Tinsel Tail Lures


June 14-17 2012
6/17/12 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m Fishing Report
Northwest Ontario, Showalters Fly-In Service

While our home town (Milwaukee) was reaching the mid nineties, we awoke to mid thirties with no fire in the stove. When the rain finally slowed we geared up and traveled east on Apps Lake. The wind and sleet slapping our faces as we headed for Meddik Lake. The portage, flooded after a week of rain made us slip, stick and swear.

We fished the rapids right off the boat landing. We were hoping to get enough walleye for a dinner but had trouble catching keepers as most fish were over the size limit. Walleye were averaging 16”-18”. It wasn’t more than 5 minutes between action.

We hit the north shore in the bay, east of the rapids and caught some northerns and walleye casting spinnerbaits and jigging.

The rain stopped and we had a quick lunch on a rocky shore. After our break we traveled east up Meddik and entered a small isolated lake on the south. Casting spinnerbaits off cabbage beds and reeds produced many northerns and walleye. Fish were active! So......Tim simply leaned over the boat and started making figure eights. Northerns and walleye (12) slapped his swirling spinnerbait. Then a 40" plus northern hit, caused a moment of commotion and torn loose. Several other large northern followed our spinnerbaits, interested but not hungry.

It was time to head back for dinner. We stopped for a few more walleye at the rapids. Back through the swampy portage. On to the outpost, a fire, rest, dinner and cards. Then back out, Lake Trout await!

Lake Trout
No one in our four man group has ever caught a inland lake trout. Landing one was a goal for all of us. We were told to fish off the white rock off the island just east of the cabin. We tried several different jigging spoons and jigs. We all switched over to a jig and minnow after Del landed the first two trout. We managed to land 11 lakers on our stay, all on 1/4 and 3/8 oz jigs tipped with minnows. Several heavy fish refused to rise from the deep, breaking us off and leaving us wondering. We used gold, silver and firetiger wedgehead jigs tipped with a minnow.

1/4 oz and 3/8 oz wedgehead jigs tipped with a minnow or plastic produced most of the fish. Walleye were located in rapids or rocky shorelines. In water 3’ - 8’ deep. We did catch walleye when casting for pike. These fish were in shoreline weeds and reeds. Most fish averaged 16" and up. 26" was the largest.

Northern Pike
3/8 and 1/2 oz spinnerbaits in gold and firetiger caught most of the pike. Some pike were caught in the rapids, however weeds and reeds produced best. We struggled to catch pike off deeper rock ledges and points. 37", 36" and 30 were the biggest caught. Several northern over 40" were sighted.

Northern Wisconsin
Increase in bass poulation and a drop for walleye.
In some lakes bass population were at a historic high.
Walleye natural production is slowing and stocking has not been as successful as hoped.

A grant will fund a five year investigation. Factors studied will be species diets and region climate changes. In the past 50 years, the average temperature in northwest Wisconsin has rose as much as 4.5 degrees. In a 2006-07 survey, bass were the fish Wisconsin anglers released most often (94.5%), while only 70% of walleyes caught were returned to the water.

Just returned from our 34th Spring Fishing trip in northern Wisconsin.

We started out Friday morning on a 300+ acre lake in Oneida County, WI. Surface water was 62 degrees and air temperatures in the mid fifties. We hit the shallows looking for bass in the warmer bays and reeds. We also fished any green weeds in 3' - 6' 'looking for northerns and staging bass. We did not have great action but picked up a couple of nice bass in the reeds on tinsel minnows with a crawdad trailer.

Friday afternoon we switched to a different lake that we had success on in the past.
IT WAS ON! Warm sunny temps in the upper 70's moved fish shallow to warm and feed. A nice insect hatch, minnows everywhere and Crappies were staging in the shallows. This brought aggressive male and pre spawn female bass in the skinny water to feed. Before the day was over we had numerous bass over 14" and caught an amazing 15 bass over 16" with 10 over 18" and a smallmouth over 19". Most caught on tinsel minnows in firetiger and pearl. 3/8 oz firetiger spinnerbaits also worked well.

Saturday brought clouds and rain with lower temps. Action was a little slower than Friday but was still strong. Again, numerous bass were caught in the shallows using tinsel minnows. Big bass were still present .

By the end of our trip we estimated the five of us caught and released over 45 bass over 16" and 55 bass between 14" and 16". Total bass caught well over 200.

Flail the Tail
Del and Mike

October 2010

They Tinsel Team headed north for our 25th annual Fall musky trip in northern Wisconsin. Several of us got up a day early and pre fished two lakes before the rest of the boys arrived. The temperature of the water in both lakes was mid 60's and murky with an algae bloom. Sunny weather and air temperatures in the upper 60's. Fishing was slow.

