I’ve heard that Lucky Bugs use UV on them. Can you explain why you UV coat your bugs?
The REASON: We UV coat our painted Lucky Bugs to reflect ultraviolet light. The purpose is to “light up” the lures underwater to predatory fish thus making them visible to fish in otherwise dark environments.
THE SCOOP ON UV LIGHT AND FISHING:
UV light is a short wavelength, high frequency energy from sun and stars that is invisible to most mammals but is very visible to a variety of fish species that scientists have tested so far. About 60% of sunlight that cuts through the water’s surface is UV light. UV light penetrates clear water far deeper than human-visible light. Oceanographers have found UV light 700’ deep. The scales of many prey fish reflect UV light. Zooplankton, shrimp, squid, and many aquatic insects also reflect UV light. This silhouettes them against their blue-green background, making these creatures more visible to their predators. UV light also polarizes, especially early and late in the day. Diverse game fish detect polarized light.
Many different kinds of fish see UV light. In saltwater, biologists have found that pink, chum, coho, sockeye, masu salmon, weakfish and flounder also detect UV light. In freshwater, biologists found that brown and rainbow trout, kokanee, yellow perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white suckers, carp, bluegill, and pumpkinseed sunfish detect UV light. Many fish species have yet to be tested to determine if they detect UV light.
UV paints are effective in any daylight. But early and late in the day, UV light penetrates the water’s surface much better than human-visible light. UV also penetrates fog and clouds. At these times, UV light is by far the greatest amount of light in water. Moonlight and starlight also contain energy from the UV spectrum.
Another benefit of UV is that it doesn’t fade and never needs to be re-charged like glow paints because it simply reflects UV light.
I’ve been hearing a LOT of negative things about BPA (AKA Phthalates) and plastics. I’ve heard that BPA’s have very negative effects. I’m a responsible angler so I’m concerned because your lures are made from plastic. Are your lures BPA free?
We’ve all been using plastic baits and lures for ages because they catch fish. But plastics lost in the lake are litter, and that’s not good. It’s worse if the plastics contain phthalates, or BPA. You may have heard about it when BPA – free water bottles started being a big deal a few years ago. In fact, most manufacturers took it out of kid’s toys and baby bottles. What BPA does is it leaches into the water and causes “endocrine disruption.” In other words, it makes boy fish into girl fish and girl fish into boy fish. But what’s more troublesome is some scientists believe it’s affecting the PEOPLE who drink that water too, because we don’t really have a way to filter that out. From the places it pollutes when the plastic is manufactured to the places it pollutes when it’s lost or disposed of, BPA (phthalates) isn’t good. That’s why when we choose to make our lures out of plastic we choose phthalate free plastic. You can fish our lures knowing that you are not polluting the waterways with BPA’s or phthalates.
In order to fish for Pinks off the beach, what you would suggest as a set up for casting the Lucky Bugs? eg. Weight set-up in order to get some distance on the cast. What kind of weight would you use?
The standard casting set up from beach or boat with the Lucky Bug is an 18″ leader that is a couple pound test strength less than the mainline. Example would be a 12lb test mainline with an 8lb test leader, etc. The leader is tied to a Lucky Bug at the terminal end, the other end is tied to a small swivel. The swivel is then tied to the mainline and weights are applied to the mainline above (rod side) the swivel, the idea being the weights if they slide will slide only to the swivel and not to the bug. The weights that are used in this application are usually split shots and the size and number are dictated by the rod/reel combination together with the distance needed for the cast as well as the wind. From the beach I suggest at least 3 split shots about the size of a large garden pea.
A common alternative to the above is used when extreme distance is required, such as the lower Fraser when fish are jumping quite far out in the mainstream. The basic set-up described above is used but lengthen the leader to about 24″ and use a three-way swivel instead of a standard swivel. Tie the leader and mainline to the three-way swivel so they are ‘in-line’ with each other and the third eye of the swivel is at 90 degrees. From the third eye of the swivel a 1 or 1 1/2 oz ‘Bouncing Betty’ style weight is clipped on. When casting this set up a quick retrieve is usually required (Lucky Bugs like being retrieved fast luckily) especially when nearing shore. If you find the leader is tangling often a simple solution is to stop the cast just before the weight hits the water. Stopping the weight short allows the bug to continue past the weight/swivel and the leader lays out nice and straight. Just a note, a Bouncing Betty weight is a round lead weight covered in rubber with a snap at the top. The snap is what is attached to the swivel.
When fishing for Kokanee Salmon with Lucky Bug Bingo Bugs, what boat speed is best?
When trolling for Kokanee we suggest a speed of just over 1.5 mph.
And when fishing for Gerrard Rainbows, what boat speed is best?
You want to speed it up a bit to just around 3mph for Gerrards.
The little round c wire that is attached to the lure itself that has an open shepherd type clasp on it. What is that? Do you attach your leader line to this and then close the open c-type clasp?
That is a snap hook. It is used to free up much more of the fly’s action. It really acts like a u-joint allowing the body to wiggle much more freely. The snap hook serves 2 purposes, first it frees up a lot of the action on the lure by letting it wiggle freely, second it gives the angler an option to change lures quickly without tying a new knot (We don’t suggest using this option, as it is good practice to change ones knot frequently to avoid losing lures).
