. It’s no surprise then that my number 1 lure that I’ve received from my RLM Elite boxes is the Windigo spoon, from Ma-Jik Canada. While a spoon is already incredibly versatile, the Windigo takes that to a new level. This spoon has a great, spinning look to the action when you retrieve it at a medium or fast speed. At 2.5” it’s small enough to bring you perch and smallmouth bass, but will still get the job done for walleye and even up to some decent sized pike. Coupled with an attractive green-on-black color pattern, this lure simply gets the job done.
Fish this lure… well… anywhere! The Windigo’s biggest strength is it’s versatility. You can pretty much throw this in any of the typical locations you would fish another lure, and have a good chance of attracting any fish in the area. Gravel flats, boulder fields, weed lines, rocky shores, this lure does it all.
Enjoy being introduced to new brands and lure styles? You can get your own collection of awesome baits every 2 months with a subscription to the RLM Elite from Simple Fishing.