The Mag Lip Finesse comes in both a 2.5-inch and 3-inch version of the Granger, Wash.-based company’s iconic Mag Lip baits, with special modifications made to make it work exceptionally well with several of the Midwest Finesse style of retrieves. The bait’s design is a callback to several successful lures of yesteryear, reminiscent of the Lazy Ike crank-style lures created by Newel Daniels of Fort Dodge, Iowa. The Lazy Ikes were quite popular during their heyday in the 1930s through ’50s, when they were individually hand-carved, and have influenced many other crankbaits and swimbaits of the present.
However, what sets this lure apart, Holscher says, is that some of the best bites with this particular lure come on the dead stick — when the bait isn’t moving at all.
Holscher has been hard at work finding the best bass color patterns and ways to work the new bait. That effort is about to pay off July 10-13 when the bait hits the show floor at the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the ICAST fishing expo, which takes place this year at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
“It’s been a five-year undertaking,” Holscher said. “They’ll be made available, all the pomp and circumstance will be at the ICAST this year. Bass Pro and Cabela’s already have some of them ordered. It’s kind of an interesting story.”
Holscher said the journey began during a fishing trip to Pomona Lake with Yakima owner and president Dan McDonald and Dennis O’Dell, a University of Kansas graduate and co-owner of the Outdoor Outfitters Group, based in Shawnee.
“When those guys come to town, they always have something in the briefcase you’re not supposed to see,” Holscher said. “If they show you, they have to kill you. So I said, ‘Dan, what do you got in the briefcase?’ and he said ‘Well, we’re trying to expand our market.’
“Keep in mind, they are a cold-water world. That’s the world they live in. They live in trout and salmon and big trolling plugs. So I was facing south, I extended my arms out and said ‘Give me this market here,’ basically Missouri to Texas.”
Anglers in Kansas likely are familiar with Yakima’s wide array of products, even if the company’s name doesn’t ring a bell. Perhaps the most well-known lures the company produces are the Original Rooster Tails and Worden’s Vibric Rooster Tails, which work well on everything in Kansas waters from trout on down to bass and panfish. Holscher has even designed some colors of Rooster Tail for the company, including one called “The Clyde.”
Other lures of note from the company and its subsidiaries include the Spin-N-Glo, the Helin FlatFish — an early precursor to the Mag Lip — and Big Al’s Fish Flash, a recent addition to the company.
The original Mag Lips, which come in a variety of sizes, are designed for fast trolling action for Northern species such as lake trout, steelhead, muskie, pike and walleye.
While they were fishing with the smaller Mag Lips, Holscher said he added Storm SuspenDots to the bottoms of the lures to reach the correct depth for the retrieves.
They began catching dozens of smallmouth, in essence using the same techniques that Kehde recommends using with the Ned Rig.
Holscher said the lures he picked out that day also were closer to representing the crayfish and other invertebrates that make up the smallmouth’s diet, rather than the salmonid colors that were popular for Northern fish. When designing the Mag Lip Finesse, Holscher said he asked Z-Man Fishing Products president Daniel Nussbaum if it was OK to emulate some of the color patterns that the company uses on its Ned Rig baits. Clyde said that Nussbaum considered any similarities to be flattery.
Holscher ended up producing eight color choices to best suit Midwest Finesse bass anglers: California Craw, Canada Craw, Coppertreuse, Green Pumpkin Goby, Mud Minnow, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Purple Haze and Sprayed Glass.
“The Mag Lip Finesse is a departure from the standard Mag Lip plug designed for trolling, in that the colors available in the Finesse version mimic the natural forage bass devour, the rigging is sized right for subtle presentations and (the) package calls out the lure’s uniqueness,” McDonald said in a news release.
Holscher added that the baits are expected to become available for purchase sometime in August, just in time for fall fishing. For more information on the new Mag Lip Finesse, contact Yakima Bait Company at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.yakimabait.com/.