To use it, you simply tie directly to the eye on the snap hook clasp. You don’t need to close anything.
Some people are skeptical about the design, however we have never had problem with them. If you find that you are not comfortable using them you can simply tie directly to the fly hook using a simple loop knot. The important thing is to not clinch down on the hook with your knot.
Love the product but would like to buy kits to make repairs. The feathers are shredding due to aggressive fish.
Unfortunately we don’t sell replacement parts, however you can buy feathers from any fly tying shop, try not to cut it too large, and I have heard of people using zap-a-gap glue. Feel free to modify the lure also by using marabou or rabbit strips.
Do you sell just the bodies for fly tiers?
No, we don’t sell just the bodies separately. There are just too many specialized tools required to make the hook and feather join into the body.
I am looking for some information regarding using your lures for Steelhead (winter on the Vedder and Stave rivers in BC). I would like to know which type of lures you recommend including the size along with how best to fish them on these rivers. I currently fish 2 ways – Drift, spincast and fly fish (switch rod).
Thanks for your time and I look forward to fishing (catching) with your lures.
Could you also send me your recommended lures for Coho and which size?
Thanks so much,
You’re going to love using these lures for Steelhead & Coho, I have had great luck myself. As for Steelhead, I use the #2 Bingo Bugs in the usual colors you would use with other baits.
Look for the pink body Bingo Bugs, the basic pink; pink with sparkles (cotton candy); pink chartreuse with and without sparkles. There are many other colors to try as well, one that I use with confidence is the silver body, trimmed in red & yellow- with a purple feather (Magog Smelt).
For drift fishing, use these lures just like a colorado blade – hold the float back just a touch as it’s drifting through the seam this will let the bug work downstream of the weight and wiggle right in the fishes face. A colorado has its own weight and tends to fish a little deeper than your weight is set, as opposed to the Bingo Bug fishing about the same level as your weight. Due to this, I use about a 1/3 more lead for the Bingo Bug as I do for the blade and a bit longer leader, about 24″ of fluorocarbon is my usual. Set the weight so it bumps the tops of the rocks, not to much but you want it down almost on the bottom.
For fly fishing, these lures shine. By far my favorite way to catch big fish in rivers! When using your switch rod, fish these lures just like you would the big intruders. Use your heavy sink tips, start at the top of the run, cast across the river, mend a couple times to get the bug down to the bottom and let it swing right across. Take two steps down stream and repeat, do this all the way to the tail out. Remember to keep your leaders short, 3 maybe 4 feet of 10lb fluorocarbon for normal water conditions, a little heavier if the water is a bit dirty and down to even 8 or 6lb if the water is really clear. I keep my rod low as the bug swings and a loop of line in my stripping hand. When the strike comes strip set with your hand as you lift the rod, you’ll notice a much better hook up rate if you add a strip set as well as lifting the rod.
For Coho, use the same fishing suggestions as above – just change the colors of the bugs, still use the #2 sizes though. This also works for chum, pink and spring salmon as well. Some of my favorite colors for Coho are silver with blue feather (Silver Flash), and silver with chartreuse (Chameleon). These are my ‘go to’ colors for Coho but the pinks will work as well. The new whites are awesome, I did really well with the white with blue (Anchovy); white with chartreuse (Tom Fool) and white with pink (Kokanee Lite) Bingo Bugs this year.
Hope that helps Lyle and be sure to send us pictures of all the great fish you’re going to catch. if you have any follow up questions be sure to send them to us.
Fishing Tips for Brook Trout from our pro staff: In most cases size #6 will work best for brook trout, however having said that there are situations that #2’s would be preferred. Examples where you may want to try a few #2’s would be dark or stained water also if you’re fishing for large trout that are used to feeding on large prey items such as mice.
I use Lucky Bugs almost exclusively with a fly rod, they are hybrid fly/lure and work very well fished as a fly. Here are a few tips specific to fly rods and Lucky Bugs. You’ll want to use some kind of a sinking type of line and a relatively short leader. The line you use is dictated by the conditions that you are fishing. Trolling from a boat in a lake that is relatively shallow is best done with a clear intermediate sink line and in a lake that is fairly deep you may want to use a full sink line, such as a type 3 or even heavier. Casting and retrieving in a lake from shore, float tube or a boat is usually best done with an intermediate sinking line, if the fish are deeper just wait a little longer before you start your retrieve.
If fly fishing in a river, using a sinking tip line is almost always the best. This way the tip will sink and bring the bug down to where the fish are and the floating main section of the line will allow you to properly mend the line to get the best swing. In almost all cases I use a 4′ length of fluorocarbon leader in a lb test that matches the fish you are trying to catch – usually somewhere between 6lb and 12lb.
Whether trolling or casting and retrieving the bugs, you want to be moving fairly quickly – definitely faster than when you’re using a ‘normal’ fly. Trout really like these lures moving and they will react with a strike even when they are not actively feeding. I keep my rod tip down very low when retrieving, only a few inches above the water. I make sure the rod is pointing straight at the lure and I use quick pulls approximately 10 to 12″ long. Don’t be afraid to pause briefly during the retrieve, not a long pause just stop stripping for a quick moment then continue on.