graphic "I'm amazed as how the 3'' Baby Tastee Tubes seem to never snag on this rocky Susquehanna river when used w/ your dedicated, flexible wire guard insert in the 3/16 oz. size. I fished the same tube all morning and only got hung up one time, which I buggy whipped and it popped right out!"
K.T. -Pa. -*

graphicMy first sampling of  the BTT3 (3" BabyTastee Tube) L-42 (Laminated green pumpkin/smoke purple/black flake color) was last season I  will be adding tubes back into my set of profiles. I commented previous on the tubes, but I also have to add some comments on the effectiveness of those cool, flexible, single wire guard heads. The forward position and exact length are definitely a significant part of the package.

First-the L-42 BTT3 is simply a killer tube size and color for the Susquehanna Main Stem and environs especially when the water temps drop or when fish are focused on bottom forage.

It just works and the smallies seem to love it. I say this as a multi year bigotin terms of loving your  Predator Craw baits for years. I pretty much gave up using tubes for several years in favor of the Predator Craw due to hookset, weed less nature and snag resistance. The smallies love the PC's - so why would I go back to using  tubs and give up hundreds of baits to the bottom every year?

After trying your BTT3 tubes with that special single wire guard head since last November 2015 - I'm adding tubes back into the arsenal and will have them with me on every trip now.  I especially like about the wire guard head is the ease of hook set. It pretty much seems to "set itself" I don't have to worry about pulling through cartilage ATALL! I can use a simple sweep set - but to be honest it's almost like an afterthought. I'll do a secondary set on the way in. Whatever size hook you are using in the heads is a PERFECT balance to the BTT3 IMHO.

That said the other great thing is how long these baits last in rocky rivers which I fish 99% of the time. The rig simply lasts longer and snags less. There is definitely a huge advantage to the single wire guard head with that Ultra-Point hook. The single wire guard easily doubles snag resistance based on my experience with other wire guard heads from Owner, Gamakatsu and others in the past. It's just perfect for helping the bait glance of rocks, etc and help to prevent snags. Not snag free - but definitely a huge improvement from other heads.

 Great design, your baits are simply best for the fishing I do.

R.B. -Pa. -*

graphic Al- The Smallmouth Bass precision popper is an excellent bait for calling up big fish. It throws water and "pops" with just a snap of the wrist. It's casts great and the quality hooks are extremely sticky. I will always have a handful of these baits in my box when I'm guiding.

J.V. -Pa. -*

graphic Al, on the recommendation of a friend I wanted to purchase some of your swim baits.  You recommended trying the economy swim baits.  I went on my annual fishing trip to Canada and out fished everyone that was not using your lures.  They were asking for me to give them mine so they could catch fish.  Most days were very windy, we had 1 foot white caps on 1 1/2 mile lakes and still caught fish. I was a confirmed wacky worm user, not anymore. I love your lures and have already placed my next order. Thanks for some great fishing.

J.P. -MD. -*

graphic I just received my order of Al Winco’s swim baits, custom wooden surface plugs and various other soft-bait lures. My fourteen old son and myself hit the Susquehanna this morning. Winco’s Top Water Prop-Bait ended up catching 5bass within the first hour. The bass responded to the prop bait while ignoring the Precision Popper presentations. Then the top water bite just quit. My son had his 4.75" Solid Body River Darter all rigged up and ready for action. He threw it out and within 5 seconds he had a 15” bass. -he thought he was snagged when he continued the jerk-jerk-pause retrieve Al recommended. I then rigged up the same 4.75" Solid body River Darter and caught 5 bass within 15 minutes. I actually couldn’t believe it as it was "game-on'' for the next hour. The natural sink rate & action surpasses any others we have tried in the past. We have a lot to learn about bass fishing in the Susquehanna river. Al's website has all the videos to help you along the way plus his willing phone support is 2nd to none We can’t wait to head out again.

