“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 is all whisper-sensitive and quiver enticingly even when the jig is still. Impart any action at all with the rod tip, and it’s like creating a miniature explosion under the ice, especially when paired with either of the new Bro’s Bling, it 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.