Baits, Lures & Flies photo
Travis Rathbone

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Next time you enjoy wine with dinner, hang on to the cork, which you can make into an effective bass plug. I’ve fooled more than one lunker with these lures—and saved some money, too. They’re easy to make, and chances are you already have most of the necessary parts. One tip: Use plastic wine corks. They don’t crack, are easy to cut and shape, and have a smooth finish once painted.

cork lure


A great way to stock your tackle box.


[1] With a Dremel tool, or circular rat-tail file, shape the front of the cork in the profile of a floater-diver plug. (Or hollow out the front to make a popper.) Next, drill a 1/16-inch hole through the middle and insert the wire shaft.

[2] Bend a U in the front end of the wire so that you have a short length—about 1 inch long—that is parallel to the main shaft. With needle-nose pliers, squeeze the short end of the wire and main shaft together Keeping your grip on the pliers with one hand, insert a large finishing nail into the loop formed in the wire, and twist the nail 3 to 4 times This will form the hook eye.

[3] With the pliers, pull the rear end of the wire until the hook eye abuts the front of the cork. Now slide the following, in this order, onto the wire: plastic bead, propeller blade, plastic bead, rubber skirt, treble hook. Repeat Step 2 on this end, making sure the hook is trapped in the newly formed wire loop. Paint the lure however you’d like. After the paint dries, cement one eye on each side. All you need now is water.


Plastic wine cork

6-inch wire spinner shaft

Small plastic beads

Large propeller blade

Rubber skirt

No. 8 treble hook

Lacquer paint

Stick-on eyes

Except for the wine cork, all are available from most tackle-supply manufacturers, such, as Jann’s Netcraft (