S.K. -PA. -*

graphic WINCO'S CUSTOM LURES SOLID BODY RIVER DARTER -- In general, when the water is clear -- and fish get an extended good look at a bait -- Allegheny River smallmouth bite "stop and go" lures better than ones you swim with a steady retrieve. Often, the aggressive look of the X-Rap is what catches them. But many times something more subtle is preferred, which is when the River Darter shines. The Solid Body River Darter -- a 4.75 inch soft jerkbait -- was designed to be nose-hooked, a perfect rigging for river fishing. Its dense body sinks faster than similar baits like the Zoom Super Fluke. I suggest fishing it with about a third the energy as with the X-Rap. Make the twitches more subtle, the pauses lengthier. The SBRD is versatile in that you can also tailor your retrieve to the depth being targeted. When things get really shallow, like still pockets right next to shore (along a riffle area), you can launch quick casts that keep the bait near the surface. For fishing River Darters, I prefer Gamma Copoly-mer line finished off with a Gamma Edge leader. This less buoyant line (compared to braid) allows the bait to be fished deep-er; the moderate level of stretch it provides makes it easier for a fish to accept the bait. The Gamakatsu Octopus hook in 2/0 teams well with the 4.75" SBRD.

J.K. -PA. -*

graphic The fishing has been awesome this winter. Your Darter Heads and Flutter Heads with 3.75" River Darter Swim baits slayed the Stripers, White Bass, Largemouth and Crappies up to this last cold front. Since then the flutter heads with the 3.25" Predator Craw have caught some monsters. Last Monday my youngest son and I caught 7 Bass over 5 pounds with the biggest weighing just over 8 pounds.

S.R. -TX. -*

graphic Hey - "What's for Lunch?" The Laminated Winco 3" BTT3 Tubes in L-42 killed again for me yesterday. First time I used them was last Friday. I had a 19 then in the mix but couldn't get a photo. This time out I had 25 over the side with all but five on this profile/color. Largest was this 18.5 3.25 lb.

R.B. -PA. -*

graphic I placed my first order with you last year and I want to thank you for the personal service you provided to me! I also want to tell you I was not sure what to expect but am I ever grateful to you for your advice. From my first cast in less than ideal conditions, I found myself hooking fish with more frequency than I had ever done before. My fishing partner took notice right away but it took him the better part of the day to tie on a Winco Lure. Once he did he was also hooked! I have had so much fun using your lures. Thanks for taking the time to listen to where I fish, how I fish and providing me your advice on getting the best results with your lures. I feel really great about buying your product!

S.D. -PA. -*

graphic The River Rascal spinner bait continues to prove itself a great high waiter river smallie bait - a very small frame with 1/4 oz weight that drops horizontal quickly with the proper trailer in all conditions allowing you to get the bait down or where you want it. Hit a spot where a fish is (get in the zone, cone of vision) and it's a hit. And - you can quickly adjust level in the column as a result. Great grass bed lure as it comes through straight at your level of choice and drops vertical on the pause. The small frame means virtually no hang ups, tracking the bottom though I did have a few rock snags. I'll grant that once conditions become more typical they will hit other SB's as well as other typical baits just fine too.

River Rascal is a proven bait now for me now. Almost 100 SMB boated on my last 5 trips when others, even locals fishing live bait in these challenging conditions were in a conundrum. Great profile, good balance, easily "roll casts" into tight spots from a kayak. A great tool- I even have some black ones I will be trying when the water is really high and muddy...

