The Bladed Hazy Eye Slab combines the winter-time effectiveness of a slab with the proven, fish-attracting feature of a spinning blade.
Hopefully by now you have given the standard Mepps or Mepps MAL Lure a try in the spring, summer, and/or fall and have come away convinced, as I am, that the spinning blade on these lures is a true white bass attractor.
Here's the winter-time problem I recognized with in-line spinners, and the solution I came up with to resolve it: PROBLEM:
I found the Mepps-style spinners generally need to be moved too fast for more lethargic winter-time fish. All cold-blooded creatures slow down as their environment cools, and the white bass is no exception. As I attempted to use the Mepps MAL in the winter of 2020 and 2021, I found that once the water temperature fell to 58-60F, my catch on these lures dropped sharply. White bass tend to hold on or near bottom most of the time, and, by the time you get the blade spinning, you are often out of the narrow winter "strike zone". Additionally, winter fish tend to be deep, and waiting for the Mepps-style lures to sink deep repeatedly is, to me, an inefficient approach.
I took a strong-performing, fast-sinking winter bait, the slab, and enhanced it in two ways. First, many years ago, I added a stinger hook. Then, two seasons ago, I added a spinning blade. The addition of the willow-leaf blade, although it is quite small, gives the slab both flash and vibration which it lacked previously. The result of all of this tinkering is what has been my go-to bait for the last two winters. It is called the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab with Stinger Hook and it will account for the vast majority of my clients' fish from late November through around mid-March. I've seen and made other attempts at combining a slab with a spinning blade, but they generally result in a bait with a very large profile, which, I feel is both unnatural and inappropriate for winter-time fishing. CAPTION:
From left: The 3/8 oz., 5/8 oz., and 3/4 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hooks.FIND THEM HERE: White Bass Tools (.com)WHY DO YOU SAY 'FOR ADVANCED' SLABBERS?
I say this is for advanced slabbers because if you are routinely catching fish on slabs, that means you are routinely finding fish to catch. More novice anglers who are not yet confident in finding fish will not see an increase in their catch until they put in the time and gain the experience to be able to find fish first. That said, if you are already experienced with a slab and you have some baseline expectations about what a slab will do for you, then you will be able to recognize the increase in your catch rate which this lure will produce.
HOW TO WORK IT:
- Water temperatures 55-62F: When fish are very aggressive (potentially chasing bait all the way to the surface) and are seen throughout the entire water column on sonar, drop the slab to bottom and crank it at least half way up through the water column at a moderate, steady cadence, about 1 handle turn per second. When you feel a bite, resist the urge to set the hook and just keep reeling. The fish will hook themselves. If you are using LiveScope and you see a fish chasing your bait, it is CRUCIAL that you keep right on reeling until the fish overtakes the lure and hooks itself. Do not speed up, slow down, hesitate, stop, or in any other way change the cadence of your retrieve while you are being chased.
- Water temperatures 50-58F: When fish are active and are seen on sonar piled up or cruising 1-3 or more feet off bottom, let your slab down to bottom and slowly lift it up (don't reel it up) through the fish with your rod tip using a steady cadence. Go at least 3-4 feet above the fish to give them time to notice it, pursue it, and eat it. Cadence should be ~2 feet/second. If you are using LiveScope and you see a fish chasing your bait, it is CRUCIAL that you keep right on lifting until the fish overtakes the lure and hooks itself. Do not speed up, slow down, hesitate, stop, or in any other way change the cadence of your retrieve while you are being chased. I use 8.0 to 10.0 foot-long rods for this method to allow for long lifting strokes.
- Water temperatures 55F or less: With the slab held still about 4â off bottom, snap your rod tip sharply upwards and immediately return your rod tip to that same starting position. The slab should rise, then freefall (do not lower the slab, let it freefall). When the slab reaches the end of its tether, youâll feel a thud as it does so. Hold still about 2 seconds and feel for a strike. Set the hook well when the strike takes place. When you unhook the fish, note where the stinger is and where the treble is. You'll see this technique is where that stinger hook really shines. The majority of your fish will have the stinger in their mouth and the treble hook outside the mouth, meaning it was the stinger which initially hooked the fish.
I am a full-time, professional fishing guide, hence my aim while I am on the job is to make clients successful by putting fish in the boat. If there was a more effective bait for this time of year, I would be using it. Rather, it was my lack of satisfaction with what was currently "on the market" that drove me to develop this bait. As the saying goes, "Necessity is the mother of invention."
I urge you to give it a try just once. If you choose only one slab, go with the white, 3/4 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab with Stinger Hook as a nicely weighted, excellent match for imitating threadfin shad.FIND THEM HERE: White Bass Tools (.com)
All Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hooks are:
*Made in Texas by hand
*Powder coated for durability (NOT painted)
*Equipped with quality VMC hooks for sharpness and durability (treble and stinger)
*Made with 50 pound test braid for the stinger loop
*Equipped with a quality, VMC Touch-Lok, 25 pound test snap
*Equipped with a quality, stainless steel #3 split ring3/8 oz. model
is 1.25" long (body measurement, not including line tie and hook hanger eyes), has a #6 treble and weighs ~ 13 grams complete w/ all components5/8 oz. model
is 1.375" (1 3/8") long (body measurement, not including line tie and hook hanger eyes), has a #5 treble and weighs ~ 20 grams complete w/ all components3/4 oz. model
is 1.75" long (body measurement, not including line tie and hook hanger eyes), has a #5 treble and weighs ~ 24 grams complete w/ all componentsGUIDE'S TIP:
Use a 6" pair of curved-tip forceps to remove hooks. DO NOT use needle-nosed pliers as these will tear up both the fish and your bait, potentially damaging the blade.
Feel free to contact me at 254.368.7411 by phone or text, or at Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com