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Complete ICAST 2017 Coverage

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Lure Review

A "Dink" for big fish, Osprey's newest swimbait (continued)

Casting cont'd: While the original Osprey Talon was a very successful swimbait many anglers, myself included, have had issues with consistency. Once in a while we will get the perfect bait that will run straight and true but there were many times that brand new baits simply did not run true. I would examine the baits and while there was nothing distinguishable they would lean to one side, especially at medium to fast retrieves. Over time the baits have improved greatly in consistency but there is the odd bait now and again that requires supplemental tuning by inserting lead into one side of the body. I was eager to see if the Dink would deliver all the benefits of previous Osprey baits without the consistency issues.


While fishing a Osprey overhead was schooling us, catching many more fish than we could muster

Retrieve: The Dink sinks at a slow to moderate rate and can be retrieved both slowly and at a fast pace. The tail on this lure makes use of Ospreyís double boot design but the tail on the Dink wobbles side to side in a much more understated quick fashion and if youíre expecting the same kick found on the Talon or many of the other longer tailed swimbaits this simply isnít the case with this bait. Like many of Ospreyís previous baits though the lure has the profile of a trout it is designed to imitate a wide range of forage. After tossing five different baits we noted that all five ran perfectly true right out of the package.


A look at the open mouth design


During the afternoon at our tests at Lake Sonoma we noticed a large bird circling overhead, and when we got closer we could see that it was indeed an actual osprey. While fishing in the vicinity we witnessed the osprey bring back two unidentifiable fish back to her nest perched at the top of one of the lakeís many submerged redwoods. Needless to say the osprey was having more success and proving to be a much more skilled angler than we were.


The underbelly and protruding fins


By the end of the day we got a number of bass on the Dink but nothing over 3lbs, with the average being even smaller. We were surprised by the number of smaller bass that took the lure, many of which were no more than twice the lureís size. The Dink is armed with one hook and is weighted in the center so the lure swims evenly, a second stinger can be added on the bottom but we didnít find it necessary as it increased hang ups on structure and because the Dink is such a short swimbait we really had little problems with short strikes or fish peeling off the hook. Each and every time I looked at the multiple colors and glanced at the Chartreuse Shad I kept thinking of how fun it would be presenting the lure to stripers, as it closely matched many of my favorite striper ripbaits both in pattern and length. I finally got the chance a few weeks later on a trip to the Delta.


The Dink uses a double boot tail design


Cal and I were fishing for bass all day and when fishing in the cuts was slow decided to head out to the deep water channel to see if the striper trollers were having any luck. When we cruised by there were plenty of boats working the deep channel and they reported some success trolling and dunking bait, and there were multiple reports of seeing schoolies breaking the surface. It was time to put the Dink chartreuse shad to the test.


Many patterns are available, the Shad is a good multi-purpose pattern

I cast into the channel and let the lure sink deep down to 45 feet down and started my retrieve, hoping to draw the interest from a striper moving out to the bay. On the sixth cast I drew a short strike, then nothing for the next four casts. Cal and I decided to reposition the boat to the shallower edge in the hope of targeting an area that was less pressured.  

A closer look at the tail design


Next Section: Striper on the mind...










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