Sorry that this probably sounds like a sales pitch. I'm not sponsored by Winco or anyone for that matter.
Just saying these baits flat out continue to work for me in tough river conditions.
R.B. -PA. -*

graphic The new river rascal spinner-baits have so many presentation possibilities! Helicopter down- Slow roll across the bottom. They can be fished through the tops of emerging grass with no hang ups because they are so compact. You have a real break through winner
J.V. -PA. -*

graphic I'm just coming off  3 FULL days of fishing this new River Rascal spinner-bait with my prototype set from Al. Got them just in time for this Upper Juniata trip. The conditions were TOUGH water tempsranged from 60 deg to 74 degrees depending on section. Water was high andmedium stain. Releases were coming from the typical places dumping cold water.No one on the water pretty much. -even the locals we talked to were sayinghow BAD the fishing has been. That includes people fishing live baits(helgramites, etc).  I was with a wellskilled river yak SMB hunter. He was throwing the typical baits. I was tooexcept I had these to try. I know the history of this bait so had a very goodunderstanding of the concept. As it turned out the typical patterns WERE NOT WORKING (Craw pattern, wormsof various rigs, soft jerks, typical longer arm spinner baits.) This baitallowed me to LOCATE. The balance and uniform/medium fast drop allowed me toget into their cone of vision, "control drop" and level of retrievequite readily. I could slow roll on the bottom at will, bring the bait up tovarious levels, etc and it maintained profile. With a proper balanced rig Icould roll cast any place the bait within a 6" - 12" inch circle ofspots I thought could hold fish. Due to the design I was able to heave thisbait and drop and draw to see where the fish were best as possible on higherwater than typical. It allowed me to locate, and once located focus on thepattern.

Pretty much for the 3 days - all fish were tight to structure on shaded bankeddies (large and small). It required accurate casting in moving water. Youneeded to control drift so you could hit those pockets and even hold as well aspossible. The opportunity could move quickly. So, general pattern, the SMBwould hit a grub or swim bait basically. What was needed was a method thatwould allow you to place either a grub or small swim bait precisely and quicklythat would DROP, not get washed out. If you hit the spot and a fish was therethe hits were HARD. No soft bites. My catch on each day was brought in 99% onthese two baits. 12 first day, 18 second day, 18 third day. I was throwing thegrub model. and changed to the swim bait on the other model to a small WincoDace and it hit just as well.

Fishing buddy caught fish but was in single digits. He did move to the closestpattern he had (a Winco, long arm spinner bait) and caught the largest fish forthe trip at 19", 4 lb. I though was able to throw into the SAME spotsfollowing him where he might have tried 2 - 5 casts without a hit, and CATCH.It proves the vertical drop that was needed with a trigger to make them hit.This bait is universal in my view and should always be on one of your rods. Ihave a good bit of experience of where this design came from and threw arudimentary prototype for 2 seasons. This bait works, period. It is also multispecies. I caught the gamut for the river. Smallies, a Walleye, got bit off bya Musky that I SAW and knew I would not be able to bring in due to the lighttackle and leader, lost one of the baits to it. This is GREAT new bait from AlWinco. It's an excellent tool for locating and perfect bait for helicoptering.It flies straight in the water, remains horizontal on the drop.

Nice work AL!

R.B. -PA. -*

graphic Good Evening Al...Wanted to send you a picture of a nice Juniata Smallmouth bass I caught today. I took my son and one of my employees kayak fishing We put in around 8 and started fishing Rapalas, spinners, and buzz baits. I caught one fall fish on a Rapala. We stopped to eat around noon and pushed on. At this point I switched to the 3" River Darter Swim-bait in the new river dace color you sent. Things exploded. The first 3 casts landed nice smallmouth bass. This went on for another 4 hours until we pulled the kayaks off the river. The Juniata was kind to us today...I took 12 smallmouth bass, and probably missed 12 more. But the highlight of the day was pulling in a 19" smallmouth. What a fight! I can't say enough about the "new" river dace pattern. I'll be looking to place an order for 4 more bags. What the fish didn't destroy, I gave to my fishing buddies. Both had a good day as well. Thanks!
R.L. -PA. -*

