Picutred below are my two wire-line trolling outfits. I own just these two, and the massive bunker spoons attached to each are the only bunker spoons I have. This is because pulling these heavy hunks of metal on 200 feet of wire at 2 miles per hour for striped bass is about as fun for me as a root canal. But the fact remains that they catch big bass, and if I’ve absolutely exhausted every possibility for hooking them on live bait, dead bait, flies, or lures, I will break down and pull wire. Striper fishing, of course, is not the only game where desperate-measure tactics apply.


Now let’s be clear: I’m not knocking wire-liners. I’d actually argue that there is some art to the method, it’s just not my cup of tea. Likewise, a true “desperate measure” varies based on the angler. As an example, I’ll occasionally take to the smallmouth river with a can of worms and a bobber. It works great. But if I have my heart set on an evening of topwater action that’s just not coming together, worms become a desperate measure.

I’ll actually admit that I once commited the ultimate sin while fly fishing in Upstate New York. I came upon a very clear run where I could see some nice brown trout hovering off the bottom. Every once in a while, they’d peel out and snap something up. I lifted a few rocks and found them just crawling with black stoneflies…a pattern I oddly happened to be without. After trying every nymph I had, only to watch them drift by unnoticed, I did the dirty deed. Stripped a hook, threaded on a stonefly, and bang!

If you tell me you’ve never resorted to measures you’re not proud of, you’re probably a liar. So let’s hear it. What’s your worst moment of weakness where you broke down and did what you had to do to get your fish? – JC