Friday gave us southwest winds and sunny conditions. We remembered our spring trip and headed to the same Oneida County lake that produced four muskies and 16 bass over 16". We fished the west weed beds and had good action on the north shoreline with bass and northern. Fishing stayed consistent throughout the day and we ended up with two nice muskies a 45.5" on a 3/8 oz gold single bladed spinnerbait and a thick 38" on a 1/2 oz red spinnerbait. Both muskies were in shallow water 2-3'. Bass and northern were landed on 3/8 and 1/2 oz firetiger, pearl, red and gold.

Saturday was mist and light rain and fishing was picking up with winds shifting more to the west. The same patterned continued from Friday with fishing the wind blown shorelines. Action picked up as we got 50 yards from shore in 4-5' of water. We landed a nice 35" musky on a 3/8 oz gold spinnerbait in 2-3' of water. We raised five other muskies and lost a BIG one that hit a 10" bass that was hooked on a spinnerbait. The musky made several nice runs and released the bass. When the bass was reeled in the musky followed it back to the boat and was mouthing the bass right next to the boat. Efforts to get the musky to re-hit failed and she slowly swam off.

By the end of the trip we landed three muskies, caught around ten bass from 16-17", a 21" smallmouth ( 3/8 oz firetiger spinnerbait) a 20.5 largemouth (1/2 oz crappie tinsel minnow) and a 33.5" northern (red spinnerbait).

Good fishing,

Del and Mike


Once again the Tinsel Team headed north to Oneida County for our 33rd consecutive spring catch and release trip. Del, Norm and Glenn got up on Thursday afternoon to test fish a lake. When the rest of us arrived on Thursday night we were told that they had a fair amount of activity. The three of them raised 9 muskies in less than three hours, with some action with bass, northerns and later that evening good crappie action.

The first Five casts on Friday produced four bass on a 1/2 firetiger tandem spinnerbait. The two others in the boat switched to firetiger in 3/8 oz and the game was on. In two days of action we raised 28 muskies and caught five (45", 45", 42",42" and a 34"). We boated 16 bass over 16" and at least that amount from 14 - 16" with numerous other smaller males. Big Northern action was slow (1 over 30" and another measured 28.5") we did catch many "snakes". The three that used firetiger greatly out produced the other three gentlemen. We fished at least 11 hours each of the two days, but even when we took a break, crappie and bluegills were easily caught. We simply tossed a 1/16 oz pearl jig and a small glup tail into the shallows and caught panfish on nearly every cast. THIS LAKE WAS ON FIRE!!

Friday started out sunny but a low cloud cover moved over and much of the rest of day was a slight rain and mist. Water temperatures were 64-66 degrees. A midge and may fly hatch cover the lake, bluegills on beds, crappie and minnows in the shallows, post spawn female bass were in shallow and extended out to 4' deep weed edge along with the northerns. Most Muskies were caughti n 4-5' of water in green cabbage and one 45" came off a reed bed in water less than 2'. Saturday wasn't as productive as Friday as far as numbers of fish but we continued to boat nice bass and a 42" musky.

Del, Mike and The Tinsel Tail Team

May 11, 2010

Catch and release fishing yielding larger muskies from Wisconsin waters
MADISON – Big muskies – really big muskies – await Wisconsin anglers this fishing season, based on what anglers reported catching and releasing last year.

“This tells you what is coming,” says Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Tim Simonson, referring to a graph he prepared showing that Muskies Inc. members reported catching and releasing 105 muskies 48 inches and longer in Wisconsin in 2009.

“The 48-inch-plus fish have been increasing every year and in 2009 was the highest ever in their 40 years of record-keeping,” says Simonson, co-leader of DNR’s musky management team.

48-inch-plus musky have been increasing every year.
This year, those fish are now a year older and about an inch longer, based on average growth rates among older muskies in Wisconsin.

Musky populations, heavily fished in Wisconsin in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s after four world record catches triggered a musky fishing frenzy, are now recovering and the young fish are allowed to grow bigger. (Learn more in the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine article “Long Live the Kings.”).

The last cast of opening day of the 2010 inland season was the best for the Nelson family of Madison. Conrad, 9, caught and released a 44-inch musky off the dock while his dad, Dan, was bringing the trailer to take the boat out after 8 hours of fishing. The crowd gathered in line to take their boats out broke into applause as the boys brought the fish to the dock.

“What we’re seeing is a combination of higher size limits and increased voluntary release of legal size fish over the years,” Simonson says. “The growth rate of muskies is slow so it’s taken a long time to produce 48-inch and larger fish.”

Wisconsin records suggest that it takes 18 years on average for a musky to reach 50 inches, with the fish growing faster when they’re young and slower later in life, Simonson says. Before age 10, they grow about 4 inches a year. After about age nine or 10, they grow about 1 inch per year.