graphic Al...I want to thank you for your expert advice and help as I get my two adult sons involved in fishing. As a young man I spent many hours fishing the Juniata River in Central Pennsylvania. But I have to tell you...I didn't have half the success as I have had using your soft baits and spinner baits. At my cardiologists recommendation I'm back fishing. My son's and I have been kayak fishing for only two months but how relaxing it has been...and successful! We are finding that the smallmouth bass love your soft baits. Several weeks ago, while on the Juniata, we had great success with the Predator Craws and your spinner baits. Yesterday I took a co-worker out fishing and the bass just annihilated the 3.25" River Darters. They were fished dead stick with a jerk/pause/retrieve. Unfortunately we ran out of the River Darters but turned to the Creek Wacky Worms. Again, I have never had much luck fishing soft worms...but again the bass were all over these worms fished on a drift. I really can't say enough about your products. They produce results. If my blood pressure is up, it's only because we are having the time of our lives catching fish. I can also tell you that both my boys are hooked and I suspect will be fishing buddies the rest of their lives. Thanks again!
B.L. -PA. -*

graphic I just wanted to send you a testimonial about the quality and fish catching abilities of your custom baits. My wife, two sons and I spent 3 days fishing the Upper Juniata River fishing for smallmouth bass from our kayaks. They all used your Laminated Wacky Worm,4.5"/#L-40 due to its relative ease of use and natural sink rate for more inexperienced fisherman. All three caught their personal best river smallmouth bass using your Laminated Wacky Worm. I used one bait pretty much all weekend, that was your Specialty Smallmouth Spinner Bait in 3/8 ounce. I caught over 150 smallmouth bass on your spinner bait in 3 days. I started using your products a little over four years ago, they consistently out fish any other baits four to one. There were even guys throwing live crayfish and the spinner bait was out fishing live bait. Thank you for making such a quality product to make a family fishing weekend one that we won't forget for a very long time.
K.L. -PA. -*

graphic Winco Custom Lures has created his next generation of tubes named the "Tastee Tube Supreme" which compliments his existing line of popular Tastee Tubes.  The solid nose of the laminated tube head replaces the standard weighted tube inserts with his custom weighted flutter head hooks w/Hitchiker coil keeper.  The combination of the solid nose head & flutter head hook, precision injected tails and laminated body makes these new tubes exceptionally durable and long lasting under extreme fishing conditions.  My son-in-law and I were fortunate enough to spend a weekend testing and evaluating these new tubes for Al, following are our observations:

The flutter head hooks w/Hitchiker coil provides the same “on the bottom” feel as other Winco soft baits using the same setup, i.e. Predator Craw, C.W. Smallies delight, Helgraleech jigs.  With most of the flutter head external to the tube body and not imbedded in the soft tube body like standard weighted tubes, the feel of the bottom surfaces is greatly improved. This improved sensitivity also helps to reduce missed strikes when the bite is light.

1-The flutter head design protects the tube’s nose from constantly rubbing and catching on rough surfaces helping to extend the life of the tube. 
2-The Hitchiker coil keeper never broke loose or pulled out from the tube body, even after a full day of fishing.
3-The tube can be rigged weedless by “needle sticking”  1/16” of the point of the flutter head hook in the body of the tube.
4-Weighted flutter head hook design causes the tube to flutter slightly on its way down creating a natural bait action which leads to more strikes.
5-The multicolor laminate tubes (Green pumpkin top/crayfish bottom) gives the tube a very natural, realistic look.

The double laminated tube design greatly improves tube durability and longevity.  After a full day of fishing and much abuse by some nice sized fish, the tube held up well, only missing a few tassels and no tube body punctures. Typical of all Winco tubes, the tube tails did not clump together or stick to the sides of the tube.

