Wabbling into trout season with the time-tested Lake Clear Wabbler
Somewhere on a New York trout pond on any given day this time of year is an angler trolling a Lake Clear Wabbler through the water in hopes of picking up a particular trout species.
In all likelihood, the anglers who are heading to classic trout ponds in places like the Adirondacks will have a variety of these football-shaped lures in their tackle boxes and will be ready to drag them through these waters where ice-out has just occurred.
In this writer’s opinion, this is the best time of year for trout fishing. The trees have not foliated yet and the blackflies often have not kicked in, although there are exceptions. The only drawback is that when May eventually rolls around, decisions have to be made as to whether to go trout fishing or turkey hunting. But that’s not a bad problem to have.
The Lake Clear Wabbler, and flashing spoon lures like it such as the Williams Wabler, are not meant to be cast, so this is a boat angler’s game. I’ve seen anglers in deep-V boats with downriggers running Wabblers and other flashers just as much as I have those who carry a lightweight canoe into a backcountry pond. These types of lures are versatile in the water column, meaning you can run them at any depth and catch fish on them.
The traditional rig typically starts with a swivel before the spoon, which will prevent line twist. Below the spoon, run 18 to 24 inches of leader line to a No. 6 hook, where a trout worm is to be placed when fishing time comes. Some anglers use more leader, some less. Some use flies instead a worm and others use larger and smaller hooks. It all depends on what you like for your own trout fishing.
I have caught every trout species I fish for on these lures. Browns, rainbows, brookies and even lake trout have grabbed the worm at the end of my line following a Lake Clear Wabbler. I fish primarily from a kayak or solo canoe and trolling lends itself to the explorer-type fishing I personally enjoy. There are a lot of varieties of these lures and every angler I know likes something different, so my suggestion is to start with the classic silver and copper or silver and gold and work from there.
Being somewhat nostalgic, I also like the history behind the Lake Clear Wabbler. The story goes that nearly a century ago, a Canadian fishing guide took a pair of tin snips to a car headlight assembly and created the lure. The company has changed hands a few times and was primarily based in New York until its most recent acquisition in 2014 by the Brecks, out of Sherbrooke in Quebec.
This is by no means meant to be a promotion for the lure or the company that owns it. It is simply a reminder to trout anglers to enjoy a classic lure, or at least the concept behind it, during one of the most enjoyable times of the year to be trout fishing.