June 6, 2014 Share

Marabou — Next Big Thing in Tackle?

Originally Published on Mar 20, 2012 “From the Dock” NBC Sports

This winter, I had a ball fishing smallmouth on the Upper Mississippi River a few miles below a power plant with a warm water discharge. Water temps were in the low to high 40s depending on the distance from the power plant, and the bass were surprisingly active. Fishing with a buddy one day we landed and released more than 25 in a three-hour period after learning to target fish holding in slacker-water areas. Did we find the next big thing in tackle?

The best bait that day was a three-inch Berkley Powertube in green pumpkin, but another hot lure was a 1/4-ounce marabou jig tipped with a Gulp! Alive Flats Worm (a great option later in the year as well).

This was one of several trips this year in which marabou jigs produced some great fish and, in some cases, were the only lures to trigger bites.

As regular readers of this blog know, I am big fan of fishing the newest lure on the market as showing today’s pressured fish something different than they have already seen is a great way to catch them. What I have neglected to mention is that often the best “new baits” are top producers from years back that are probably already in your tackle box, but haven’t been wet for a while.

One of the best “lures” from years back in the marabou jig. Marabou fell out of favor over the year as new high tech fibers were developed and used. But not all anglers gave up on marabou. In fact, these baits never really died. They are highly favored by a number of top trout anglers, and panfish, bass and walleye anglers would be well served to have a selection available the next time they hit the water.

No other material breaths as well as marabou which makes the baits come alive on stop-and-go retrieves. It also a great material for deadsticking applications as marabou reacts to the slightest movement.

Several manufacturers now offer marabo jigs including Lindy (legendary Fuzz-E-Grub), Johnson (Beetle Bou), Worden’s (Lil’ Corky), VMC (Pro Series Dominator), Northland (Bug-A-Bou) and Blakemore Road Runner Marabou Pro 2.0 are just a few of the baits now available.

Marabou use to come from a stork in Africa. What is used now is the soft down from several bird species.

A year ago, I ran into a very tough bite on a fly-in trip to Quebec. The weather was hot and the days were windless, and the walleyes were were targeting simply did not respond to anything but a Northland Bug-A-Bou jig tipped with a Gulp! Minnow and dragged (not hopped) very slowly over the bottom.

You might say Marabou saved the trip!—Steve

PS: I was at the grand opening of the new Cabela’s store in Wichita, Kansas, over the weekend. Thanks to all, especially the kids, that stopped by to learn to tie great knots!



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