As luck would have it, his reflexes were quick enough to hook the fish, a nice one kilo walleye, but once the fish was in the boat, the pain on his face was evident.
As I reached over to help take the fish out of the net to go in the livewell, Price was bent over in agony -- he wrenched his back on the awkward hookset.
This was the start of our second and final day at the Last Mountain Walleye tournament in Saskatchewan. Through the pain, Price caught 16 walleye, helping to put us in the top 10 in the tournament. At least 50 per cent of the boats in the tournament used the Buzz Bomb lure at one time or another during the two days.
Let's go back some 20 years. One day the in the mail, I received a package from a lure manufacturer on the West Coast. Doug Field wanted me to field-test some of his product on the freshwater fish of the Prairies.
Included in the package was the Buzz Bomb, a lure that maybe looked the least likely to catch a fish that I have ever seen.
Designed to imitate a wounded baitfish, this lure really does work, and not just on salmon that it was designed for.
The Buzz Bomb and its cousin, the Zzinger, are deadly for walleye in water more than six metres deep. It is best when fished as vertical as possible.
We had a quick refresher lessen earlier in the week on the effectiveness of the Buzz Bomb and the Zzinger from Rob Schulz, the man who runs the tournament, a full-time guide and outfitter on Last Mountain Lake.
When using the two-ounce lure, or sometimes more, a stiff rod and level wind reel is your best bet. Schulz uses 20-pound test Fireline, to which he ties a three-foot leader of 20-pound test monofilament.
You need to constantly check for fray on the bait because of the pounding the line takes from the action of the lure when it hits bottom.
Over the last year, Schulz has developed a certain rhythm to his jigging technique. It seemed to be just what the big Last Mountain walleye wanted.
After dropping his lure to the bottom, he lowers the rod tip downwards then lifts steadily upwards about 45 centimetres to 61 cm (18 to 24 inches) and immediately drop the rod tip again, creating slack. The lure sinks, spinning horizontally.
This rotation sends out vibrations which attract (or annoy) fish into striking. If you feel the slightest tick, hit hard.
Schulz said don't let the bait rest on the bottom. Pick it up right away for another jig -- there might be a fish on the end of it.
On the two days we fished, the Buzz Bomb caught a few more fish than the live bait rig I was using, but as it turned out all the bigger fish, including one at three kilograms, were caught on the rig.
If you want to try something different this fall on deeper water walleye, give this technique a try. Don't be disappointed if you aren't successful right away. It does take practice and you have to catch a few fish to gain confidence.
You can read more about fishing the Buzz Bomb and Zzinger at www.buzzbombzzinger.com. You can also have a look at the different colours and sizes. For us, the pearl-white combination was the best this particular weekend. After a day of using this technique, you will be a tired angler but it does work.
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Anglers Notes: The Urban Angling Fishing Derby is taking place today at The Forks between 9 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. There are more than $5,000 worth of prizes, including a new Lund boat. Admission is free but you must register at the main stage at The Forks. It is a shore fishing only event.
Some greenbacks are being caught on the Red River, but the full fledged run has not started yet. Cooler weather and some rain should get these fish moving in on the bite soon.