Overall we were very impressed with the action and durability of these new tubes.   If you’re tube fishermen we high recommend you give the new “Tastee Tube Supreme” tubes a try, you won’t be disappointed.
G.W. -PA. -*

graphic Wow Al, 
              River fishing was always on the bottom of my list. Being big into trout fishing on small creeks around my home in North Western Pa, I always looked forward to slipping into my waders and hitting the water by the time April rolled around. I was completely content with live bait fishing during the spring and summer months. That being said, I had no desire to stand on a boat and fish along the river. So, when my dad suggested we try river fishing the Allegheny River with his friend, I wasn't too thrilled. But, let me tell ya, I'm officially a convert after the success the Winco Solid Body River Darters brought us. My first experience was an awesome one! The three of us easily scored 40 Smallies in one day all on the river darters. What I like most about them, besides the fact that they really catch fish is the simplicity; no sinkers required, just hook in the nose and you're ready to go!  The weight is also perfect allowing for long casts but maintaining a slow sink rate that drives the Smallies crazy! Not to mention I was able to bring in a 28" Northern Pike! A personal record for this novice river fisherwoman. Thanks for helping to make my first river fishing adventure a success. I can't wait to get back out there!
K.C. -PA. -*

graphic Cold water Smallmouth bass fishing- When water temperatures drop below 38° smallies are usually lethargic, holding deep in their favorite wintering holes and always challenging to catch.  Unless you have the right rod setup, baits and correct presentation the bite can often be non-existent.  If it wasn’t for Al Winco I would have given up on this challenging but exciting period of smallmouth fishing.  Al is very passionate about bass fishing and this passion is reflected in the quality of baits he produces and the exceptional customer support he offers. Al has developed a specific line of products that targets Smallmouth Bass in a wide range of water conditions and temperatures.  During the cold water period I have had incredible results using Winco’s “3.25 Predator Craw”, “Undulator”, “Chillee Willee” jigs.  In extremely cold waters my go to jigs are “Baby Predator Craw”, “Willie Wanabee” and “; Cold Water Hare's Delight”.

Thanks to your advice Al I no longer get hung up on a specific bait, after 30 minutes of not catching fish it’s time to switch.  I’ve started out hammering bass on a “Baby Predator Craw” only to have them shutdown after an hour of fishing.  Sometimes switching to a larger jig like a “3.25 Predator Craw” or “;Chillee Willee” is all it takes to turn the Smallies back on.  On other occasions switching to a smaller “Willie Wanabee” or “Cold Water Hare’s Delight” does the trick…Smallies can be cantankerous in cold water!

Thanks Al for producing such high quality baits and taking the time to explain the correct techniques for fishing Smallies under cold water conditions.  I just started fishing the river a year ago and thanks to you it’s been an exciting adventure, the winter bite has been awesome!

G.W. -PA. -*

graphic The River Darter Swimbait series is one of my go to baits any time smallmouth bass are keying on baitfish. The swimbaits are offered in a variety of sizes so I can match the size and profile of baitfish in almost any river or lake system. One of the primary reasons I fish the River Darter Swimbait Series is it's incredible tail action which is consistent at any speed. On the fall, crawled slowly banging bottom or retrieved in the middle of he water column, the tail will work its' magic!
J.V. -VA. -*

graphic Dear Al,
I have been using your soft plastics baits almost exclusively for 4 years now. I have had great success with the Predator Craw, Laminated Wacky Worms, Cold Water Smallie Delights, Helgraleech, 3" baby Stickworm and their downsized counterparts, the Chillee Willee, and Undulator. One bait I don’t see getting the accolades it deserves is the Stone Catties. I ordered them not long after Christmas as part of my usual post-holiday spending binge. They really opened my eyes one afternoon on the Susquehanna. It was the week after the season reopened in June, and I was having some success using my Winco baits (although, not to the level I am used to enjoying), when I noticed active bass in a chute between a gap in the ledge rock I was fishing. This particular chute was probably 2’ to 3’ deep and was fast in comparison to the surrounding gaps in the ledges. I was sort of switching up my baits to see if I could entice those active fish, when I found the unopened bag of Stone Catties. I tied one onto my ML spinning outfit, positioned myself DIRECTLY downstream of the chute, and cast to the top of it. As the current moved the Stone Cattie towards me, I lifted my rod tip just enough to clear the hangups I felt every few yards. Reeling up your slack to keep up with the current allows you to keep the bait from lodging itself under rocks, and it allowed the Stone Cattie to fool those feeding Smallies who thought it was an easy meal. I spent awhile unhooking bass who were not very happy to find an artificial lure where they don’t ever expect to find one! I have used the same technique more than a few times this past year with the Stone Cattie’s to fool unsuspecting bass. Fishing weighted plastics with the current, as opposed to cross current or working them upstream against the current, is not the easiest method to learn, but with the jig heads that Al has paired with his Stone Cattie plastic baits, hangups and snags are minimized compared to other available jig heads. It is just another example of how Mr. Winco has been able to cover a broad range of feeding behaviors and habits of bass in general, and those beautiful brown bass in particular! Thank you, Al!
M.B. -PA. -*

