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MAL Lure / Mepps Users Take Note: 58F Water is Here!! #14329675 03/29/22 10:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,760
Holding The Line Offline OP
Extreme Angler
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Extreme Angler
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,760
MAL Lure / Mepps Users Take Note: 58F Water is Here!!

A significant event in the lives of we white bass anglers took place these past few days, beginning with the start of the warmup this past Saturday, 26 March.

That event was the warming of the water temperature to right at, or just above, the 58F mark.

I've kept detailed records of every fishing trip I've taken for the last 30 years, and "trend analysis" clearly points out that "things start happening" at 58F in the world of white bass.

Seeing all of this warm weather forecast last week, I dusted off all of my MAL Lure rods (Originals, Heavies, and the new "Dense" versions), knowing that I'd be pressing them into service this week.

Mepps makes a variety of inline spinners and of them all, the Aglia is the likely the most effective "stock" version produced. The MAL Lure is a customized Mepps inline spinner specifically made for white bass and hybrid stripers. The biggest improvement the MAL brings to the table is increased weight for longer casts and, most importantly, a faster sink rate. White bass are a bottom-dwelling creature. The faster you get to the bottom after your cast, and the more quickly your lure returns to the bottom during the retrieve, the more efficient you will be.

If you are new to fishing spinners, if you will be fishing with kids on board, if you like fast-paced fishing, or if you simply get impatient waiting for lighter spinners like the Aglia to sink, this lure is for you.

Beyond this, the MAL's hooks are more white bass appropriate, the MAL's color schemes include white, chartreuse and silver, and the tubing on the treble hook serves as a focal point to reduce "blade strikes".

I introduced the heaviest MAL Lure to date earlier this spring, initially making it available only to those who had ordered from me previously, so as to get some solid feedback on it. This newest version is called the MAL Dense, and it uses a painted, lead body instead of the silver-plated brass body found on the MAL Heavy to make the lure heavier without increasing its profile.

Weight is approximately 25 grams (0.88 ounces) versus the MAL Heavy at approximately 21 grams (0.74 ounces).

See more about the MAL Dense here: MAL Dense


[Linked Image]


Sure enough, thanks to near perfect conditions this morning (Tuesday, 29 March) with stiff wind, grey cloud cover, a waning moon, a low pressure system moving in, and being a the end of a 4-day warming trend, the MAL Lure was the star of the show this morning, putting our first 69 of 149 fish in the boat. All of these fish were in slightly warmer, shallow water, under 22 feet.

If you are new to the inline spinner game, one of the reasons the fish become less responsive to that lure in the winter is due to the higher speeds the lure must be retrieved at in order to get the spinner spinning and keep it spinning. That speed is often too great on all but the most ideal winter days (which are few and far between).

Now, with warming water, the white bass (which are cold-blooded, meaning their metabolism rises with the temperature of their surroundings) are more active and must feed more often to meet the energy demands of their bodies.

Two retrieves will be useful in the weeks to come, at least through the end of May: 1) “smoking” for bottom-hugging and suspended fish, and 2) casting while using a horizontal "sawtooth” retrieve.

The sawtooth method, named for the path the lure travels when the retrieve is done correctly, involves retrieving the MAL Lure back to the boat horizontally after making a long cast and allowing the lure to sink to the bottom. The lift-dropping action resembles a saw-tooth pattern. This tactic can be used from a Spot-Lock position, or casting downwind while drifting.

To execute the sawtooth method, after casting, leave the spinning reel's bail open so the lure sinks quickly and straight down. Once the lure settles on the bottom, close the bail by hand (this will prevent problematic loops from forming in braided line). Next, turn the handle to take up any slack and, once the line is taut, reel 6-8 cranks, thus bringing the bait off the bottom at an upward angle, headed back toward the boat. A single, quick handle turn (or at most two turns) is helpful in getting the blade starting to spin. Once the blade begins to spin, the bend in your rod tip will increase and you will feel greater resistance, so there will be no mistaking that this has happened successfully.

Once those 6-8 handle cranks are done, manually open the bail again, allowing the lure to return to the bottom. Repeat the cranking and bail opening process until the lure is nearly vertical beneath the boat.

