By Todd Corayer
Special to Outdoor Enthusiast Lifestyle Magazine
For generations, fishermen have caught trout with a classic small metal spoon, the Al’s Goldfish. There’s something really special about a lure that’s seventy years old that still catches lots of fish. It has a classic wobble that drives fish crazy because they just can’t resist the temptation of attacking an injured fish. When Al Stuart first created the Goldfish back in 1952, his idea, much like his lure, was pretty basic. He wanted to catch fish with something that very closely resembled what bigger fish were eating and to build a lure that would last. The Al’s Goldfish became a singular success as a lure almost guaranteed to be in every trout fisherman’s tackle box and was honored as one of Field and Stream’s Top Fifty Greatest Lures of All Time and Top Ten Best Trout Lures of All Time.
That same common sense design is being used to catch salt water species with their new Fish Wrap Writer Edition Saltwater Series spoon.The newest addition to the Al’s selection was designed to cast long distances, attract big fish in heavy surf, stained waters and on sunny days where color and size matters and to hook them solidly. It mimics that simple and smart design and classic wobble.
The Fish Wrap Writer Edition uses the very effective chartreuse color on top which fades to a crème belly. Chartreuse is a killer color for fish to key in on in all types of water. Red will fade in fifteen feet so if you’re chasing fish that are fifteen feet below the surface and fifteen feet off the rocks, that color has to travel thirty feet, so it’s not always effective. The lighter crème colored belly balances the green for a totally natural presentation. Two dots on the side call out to predators that this is a young bunker, or menhaden, and are perfect sources of protein. The final design took months of tweaking and testing.
A few winter’s back, I used an Al’s salt water prototype in some 30 degree salt pond water. Striped bass are terribly sluggish in icy waters; it’s hard work to get them to expend any calories. I threw a one ounce version from my kayak in about eight feet of water in a stillwater back cove. On the second cast, a ten pound December striper absolutely inhaled that lure and took me for a ride around the pond. You don’t often get that kind of fast action during a New England winter.
Over the last many months, Al’s owners Jeff and Mandy DeBuigne have worked diligently to build a new version of that prototype, since they knew it worked on bass. This final design is so good, it’s now catching fluke, scup, sea bass and sea robin as well as those big bass and bluefish.
The Fish Wrap Writer Edition Goldfish has the most amazing and unique wobble under water. It’s part of its magic. Fast or slow, the goldfish rolls from side to side with a classic bump and grind, especially when tied directly. Predatory fish use their lateral line to sense vibrations from wounded prey and that wobble is like a siren’s call.
Crashing oxygen-rich surf, where stripers love to hunt for disoriented bait, is a perfect spot the Fish Wrap Writer Salt Water Series. In late July and August we start seeing false albacore and bonito feeding in blitzes close to the New England shoreline. False albacore can swim up to 40 mph so having a long casting spoon to reach them is a major advantage, especially when casting from rocks which just seem to be a whisker too far from those blitzing schools or when you’re in a boat and don’t want to push down the whole school by sitting right on top of them. This lure works best when tied directly; too much bling ahead of the circle ring can affect that unique wobble.
That 1 ¼ ounce weight will also allow you to get down below schools of blues or schoolie bass so you can target the big bass too lazy and smart to fight for the quick meal. Those guys and girls are hanging tight to the bottom waiting for scraps to trickle down to them and that is precisely where this Fish Wrap Writer Edition Al’s Goldfish will get you.
It features a marine brass body plated in New England, 100lb. test stainless steel rings, hard baked paints, custom tied teaser and size 3/0 VMC J hooks. Each Goldfish is painstakingly hand painted one at a time, which is why this new pattern is so unique. They wanted to find fish in all kinds of waters, especially in places where bunker are preyed on by bass, bluefish, bonito, bonita, black sea bass and the artist made that happen.
Bounced along the bottom, its shape nicely imitates a small baitfish, making it a natural attractor for bottom fish like summer and winter flounder. Eddy Stahowiak with On the Water magazine took one of the first lures to Cape Cod and caught fluke, sea robins, striped bass and bluefish on his first trip. It’s highly unusual to find a lure that will catch big stripers and summer flounder without any tipped bait or structural modifications.
Jeff and Mandy want you to catch fish with an American made lure that’s been tested for almost seventy years and now, they want you to catch big salt water fish as well. The Fish Wrap Writer Edition Al’s Goldfish spoon might just change the way you fish the ocean and change your mind about how many lures you need in your tacklebox.