Quetico and the Boundary Waters Fishing
Examples of Mepps
spinners are the original #5 Aglia with the squirrel tail: Year
after year this lure has been a real trophy catcher and all around
fish producer. I would not go to the BWCAW/Q without several of them.
I've tried the smaller sizes but find that the fish in these waters
are not shy about hitting the larger #5 size. As a result I have stopped
taking any smaller Mepps spinners. They should always be used with
a leader because they attract pike from far and wide like no other
lure. The Mepps is a little tricky for the beginner to use, but it
is well worth the time it takes to become proficient with it. The
difficulty lies in the fact that it sinks quickly and is easy to snag.
By adjusting the speed of your retrieve, the Mepps can be run deep
along the bottom, or shallow just under the surface. The absolute
most effective way to use this lure is to find an area as described
above for jig spinners or a weedy bay and cast the lure over around
or even through the weeds for pike and bass. Pike will be lurking
in as little as 2 feet of water and viciously attack this lure. If
a pike strikes and misses the spinner, continue the retrieve and the
fish will often circle and hit it again.
One of the first places we stopped to fish during a trip in 2004
was a narrow weedy channel between 2 islands that varied between 2
and 4 feet deep. My friend Kyle, who was on his first canoe trip,
and I tied on our Mepps spinners. After a few casts I caught a 24”
northern. A short time later, Kyle hooked his first Quetico fish,
a monster 43.5” pike that we had to beach in order to photograph and
release. Later during the same trip, we also had our most productive
day of fishing throwing Mepps spinners in weedy/rocky bays. We caught
about 50 fish in a few hours one morning, with several bass over 18”
and lots of pike around 30”. Kyle found that bulging the spinner (retrieving
the spinner extra fast just below the surface to cause a bulge in
the water ahead of the lure) is what the fish wanted. The color they
wanted that day was gold, but sometimes other colors will work better.
Gold is always worth a try.
If you use this lure without the steel leader, at least use a snap
swivel, as this lure is prone to causing line twist that will eventually
lead to a nasty snarl.