Smoking involves allowing the lure to fall vertically to the bottom from an anchored or Spot-Locked position, and reeling it up at least half-way off the bottom. The strikes will come as you are reeling it up. A hard hookset is unnecessary, in fact, it is counter-productive. A single, quick handle turn (or at most two turns) is helpful in getting the blade starting to spin. Once the blade begins to spin, the bend in your rod will increase sharply, so there will be no mistaking that this has happened successfully.

I like to use the MAL vertically in conjunction with well-tuned colored sonar and/or Garmin LiveScope so I can see fish response to the baits and know when to keep reeling (as the lure is being chased), or when to allow the lure to drop back to bottom (if the fish are less enthusiastic).

Remember, both tactics, starting the retrieve with a single, hard, fast turn of the reel’s handle is essential to getting the spinner’s blade turning.

One "word of warning" -- the surface temperature can be a bit misleading. Here is the temperature as measured from the surface down to 65 feet yesterday on Stillhouse Hollow. The lighter (less dense) warmer water "floats" on top of the heavier (more dense) cool water below and does not mix well...

0 feet 60.4F
5 feet 60.1F
10 feet 60.0F
15 feet 58.9F
20 feet 57.8F
25 feet 57.5F
30 feet 56.9F
35 feet 56.5F
40 feet 56.1F
45 feet 55.9F
50 feet 55.6F
55 feet 55.3F
60 feet 54.8F
65 feet 54.7F

Remember, 69 of my 149 fish were taken on the MAL Lure this morning. The other 80 were found in deeper water. That deeper water was under that "magic" 58F temperature, and those fish just were not nearly as turned on as the shallower fish found in warmer water. I had to tempt those deeper fish with a slower moving, white, 5/8 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab.

It's that time!! Good luck!!









Last edited by Holding The Line; 03/30/22 12:48 AM.

[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids


Re: MAL Lure / Mepps Users Take Note: 58F Water is Here!! [Re: Holding The Line] #14330736 03/30/22 10:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,760
Holding The Line Offline OP
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Had a few PM's / emails on how to rig these new MAL Dense Lures. I was going to include this in the initial post, but it was already longer than I wanted it to be ...

The rigging I suggest is the same for all MAL Lures, and is as follows:

Rod: An inexpensive option is the Diawa Laguna 7' spinning rod sold by Academy (and elsewhere). Model 701MLXS. ~$40.00. A light or medium light spinning rod of at least 7' in length is a good choice.

Reel: Just about any 1500 or 2000 size spinning reel. I prefer a 5.2:1 gear ratio, but those are hard to come by. The 5.8:1 ratio Mitchell 358Pro is a good, inexpensive choice. Fill your reel to the full line or, if there is no full line, to within 1/16" of the lip to give maximum casting distance and best drag operation.

Line: I like 15 pound test Sufix Advance Superline (which is a braided line). I like the "Coastal Camo" color which alternates white and blue as it is easy to see it move across the water.

Leader: ~24" of 25 pound test fluorocarbon of your choice. I use Sufix Castable Invisiline.

Swivel: Use one to prevent line twist! I like the 35 pound test InvisiSwivel versus traditional metallic swivels because they run a much lower risk of damaging the insert in the tip of your rod.

Knots: I use three improved clinch knots. One for the braid to the swivel, one for the swivel to the leader, and one for the leader to the lure. Be sure to use a cigarette lighter to melt the tag end of the braid tied to your swivel after wetting it and cinching it down to prevent slippage.

Hope that helps!


[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids


Re: MAL Lure / Mepps Users Take Note: 58F Water is Here!! [Re: Holding The Line] #14333655 04/03/22 09:46 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 118
BrianID Offline
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Posts: 118
I've fished with Bob and can attest to the effectiveness of the MAL lure. I like the details about the water temperature and when the lures become effective. I was catching white bass consistently with minows a couple weeks ago at Elephant Butte in NM but couldn't get them to eat a MAL lure. Surface temperature was in low 50's. I'm sure they will be very effective on Elephant Butte white bass soon as the water continues to warm. I'll also use them at Lake Powell in a few weeks for striped bass. Next time I visit my BIL in Belton, I'll try to book another trip with you.

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