quagga drop-shotSince quagga mussels are present or likely are on their way to most waterways in the state, eventually, angler access will return to the “old ways” (though probably with higher fees to combat the mollusks). When that happens, the full impact of their razor-like presence may be felt–and it may require some tackle wrinkles we probably thought could never work.

When the Havasu bass are up in the grass thumping frogs (and soon to be punched as well, if Dean Rojas’ predictions for the lake come true), there is still going to be break-off problems with the mussels on the fish habs and other hard structures.

We saw it last summer in the U.S. Open along many of the cliffs and rockpiles at Lake Mead. I watched Gary Klein lose crankbaits when his line cut so easily, and the same was true with any other piece of terminal tackle that contacted the bottom at an angle.

So, I’m trying some experimenting when I get on the water Thursday with Rick Clunn and some of the other boys. I’m going to use a short yolk to drop-shot sinkers, jig heads and may even try a version with some hard baits–like Lee Sisson did on some of his cranks.

The short wire yolk (think at .012 inch diameter) can’t be cut by the shells, and my premise that it won’t put the fish off, is based on extensive use of the wacky jig (where the bouncing jig head and hook shank are exposed but the fish still bite).

A second example of a wire leader comes from saltwater fishing. No, not shorty wire leaders for barracuda,  but heavy wire used by the yellowtail guys with “surface iron.” It doesn’t keep them from getting bites on top, but when the big jacks strike and dive for the rocks, kelp or anchor line, the wire connector won’t let the fish break off. quagga wacky


5 Responses to “Quagga tackle experiment: target Lake Mead”

The devil is in the details.

The solution to the quagga muscle problem seems obvious to me. Red Ear Sunfish are known in many parts of the country as “Shell Crackers” for their diet of fresh water clams. This is a solution that potentially could pay dividends as an expanded resource opportunity. So here is a biological, environmentally friendly tool to combat an environmental threat and turn adversity into cost effective opportunity.

This is also a management technique that takes advantage of existing experience and expertise of public management and their propensity to play “SHELL” GAMES with angler-contributed resource dollars.

by George Kramer

That may very well prove to be the answer, Rich. But I’m not taking any chances. I’m making wire leaders for the existing clam beds. I hope the idea doesn’t have a patent…

Well, I got distracted from the focus of the point you were making and started a frustration with the system based soap box rant.Back down to earth now with
the help of a little time on the pond. Some solutions that address related problems with rough or snaggy lake bottoms might include The Lindy walking weight used by walleye anglers and the Rock hopper weight by Mojo. Field testing your theory has an important benefit that will provide an immediate return on investment,spending time on the water. Michels kraft store has some floral wire that I have found to be useful for fishing related tinkering.

I/we are already have an experimental project in mind with redear as quagga control. Working on propogating them to transplant to an unfishable water body (so anglers won’t take them out)with the quaggas for the experiment. Question for me is, can they eat enough of them. Other species (introduced from other parts of this world) that are already prevalent in Socal lakes, could eat them as well, could be promising.

Hey Kwin, I’d like to talk to you about that experiment. Can you please call me at 702-259-2309 as soon as you get a chance? I’d sure appreciate it.