The Lucky Craft Pointer 100 is the 4-1/2" Japanese made suspending jerk bait that has taken the Lake of the Ozarks winter circuits by storm. As much as I tried to avoid shelling out the $15 they're getting for this bait, I finally gave in last winter and bought one. That ended up being a very good move as an hour into the first day out with it (3-10-01), which was the 2001 Woods & Waters Season opener, I had 2 fish that went over 4lbs each.

I had been to this same area the weekend before and had only caught dinks and small keepers. I was having a hard time finding quality fish in the super clear water with the Smithwick Rogue (my usual jerk bait). There had been a lot of talk going around the "Lake" about a "hot new jerk bait" called the Pointer. So, during the week, I picked up a Lucky Craft (Ghost Minnow) in hopes it would produce the size I had not been able to locate pre-fishing with the Rogue. It did, as I ended up with a respectable 16.50 lb, 5-fish limit, which was good enough for 3rd place and an $880 check.

Now, I'm aware of the fact that the good fish may have finally decided to move into this area or may have been there all along and just weren't biting. All I know is they did bite the Lucky Craft that day and that's all I needed to make me go out and buy a couple of every color they make. I found out that you don't mind spending $15 on baits when you just made almost $900 your first day fishing with them. Now I seldom throw anything else in clear water below 45 degrees and they continue to produce good bags of fish and the good checks that come with them.

The Pointer 100 has a totally different action than the Rogue or any other suspending jerk bait I've ever fished. It requires a more subtle presentation, than the Rogue for instance, as it will roll over and act all crazy if you tap it too hard. For this reason I seldom fish it when there is less than about 8' of water clarity. This baits appeal is visual so if the fish can't see it well they don't seem to bite it well either.

All you need to do is barely make contact with this bait and it will wobble just like an injured shad. It will continue to wobble for a few seconds due to the weights in its belly. Another excellent presentation is to just pull it forward about 6" or so and let it sit a while and then do it again, all the way back to the boat.

While this bait will get you some good bites, getting them in the boat is another story. The hooks that come on the Lucky Craft are among the worst I've used for landing big fish. They are plenty sharp but the wire size is large and the barbs are extra small and this combination allows the fish to pull free with very little effort it seems. I would venture to say I have lost more quality fish than I have landed with them.

Now I switch the hooks out with Mustad Triple Grips and the problem is solved. The only problem with switching out the hooks is the Lucky Craft is one of the rare jerk baits that perfectly suspends right out of the box. The stock hooks on it seem to be #5, which is a size most hook companies don't make. To solve this problem I tried two #4's and the bait sank and when I tried two #6's it took a lot of weight to keep it from floating. Now I have added a #4 on the front and a #6 on the back and this seems to have matched the stock hook weight perfectly as the bait suspends just right.

The Pointers come in some great colors that the fish seem to like day in and day out. American Shad, Ghost Minnow and Aurora Black are among my favorites but they have many others that look good as well. All Lucky Craft baits have an oblong (oval) line tie split ring that I don't care for at all. The split part of the ring is on the side when you tie on and if you're not (very) careful, the line seems to get hung up in the split more times than not. This causes nicks in your line and another re-tie. It's hard enough to tie baits on when your hands are freezing cold so the split rings had to go as well.

While the Lucky Craft Pointer 100 is one hell of a good jerk bait, it seems to me that if you're going to pay $15 for it, you shouldn't have to change out anything. Changing out the hardware only makes this bait more expensive. It's high price and required changes are why I would not recommend this bait to the average weekend recreational fisherman.

On the other hand, if you are an avid winter tournament fisherman, you can't afford not to have this bait tied on. It's well worth the outrageous price of this bait when you're fishing for your dinner money. If you're fishing a winter tournament on clear lakes such as the Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock, Bull Shoals or Norfork and you're not fishing with the Lucky Craft Pointer 100, you're probably fishing for second place. That's assuming only one guy in your tournament is using one. If there's any more than that you could be in trouble and may be eating a lot of bologna sandwiches for a while.

by: Phil Williams

Mid America

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