“Go big. Go Ugly. Go Bad,” says Chip Leer, explaining his philosophy when dropping a bait into a hole in the ice for the first time. “I want to get down there and make my presence known—get the bait seen. When I fish a new zone, I’m looking for an immediate reaction from the most active fish in the area.”
It might seem strange that a take-no-prisoners approach would apply to a soft-plastic presentation with such a dainty name as “Water Flea.” But make no mistake, Leer says Northland’s new Impulse® Water Flea is just the spark he needs to ignite the underwater fireworks on a fresh spot.
“Appendages equal lure action, and lure action is what triggers strikes from aggressive fish,” says Leer, a longtime ice master, Team Northland member and Product Manager for the iconic Northwoods tackle company. “And the Water Flea has A LOT of appendages.”
Indeed, the bait has two pairs of wing-like extremities, plus an elongated, forked tail that are all whisper-sensitive and quiver enticingly even when the jig is still. Impart any action at all with the rodtip, and it’s like creating a miniature explosion under the ice, especially when paired with either of the new Bro’s Bling or Mitee Mouse jigs, each of which has its own unique set of fish-attracting characteristics.
Yet, even with such a massive store of potential energy, the Water Flea can play it cool when the situation calls for less animation. “This bait has versatility,” says Leer, “and that’s another reason I like it so much. Once you’ve thinned out the aggressive biters and need to entice more neutral fish, you have to fine-tune your approach. But instead of changing things up entirely and tying on a different lure, simply start by removing one or both pairs of appendages from the Water Flea’s body.”
Leer discovered his preferred tactic while field testing the lure. He removes both appendages from one side of the body, then threads it onto a Mud Bug or Gill-Getter jig head with the remaining side’s appendages pointing downward.
“They resemble the pectoral fin of a small baitfish, or perhaps an insect’s legs,” he says. “Whatever the case, it tones down the lure’s built-in action, but it preserves a lot of its surface area, which is the key to dispersing the lure’s baked-in Impulse® fish-attracting scent.”
Fished aggressively or with a slow hand, Northland’s new Water Flea is just the ticket for making your presence known and catching the most fish possible from every hole.