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Lure Review

Creature Fever: The Death Spiral of the Power Tackle Lateral Perch (continued)

Retrieve: The first few times I cast the lure I couldn’t help but simply reel the bait back much like a traditional swimbait, suffice to say the lure doesn’t do much on a straight retrieve. It was only in very clear water where I finally “got” what the PTLP was all about. When allowed to sink after the lure hits the water the lure immediately descends in a circular motion in what the company describes as the “death spiral.” It is here that a mono line gives the bait a more realistic appearance of a wounded fish. Pull the line slightly, but not completely taught, and the lure will rock back and forth in a side by side gliding motion, here it seems more alive and can mimic a fleeing baitfish.

This lure is ideal for pitching in clear shallow water where you can see the lure spiral

As the lure hits the bottom it is possible to hop the lure upwards and repeat these patterns, doing so on or nearby bass beds drives lunkers insane. While the lure is moving downwards in the water column the fins are vibrating as well, only further adding to the illusion. Once you start thinking of this bait as an ultra-realistic jig it becomes a whole lot easier to both wrap your head around the applications for this lure and start fishing it effectively.

The difference between the standard casting version and flipping version include hook size and weedguard

Stroked or hopped around structure or simply during the fall this lure can be deadly. We observed the greatest number of strikes when the lure is fished right alongside heavy structure and in shallow water. This bait is harder to fish than traditional jigs in deep water as it is more difficult to perceive exactly what the bait is doing and what structure it is in contact with, though the very large 1oz. sizes do make it possible to target depths just under 30 feet, anything more than that and a big football head jig is still your best bet.

When flipping and pitching braided line works well with this bait and provides immediate response

Price & Applications: While the PTLP is a very realistic looking jig it doesn’t replace normal skirted jigs, instead it represents a new type of jig that mimics a baitfish instead of a crawfish in both profile and action. This lure is a nice addition to the bass angler’s arsenal and requires no learning curve at all if you are used to pitching baits, though to maximize the lure’s effectiveness a little observation in clear shallow water to really conceptualize the death spiral is a good idea.

A soft joint in the center allows for more tail movement and vibration on the fall

While pinpoint casts and pitching are how we caught most of the fish with this bait during testing it also is effective for crawling and hopping over rocky structure. The flat profile and robust weedguard prevents the lure from easily hanging up or getting wedged in between rocky structure or grass.

Present it right and the Lateral Perch is a great bait for sight fishing

The PTLP retails for $12.99 each and anglers can find the more realistic “Naturals” painted versions for just a dollar or two more online. While this is a whole lot more expensive than a traditional skirted jig the PTLP really is whole different “creature,” and makes use of a lot of the same elements within more costly soft bodied swimbaits.

Extra tails are available if you want to interchange of replace damaged trailers


They hold up reasonably well over time and while not cheap they are reasonably priced for what you are getting. Power Tackle does sell extra tail trailers should you lose one or it gets too beat up, but throughout our testing we found the tail section to be surprisingly durable, the only area where there was damage was on the soft dorsal and pelvic fins where small chunks were taken out from strikes.


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Power Tackle Lateral Perch Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Excellent construction throughout, this bait is well designed and well constructed 9
Performance Though different in design the lure works well in a range of applications and provides a different take on the traditional jig. Spend time with the bait and you can get it to literally spiral and coast side to side in a very unique way. It looks so much like a swimbait that it is at first hard to wrap your head around just how to fish this bait 8
Price A "good" price for a unique bait. It may cost a lot more than a traditional jig but this is by no means a normal jig 7
Features Lots of features including a side mounted hook, interchangeable tails, and hand painted versions 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) This bait is easy to fish if you have any experience pitching or flipping. The weedguard does a good job keeping the bait from hanging up making thing a good bait to fish near cover 8
Application great for shallow water fishing and works on both warm and cold days just slow it down, also an excellent bed bait 8.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ A different take on the jig - Best for shallow to mid range jigging applications
+ Ultra-realistic design - More expensive than traditional jigs
+ Good flipping and pitching bait  
+ Durable, can stand up to structure and not hang up  
+ Reasonable price  
+ "Death Spiral" delivers unique action  


Conclusion: Power Tackle demonstrates they are more than just a rod manufacturer with the introduction of the Lateral Perch. This lure exhibits notable detail in design and an action that sets it apart from other jig baits. The smaller weighted lures below 3/4oz. are good for most situations and while I still prefer to use this bait as a shallow water lure the heavier ¾-1oz. sizes can be employed for working mid-depths between 15-30 feet depths and can be effective when targeting fish off deeper rockpiles.


Once you wrap your head around the fact this is a jig the Lateral Perch is a fun lure to fish and can deliver strikes off a variety of structure types


The one other thing that this lure is downright deadly for is when targeting bedfish that are weary of sunfish invading their space. While very realistic in appearance the key to this bait is the unique death spiral action, and probably more than just mimicking a wounded fish, this action is something that fish simply don’t see on a regular basis and in a sea of sameness a distinctive approach can often make all the difference. 


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