graphic Al,
        Just thought I would drop you a line and thank you for making great products - recently I purchased laminated wacky worms from you and they out fished Senko's three to one in the western part of the state.I used them at Lake Arthur, Presque Isle...Lake Erie and a few private ponds that I frequent.
       This weekend I fished with Jeff Knapp on the upper Allegheny River and used your solid body river darter 4 3/4 inch...we boated almost all the fish using it...and my wife caught her best smallmouth on it about 18 inches. Thanks again,
K.H. -PA. -*

graphic Thank you Al!
        As a youth I spent most of my summers fishing the Allegheny River in NW PA.  Now that I’m nearing retirement these fond memories have inspired me to purchase a new boat and upgrade my fishing tackle so I can once again enjoy the wonders of the Allegheny River.  I thought I had a great plan until I presented the idea to my wife of 40 years.  The truth is she’s never ridden in a boat and considered fishing a brainless activity men created as an excuse to get out of the house.   After a few heated discussions I convinced her to go along with the idea; it’s something we could do together and our son-in-laws, who love to fish, would have a good excuse to bring the grandchildren home more often.
       After purchasing a new jet boat I recruited some experienced boating friends to teach me the skills needed to safely navigate the river.  A few weeks later it was time to make the plunge and take my wife out for her first river cruise.  To my surprise she loved it, the beauty of the river, the wildlife and peacefulness of the evening was very impressive to her.  After a few short trips I convinced her it was time to get her a fishing license and do some fishing.  I had purchased an assortment of soft baits from Al Winco but wasn’t having a lot of luck with them so I called Al and explained the situation.  This is where Al’s eagerness to share his knowledge and techniques saved the day.   Al explained in detail how and when to use most of his soft baits but it was the ‘Wacky Worm’ the sealed the deal.
        That next evening my wife and I hit the river, loaded with the knowledge Al shared with me and a package of 4.5” Laminated Wacky Worms we hammered the Bass.  The expression on my wife’s face when she hooked her first ever Bass was priceless!
        Al, I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for making such a high quality product and taking the time to share your knowledge of Bass fishing and techniques for using your products with me.  The natural sink rate and  durability of these wacky worms w/ the “O” rings make this a must have bait for summer, river smallmouth bass. With your help we have turned my wife into a Bass fishing addict!  I can’t count how many times friends and family members come up to me and said; “I can’t believe you got your wife fishing…it’s all she talks about!”;  Al, thanks to your help our retirement is going to be an exciting experience!
G.W. -PA. -*.

