Flappin’ for Smallies

  EVER FISH WITH A FLAPPER? No not that kind.  Not that it wouldn’t be fun, but I don’t think many fish would get caught.  Ever see someone set the hook while wearing heels?  It’s a disaster.   I’m talking about fishing with a Gambler Flappin’ Shad, or as I call it, “The Flapper”. It’s no secret that I enjoy catching fish in a variety of ways.  Much of my summer is spent chasing smallies on the rivers of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and there is no way I would rather catch them than with a fly rod.  On the other end of the smallmouth fishing spectrum for me is fishing with bait.  Not to say that I won’t fish with bait, but I have caught enough fish that I personally don’t need to catch one that ate a live minnow.  When I have a kid or beginner in the boat—different story—I want them to have their rod bent! So, fly fishing is at the top end of the smallie spectrum, bait is at the bottom.  But a lot of what I do falls in between.  Casting “chunk-and-wind-it-in” baits like spinnerbaits and crankbaits are very consistent producers, and don’t require much thought or effort to fish—pull one out of the box, tie it on, chunk and wind.  Try it, you’ll catch lots of fish [especially with a Storm “Sub-wart” crankbait, or with one of my...

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