The growing popularity of catch-and-release has given Wisconsin muskies time to grow. Wisconsin anglers reported releasing 96 percent of the 223,101 muskies they caught during the 2006-07 license year, the most recent statewide mail survey of anglers.

This catch-and-release ethic also has helped to make this fabled “fish of 10,000 casts,” more like the fish of 3,000 casts, Simonson says.

“Our goal is to maintain catch rates of one musky every 25 hours,” he says. “That means that two anglers in a boat would spend about 12 hours to boat a fish.”

Musky densities are generally very low, even in the best waters, because muskies are large top predators with low reproduction. Good musky waters average 1 adult fish for 3 surface acres, compared to up to 20 adults per 3 surface acres in good walleye lakes.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Simonson (608) 266-5222
Another excellent article regarding Wisconsin Musky fishing. www.dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/html/stories/2002/dec02/musky.htm

March 18, 2010

We would like to thank many of you for visiting us at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal Sport Show. We enjoyed the many questions and fish stories from the people who stopped to shop.

Customers asked many questions. Most commonly asked questions were......

Do these baits work? - YES! We field tested these lures for 30 years before we aquired the rights to sell them. So........

What colors for clear water? What colors for dark water? - We often suggest starting with any lure that has silver or gold in it. However, many of our customers have certain colors they believe in. One customer orders only "Purple Chub", John from Wisconsin purchased 20 "gold" spinnerbaits, Mike believes in "silver", Del uses "Rainbow", Tom tosses "Gold", When times are tough Dan throws the "pearl", Glenn likes "bluegill", Norm casts "perch" We sell 19 different colors and every color is a favorite with someone.
But the best answer for both of these questions is..... cast the colors you have the most confidence in!

What colors are the top sellers? - Gold/Silver/Perch/Purple Chub/Red for spinnerbaits. Gold/Silver/Perch for wedgehead jigs.

What was the most popular spinnerbait size? - (3/8 oz)

What size Wedgehead (walleye) jig was most often sold? - (1/4 or 3/8 oz)

The NEW color "Firetiger" was our biggest hit at the show for spinnerbaits, jigs and tinselbucks.

Enjoy viewing the new and existing line of products by visiting: www.youtube.com/tinseltaillures

Del and Mike

October, 2009

The open water season is winding down. Fishing was tough in the north this summer with cold weather, cold water and continuous weather fronts leading to unpredictable fishing patterns and strategies. Our Tinsel Team produced Muskies on 1/2 oz Bluegill, 3/8 oz. gold spinnerbaits and 3/8 oz. Pearl spinnerbaits and on the redesigned 3/8 oz Tinsel Minnow in “bluegill”. We raised and lost quite a few other Muskies.

Bass and Pike saved the day on many occasions. We fished the submerged weeds, pads and edges in water 2’ - 6’ deep for the bass and pike. Spinnerbaits were the bait of choice, 3/8 oz and 1/2 oz in silver, gold, bluegill and pearl. Black, crawdad and red also worked well from the bullpen. We had many 20+ outings with numerous Pike 28”-32” and bass 16”- 19.5”.

Crappie fishing was excellent. In early June the crappies were shy and the 1/64 perch jig presented patiently in the pre-spawn shallows produced well. In July/August the 1/16 oz pearl jig tipped with a white “Gulp” tail produced many fine dinners.

Through sales and conversations it looks like the walleye fishermen had good production this summer. We increased our wedgehead jig sales with the gold, silver and perch colors leading the way in all sizes.

Shout out to Steve from Oklahoma, he called and let us know bass were hitting well on the 1/4 oz gold jig.

Shout out to Linda from Wisconsin, she e-mailed to let us know “So, the bottom line is; cast the bait twice, catch a 38" northern!  (Silver TinselBuck).

Thank you for your patronage.

Good Fishing - Del and Mike

May, 2009

What good is knowledge if you don't share it!

Top selling spinnerbaits colors.
1. Gold
2. Silver
3. Perch
4. Red

Top selling Spinnerbaits
1. Silver 3/8 oz Tandem
2. Perch 3/8 oz Tandem
3. Gold 3/8 oz Tandem
4. Gold 1/4 oz Single

We're not sure what color tells us. Our test team favors gold, however the three biggest muskies were caught on 3/8 oz pearl single willow blade, 3/8 oz rainbow single willow blade and 1/2 oz silver single willow blade. On Rainey Lake in October the smallies prefered 3/8 oz gold and nice northerns up near Red Gut Bay on purple chub. On Dinorwic Lake the big northern were caught on 3/8 oz gold single willow blade and the 1/2 oz silver and we picked up the nicest walleyes on spinnerbaits in the shallow weeds at night with the same.