graphic Missing out on my winter fishing due to a shoulder operation (my second), I couldn't wait to get out and wet my line.  After an unusually mild winter, I convinced my good fishing buddy, Terry, -- which really didn't take too much effort -- to accompany me on a fishing excursion to the Potomac River in Dickerson, Maryland, in early March, following an extended period of warm and stable weather.
 Fishing this segment of the river during the colder months is generally a "hit or miss" opportunity; however, given the aforementioned conditions, I had high expectations.  Arriving shortly after sunrise with a fresh mist in the air from the fog, the action was rather slow but consistent with what we have previously experienced there, using small worms and tubes.  Then, I decided to change lures and use Winco's Undulator, rigged on his 1/8 oz. single wire weed guarded football jig.  To be honest with you, I was very skeptical to use it, given the snag-filled environment that existed, i.e., trees, rocks, and other debris.  Nevertheless, I gave it a try and was richly rewarded.
 I started catching so many fish that on each cast I expected to get hit and all but forgot about getting snagged, which in the past had discouraged me from using this type of jig.  After I caught about 1/2 dozen smallmouth and largemouth bass, my buddy Terry decided to try the Undulator as well.  Not long afterwards, he, too, was matching me fish for fish.  After catching over two dozen fish, I changed to Winco's Chillee Willee and met with the same success I had with the Undulator.  Terry changed back to using a small tube and worms but had very little success while I stayed with the Undulator/Chillee Willee combination like a crack-head who just can't get enough crack.
 Terry ultimately switched back to the Undulator/Chillee Willee combination like me, and before we called it a day, we caught over an unbelievable 100 fish, one of the rarest days I have ever experienced.  While unduly giving credit to myself for this feat, which was no doubt good for the ego, I was even more surprised that I was still using the very same jig head with which I had started out.  It was a painted jig head when I took it fresh from the package but literally had all the paint knocked off of it when I finished.  Since the fish didn't mind the nude head, neither did I.  It should be noted, however, that I frequently retied and touched up the hook point to ensure it maintained its sharpness.

 I recently went out fishing with my brother-in-law Danny on the upper Potomac River a couple of weeks ago and found another lure to which I've become addicted:  Winco's Solid Body River Darter, Jr., with the chartreuse-dipped tail.  Once I got to appreciate its unique nuances, the fish wouldn't leave it alone.  I caught smallmouth, largemouth, rock bass, bluegill, and catfish on it.  It's an unbelievable lure that I wouldn't expect to hold up, given the manner in which it's nose-hooked when fishing it.  I've caught as many as twenty plus fish on a single Darter.  Unbelievable!
 In closing, Al, your lures DO catch fish, tons of them.  While some may argue over their price, you get what you pay for in the end in quality.  You're a class act, always ready to share sage advice, and provide fishermen with what they really need for the environment in which they're fishing.  In a world of charlatans, you've got integrity, and are a true and genuine diplomat in the fishing industry.  May God bless you and give you continued success in all your endeavors.
G.R. -MD. -*

graphic Did some "funfishing" with my son and buddy Brian on the Juniata River Tally for the day... Juan- 43 bass, Brian- 24 bass, son 17 bass.... The running bet between Brian and I is that guy who catches the least fish buys dinner! He's had about a 4 year dry spell... ha! Winco's 3.50”Creek Darter accounted for almost all the fish caught.
J.V. -PA. -1

graphic Let me tell you about 3 days over the course of a week kayak bass fishing on the Susquehanna. In that time I landed 65 to 75 smallmouth bass, all but about 5 of them on Winco soft plastics.
Day 1 found me on an area that due to the unusually warm spring, was experiencing a full on algae bloom. Anything that contacted the bottom (jigs, tubes, spinnerbaits, cranks), came back with a nice sliming of green goo. The only thing that didn't get slimed was top-waters and shallow cranks, and they garnered no response. After almost four hours of fruitless effort, I gathered myself and asked "what do I need to do to catch a bass?" I decided what I needed was bait heavy enough to get to the bottom, heavy enough to stay on the bottom while drifting the current, but light enough to not scrape the slime off the rocks. My answer came in the form of the Winco's 3" Baby Stick worm. Once I nose-hooked one of them on my ML spinning outfit it was game on. Over the next 3 hrs I caught and released no less than 25 to 30 bass, with a few of the biggest in the 18" range. I only had 2 packs of your Baby Stick Worms, and I needed to stretch out my supply. Out of desperation, I went to a local Gander Mt and bought a pack of 3" Yamamoto Senkos to try to duplicate your bait (before your next order arrived). They were only about 2/3's the diameter of yours and it showed. Not only could I not cast them any distance, but they were so light that they drifted too high thru the strike zone versus yours, but at the end of the drift where I would dead stick yours for awhile, the Yamamotos would rise to the top, since they weren't heavy enough to stay down

Day 2 found me some 30 miles South of Day 1. This was the easiest of the three days for me catching fish. I began catching fish soon after I started using a Predator Craw and a Helgraleech to probe the eddies, and 3" Baby Stick worm to drift current. These 3 baits netted me 23 bass in the course of five hours including a pair of 19"ers!

