Husky Devle Spoon Versus the T-60 Flatfish

Husky Devle Spoon Versus the T-60 Flatfish

There has been a long-standing debate amongst the guides at Plummer’s Great Bear Lake Lodges. Which lure is most effective for trophy lake trout, the Eppinger Husky Devle or the T-60 Flatfish? Naturally these two camps feel solid about this. Two opinions: can both be right and yet both be wrong?

Based on my Great Bear Lake experiences and the BBZ mindset these polarized groups should merge. When it comes to these two lures, they have distinct attributes that can be applied to the same stretch of water enabling an angler to maximize their catching potential. 

T-60 Flatfish by Worden. Top bait has upgraded split rings and barbs crimped ready to fish.

T-60 Flatfish by Worden. Top bait has upgraded split rings and barbs crimped ready to fish.

Husky Delve spoon by Eppinger. These spoons have upgraded spilt rings, SPRO barrel swivels, SPRO #5 coast lock snap swivels, and Gamakatsu Big River Bait hooks barbs crimped. These changes improve line twist and prevent a twisting hooked fish from binding the split ring and hook against the lure gaining leverage to pull the hook out. A lot of teeth marks on the pink!

Husky Delve spoon by Eppinger. These spoons have upgraded spilt rings, SPRO barrel swivels, SPRO #5 coast lock snap swivels, and Gamakatsu Big River Bait hooks barbs crimped. These changes improve line twist and prevent a twisting hooked fish from binding the split ring and hook against the lure gaining leverage to pull the hook out. A lot of teeth marks on the pink!

Understanding how your tools work and how you can apply them to particular situations will give you a great advantage in maximizing your strike ratio. Increase your strikes and the number of fish you catch will multiply. Both lures are mechanical lures meaning their action is built into the bait. The Flatfish is a diving digging bait designed to bang into the bottom. It’s history goes back to Buck Perry and the principles of Spoon Plugging. As you pull this lure across the bottom it will generate deflections. The hardest deflections produce a mechanical direction change causing the lure to kick out and then return to it’s original path. Crank bait anglers refer to this as ‘searching’ action and this is when the Flatfish shines. 

The Husky Delve is not well suited for dragging the bottom. Yet it’s rotating thumping action is versatile as you can burn it as well as drop it back by free spooling enacting a wide fluttering wobble in open water. A fisherman can also impact the spoon's action by using speed control/change with the outboard and also altering the boats coarse. These manual direction changes can generate more dynamics into your presentations. 

Incorporate your sonar into your approach while searching and reading fish positions and now with both the Flatfish and the Husky Devle at hand you can effectively pass through the entire water column. BBZ enthusiasts know that encompassing all portions of the water, top middle and bottom, is vital when searching for fish. 

There is a reason that many fish strikes occur when trollers are in a turn.  During a turn, whether it's an inside or outside one, it will decrease or increase the drag on your line and lure. These changes impact what the lures is doing when otherwise trolled in a straight line at a constant tempo. One should not be content to simply continuously ‘straight’ troll at the same mundane speed and cadence.    

Two anglers fishing from both sides of the boat as they move along a particular bank can be confronted with subtle but very distinct conditions. The fisherman on the inside closest to the shoreline can be in a position where the Flatfish is digging into the bottom. The Flatfish is simply a crank bait and banging on the bottom is what it was designed for. Yet the angler on the outside from the shoreline, based on the depth of the topography, might not be able to dig along the bottom. So this angler is better off working the water column in a different way with the Husky Devle spoon.

Great Bear Lake guide boxes: Flatfish on the left and Husky Delve spoons in the box on the right.

Great Bear Lake guide boxes: Flatfish on the left and Husky Delve spoons in the box on the right.

Observing lake trout one can see that these fish will follow a lure for a considerable distance, sometimes multiple fish, often darting all around the bait. They will also continue to track even after a missed strike.  As each angler develops a hit but no hookup, based on the attributes of each individual lure, they are both in an excellent position to convert those missed strikes into a catch. Why? The fisherman on the inside can free spool allowing the lure to float up wobbling from the bottom, potentially triggering a follow-up hit. At the same time, the angler on the outside can do the same thing but in their circumstance the lure flutters down in water column also producing a follow-up strike.

Another plausible scenario is as you angle down a bank and you see on your sonar graph multiple marks that represent quality fish, you have options by using more than one tool. If the topography is appropriate, you can make the first pass with one lure. Even if you catch a fish on that first troll, by switching to a different lure you can increase your odds of catching multiple fish by showing those same fish something different than your first approach.

The two fish hold pictures above were taken a few minutes apart from the same stretch of water. The top fish was caught using the Husky Delve spoon and the bottom fish was fooled with the Flatfish. Extremely nice fish Bill! This is why you don’t want to place restrictions on yourself.   

Understanding your tools and exactly what they do in the water column will put you on the path of success. Knowing how to create an effective change in the cadence and movement of a lure is crucial. Keeping an open mind and allowing all possibilities when the situation calls for it is the BBZ mindset. Everything has its place and time so why ‘handcuff’ yourself before you even go out on the water? 

This is not just a lake trout, crank bait versus a spoon concept. It applies to multiple circumstances, multiple species, multiple tools. Understanding how to string the various conditions together will increase your hook-ups and put you in the BBZ. 

To read the Great Debate by Plummer’s guide Graham Martland click the link below. While you’re at the Plummer’s website, check out the incredible opportunities and information concerning one of the greatest fishing adventures ever!  http://www.plummerslodges.com/great-debate-husky-vs-flatfish

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