Top selling jig colors
1. Silver
2. Gold
3. Pearl
4. Lime

Top selling Jigs
1. Wedgehead 3/8 oz Gold
2. Wedgehead 3/8 oz Silver
3. Wedgehead 1/4 oz Silver
4. Wedgehead 1/4 oz Gold

Some folks swear by the panfish jigs but not enough when compared to the guys who use the wedgeheads in Canada.

What does this mean for 2009?

The dominance of 3/8 oz spinnerbaits sales suggested to us to offer you a larger spinnerbait. The
1/2 oz single blade (11 colors) and 1/2 oz tandem (17 colors). We tested them this past spring, summer and fall with great results.

We spent the late fall and winter pool testing the in-line spinners (6" Tinselbucks and the 7.5 " Tinselbuck Magnums with either willow and colorado blades). The colorado double blades of the Tinselbuck Magnum give you an erratic pulsating skirt action with the sparkle and flash of tinsel. The double willow blades produce a consistent flowing motion.

The Tinsel Minnow is a swimming style in-line with a single hook. The Tinsel Minnow can be used in a jigging motion, straight retrieve or with a stop and go action. The Tinsel Minnow Magnum is larger and runs shallower. Great over shallow weed beds.

Mike and I hope we all have time to create fishing memories to share with friend and family. We will do our best to earn your business and support.

Great Fishing

Del Wilson and Mike Kroeger

May, 2008

Welcome to our first Tinsel Tail Newsletter! Although Mike Kroeger and I love our day jobs, we have also loved fishing with Tinsel Tails for the past 25 years. We have so many great memories of fishing trips and our success using Tinsel Tails that we thought it would be fun to continue to contribute to the evolution of Tinsel Tail Lures. With that in mind, we traveled to Stillwater Minnesota the day after Christmas last year to visit with our long time friends Don and Randy at Hedron, Inc.. Six months later we have, started our business, shipped our first orders, developed a website (thanks to Finn Digital of Milwaukee), started the process of prototyping and field-testing additions to the already great product line, made a little time for fishing, and still have our great day jobs!

Over the years, we have recognized an important part of fishing to be the memories of great trips and friends….and fish! We intend to keep you updated on our Tinsel Tail experiences and hope you will offer some of your own for this newsletter.

Our group's 31st consecutive season opener was delayed by two weeks due to family schedules. With spring being a of couple weeks behind in Wisconsin this year, the "field testing crew" headed up to Oneida County in Northern Wisconsin for a 2 day catch and release session on the areas lakes and rivers. (Tinsel Tail single hooks sure beat those nasty treble hooks for catch and release) This trip's goal was to test our new 1/2 oz Tinsel Tail spinnerbait we had prototyped in 4 colors (gold, silver, perch and Purple Chub) and two styles: Single and Tandem Blades.

We started out our trip on the Wisconsin River, north of Boom Lake fishing the flats and weeds for northerns, bass, and muskies. It was our first time on this area of the river. The weather on Friday was cool (55-60), overcast with mist and drizzle all day. There were several decent muskies at the boat. We all seemed to suffer from the first spring trip tendency, that when seeing a muskie, one is obliged to set the hook…before the fish hits. Pike and bass action was nothing short of outstanding. In two days, the six of us caught and released over 450 pike and bass with all but one caught on tinseltail spinnerbaits (Always a renegade bait in the boat). We boated several pike over 30 inches and many in the 23" – 27" range. The little ones were plentiful and kept us from getting bored. With 3 fishing in each boat, there were plenty of doublers and some triplers. Bass were still not on the beds and while their numbers were lower than northern, on a average we caught nicer fish.

Mike and I fish in a similar style so as part of the test, Mike was focused on the "new" 1/2 oz spinnerbaits (gold , silver and purple chub) while I fished mostly with the 1/4 oz spinnerbait (mostly gold and rainbow). While I caught fish in larger numbers than Mike, he did average larger fish with the 1/2 oz. Tom, Norm, Dan and Glenn mixed it up with sizes and colors.

Saturday's weather was overcast cold and fairly windy. The day started on Gilmore Lake. Surface temperatures were 58-60 degrees. We didn't get the large number of fish the river produced but there was constant action and fish, on average, were larger. We found the fish in shallow water close to pads, reeds and grass.

As we hope you can tell, we are excited to be more involved with Tinsel Tail Lures. Our inventory is good and sales are strong. Don and Randy at Hedron have been great in helping us get started. We are glad to have the web-site up and running. Some things just take longer.

Please feel free to send us your testimonies, tips, tactics and photos. If you have any questions regarding our products, service or the web-site…… contact us.

Good Fishing

Del Wilson and Mike Kroeger