Next to bait, the Hootchie is one of the
most popular lures on the market today. It is a relatively
cheap, clean and easy method of attracting and landing
salmon in almost any environment. Radiant Lures Ltd.
has spent a lot of time and effort in bringing out new
color patterns (such as Radiant originals like the Army
Truck, Tiger Prawn, Alligator and Peanut Butter) But
like all tackle, color isnt everything. The right
technique will improve your average catch, which in
turn improves the fun.
Here are some proven techniques that will improve your catch.
First of all when you purchase your new Hootchie and take it out of the
package, make sure that the hooks are balanced. (one facing up and the
other facing down) The hooks used on most manufactured Hootchies are optimum
for the lure due to their light weight and strength. Radiant uses a pair
of 3/0 92553 stainless steel Mustad Hooks tied in tandem and have proven
to be very reliable. It is very important to make sure that the hooks
remain balanced throughout the career of the Hootchie. Check it every
time you catch a fish as no doubt the action of reeling in a lunker will
invariably twist the hook(s) in the knots.
Another key to your rig is your choice of a quality flasher. Oki
makes a super Flasher called the "Big Shooter" which has nice
Ultra Violet reflective qualities, has a great rotation and is well built.
The Big Shooter quite nicely compliments your Hootchie and is made in
many Hootchie matching colors.
Leader length. This can make or break your fishing outing. For all Hootchies
that are rigged properly, 36 inch leaders are the best bang for your buck.
A quick way to get the right length is to use your Oki Flasher as
a measuring stick. The Oki Flasher is 11 inches long so wrap your
line lengthwise three times to give you 33 inches then add the length
of the swivel, ring and snap on your last wrap for a total of 36 inches.
Pretty simple, but effective. Use the same length of leader when using
Radiant Squirts and Radiant Mini Squirts as the centrifugal force with
these popular lures is the same as the Hootchie.
We do have to talk a bit about color, as it will be key to your formula
for success. Combined with the above mentioned techniques, and the right
color combination, the Hootchie will not let you down. There are thousands
of different colored and species of squid in the Pacific Coastal waters,
and they all change color depending on water temperature, mating seasons
and other climatic changes. So the color that works today may not necessarily
work next week. Have a good selection of Hootchies in your tacklebox.
Change your colors often when unsuccessful. A switch in flasher color
can also help.
We have found and now scientific evidence suggests that ultra violet
light is a medium that aquatic animals reflect and are attracted to. It
is proven that the only source of light that penetrates the deep is Ultra
Violet. With this in mind, Radiant has put more emphasis on Hootchies
and other tackle that reflects Ultra Violet light. We have now found that
the lures with Ultra Violet qualities are out fishing the non-reflecting
Ultra Violet lures. The Radiant Tiger Prawn Hootchie, which is a huge
reflector of Ultra violet light, was Radiants best seller in 1998.
The Radiant Ultra Violet Army Truck Hootchie was the lure that caught
the winner of the 1998 Port Alberni $6000.00 Fishing Derby, and the Radiant
Ultra Violet Alligator Hootchie won the same $6000.00 Derby in 1997.
Another interesting tip is the fact that nearly all vinyl baits are rigged
with mylar. The mylar really works well for the salmon up to 30 pounds.
However, if youre fishing for trophy fish, remove all but one or
two strands of mylar. For some reason over the years most of the big Kings
caught on Hootchies have only a couple of strands of mylar or even no
mylar at all.
Another thing to remember when you just have to use a single hook rig
with your Hootchie. Dont use a swivel and dont use salmon
hooks as this will cut your catch performance by 50%. Use a 2 inch piece
of Radiant tubing in clear or the new ultra violet pink and snell a single
4/0 stainless Mustad hook. The tubing will protect your leader from sharp
teeth. Make sure your hook is back near the end of the Hootchie legs.
This single hook set-up is great for releasing undersized fish or catch
and release enthusiasts. The single hook set-up is commonly used up in
Alaska to catch Coho (Silvers).
Try not to buy the cheap, loose vinyl baits found in grab bins in some
stores. You get what you pay for. These are usually fingered by dozens
of individuals and become stained and tainted by oils only after a short
period of time. This also goes to say that you should wash all your gear
in clean fresh water after use.
Radiant Lures has also developed a new rig that will enhance your Hootchies
performance. The Gun Barrel is an Ultra Violet bait holder that acts like
a dinner bell for those trophy fish. The Gun Barrel is easy to use and
you only have to load it once or twice during your excursion. The Radiant
Gun Barrel simply attaches directly behind your Oki Flasher and
the "washing machine" action of the flasher causes the gun Barrel
to slowly release the scent, which in turn flows over your Radiant Hootchie.
These devices can be filled with all types of scent including salmon eggs,
Charlie Whites X 10, squid or other bait fish pieces. The Gun Barrel
has many other applications one of which the Radiant Big Game Hootchie
which is another story.
The only thing left to talk about is how to get your Hootchie and flasher
down deep. There are several proven methods, but the best method is by
way of Downrigger. Scotty makes a premium downrigger that has been very
effective over the years. The nice thing about these units is that when
you get a fish on, there is no weight to battle with, which ultimately
reduces the overall feeling of reeling in a fish. Fish at depths depending
on where you are. Change you depths frequently if not successful. A slip
weight is also effective. You can get them in many sizes and perform quite
well. Another manor of getting your tackle down is to tie a swivel 10-20
feet in front of your flasher and clip a bell weight to the loop. Not
as effective as the other techniques but will work.
The Radiant Hootchie is second to no one in quality and workmanship.
See the full line of original Radiant products on line at www.tyeetackle.com
or at your favorite tackle store.
About the author
Jack James was born on the coast and is one of
the foremost fishing experts in B.C.. Jack worked as a commercial fisherman
in the 40s, as guide in the 50s and 60s, and started
Radiant Lures Ltd. with his two partners in 1967. Jack speaks regularly
to angling groups interested in his techniques and tackle products. Jack
continues to invent lures and upgrade existing products in order to keep
one step ahead of the burgeoning tackle industry.
To contact dealers carrying these products visit:
Berry's Bait and Tackle
Island Outfitters Sportfishing