Lure of the Month: Mayfly
by Terry Madewell
A highly realistic profile of a favored crappie forage gives anglers an edge.
Being a mayfly is tough because that critter is at the top of every crappie’s hitlist as a preferred food source. Fame begins with a name in terms of marketing and fishing with a plastic trailer named “Mayfly”, a highly realistic replica of the real thing, simply brings confidence to this angler.
The first time I heard the “Mayfly” name of this Bobby Garland Crappie bait, my thoughts reverted to mayfly hatch fishing experiences though the years – and many great memories for crappie and assorted panfish species.
Bobby Garland Brand Manager Gary Dollahon is an avid crappie fisherman. Dollahon said the original concept for the “Mayfly” design was formulated while he was fishing during a mayfly hatch.
“Mayfly hatches are an incredible attractant for crappie,” he said. “I witnessed what happens in the aquatic dynamics during a mayfly hatch. Then I researched the mayfly life cycle. I photographed the real thing and took the photo to a lure designer and said we’ve got to make this.”
The lure design replicates the adult mayfly and has performed as well in the water as Dollahon had hoped.
“These insects stay in the substrate under water for a long period,” he said. “As they begin to hatch, crappie and other fish feed on them and continue to do so as they come to the surface and swarm.”
Dollahon said extensive testing demonstrated that this lethal lure profile works not only around areas where mayflies exist, but almost anywhere, at any time of the year.
“The lure profile is something that naturally attracts crappie,” he said. “Now that we’re understanding that the profile of a bait is highly relevant to stimulating bites from fish, the fine details of this lure is a key to success.”
Doug Sikora, Pro Staff angler for Bobby Garland Lures, said the design of the Mayfly lure was the closest imitation to that insect he’s seen with any lure.
“The visual appeal of this lure gives me enormous confidence when fishing and that’s crucial,” Sikora said. “I believe in this lure.”
Sikora said the mayfly shape of this soft plastic includes all the of the small appendages of the insect. Specialized packaging was developed to protect these tiny appendages, the key to the lure’s successful profile. The packaging preserves and protects the lures in a liquid that doubles as a baitfish scent solution.
Sikora said he typically pairs the “Mayfly” with a 1/24-ounce jighead. The Crappie Pro Mo’Glo jighead his favorite.
“This jighead is an ideal fit for this grub as it’s a slow sinker and creates a perfect presentation for many crappie fishing situations, and the jig has an overbite sickle hook,” Sikora said. “To adapt to unique crappie patterns, the 1/32- and 1/16-ounce jigheads also pair well with the Mayfly.”
He said the rig is effective in any crappie fishing situation he’s encountered including vertical jigging, cast and retrieve, and longlining.
“I’ve had tremendous success working this lure under a cork and popping the cork along shallow water cover,” he said. “It’s a dynamic year-round bait, but excels at this time of the year.”
Realism is paramount to success in any style of fishing. Fishing a lure with a Mayfly profile gives me a confidence boost, and believing in what you’re fishing is a key to success.
Terry Madewell hails from Ridgeway, S.C., and has been an outdoor writer for more than 40 years. He holds a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management and has a long career as a professional wildlife biologist/natural resources manager and is still passionate about sharing, and enjoying, the great outdoors with others.