Day 3 started out as the worst and ended up being one of my best. I was working a large area of boulders with slow to moderate flow and deep water. For hours nothing was working. - not cranks, spinner baits, or my go-to Winco stuff. I finally once again began working the Baby Stick Worm, and in my last 2 hrs landed 20 SMB, including 2 "C" classers! A 20.125" and a new personal best, 21" on the nose! Saved again!
I have been using Winco soft plastics almost exclusively for going on 3 years now. Everyone has had those days when bass will bite anything that hits the water, but those days are rare and fleeting. It is when conditions aren't perfect (high pressure, post frontal, low water, etc), which is most of the time, that Winco's baits really shine. I fish longer, harder, and with more confidence because I know that there is something in my arsenal of Winco baits that will catch fish when the bite is tough. Winco baits make me a better fisherman because I know I am fishing with a better bait!
MB. -PA. -2

graphic I just had to email you and let you know that you are a bait making bass god! Usually an extremely good winter day of fishing the river here consisted of 3 or 4 decent size bass. Fishing the Chillee Willee i ended up catching well over 20 bass and 1 striper in 3 hours. My girlfriend was suborn and did not want to try them she was using tubes, Robo worms, drop-shotting gulp minnows, lures, grubs, you name it she tried it she only caught two fish. Now not only did you make me catch the most bass in my life during the winter but you put me on a 45 lb striper! Which is one of the main reasons I had to send you this. You have got yourself one hell of a happy customer! And tons of repeat business for life! Boy let me tell you I'm going to try and send you as many customers as I can!!!! Well AL, I thank you so so so much I appreciate It and I'm sure you will be talking to me soon for another order of those AMAZING magical smallie baits!!!
SP. -CA. -3

graphic I had a chance to test the differences between your three styles of weighted tube insert combinations on a  recent Susky River outing in Fort Hunter, PA.  The test included 10 each of the double, single and no wire 3/16 oz football jigs.   All three combinations were fished in the same pools.   The two wire jigs lasted 4 hours, the single wire jigs lasted 2 hours and the no wire jigs lasted less than a half hour.

I found the ratio of hits and misses  versus the number of fish netted to be about the same for all three combinations.   I out fished my boat partner, who is a much better tuber than me, by 50% which I attribute to the fact that I spent more time fishing and less time rigging than he did.
My conclusion is, at least for the Susky, double wire jigs get you more bottom time without sacrificing hookup rates.
Thanks Al
HP. -PA. -4

graphic I started using the Undulator and Chillee Willee a few months ago at the recommendation of a fellow fisherman.  These baits look rather simple in their design but looks can indeed be deceiving.  These baits are really a fantastic addition to my smallie arsenal especially in cold water.  I personally think it drives smallies crazy....they simply can't pass them up.  I have been fishing for smallies for more than 30 years so I have seen hundreds of lures during that period of time.   I will not stop using these baits and plan to purchase others that Al makes.   I am retired so I cannot afford to buy just any bait that comes along.   I will continue to use the lures that Al makes until I can no longer fish or, in the worse case scenario, they become unavailable.   Stay well, Al....I need these baits!
GS. -PA. -5

graphicWell, my buddy and I ordered over 100 of your Tastee Tubes back in the spring. We ordered the 3.25 inch model in chartreuse/pumpkin laminate.  Now I am very, very picky about my tubes, but yours are simply the best I have ever used.  The construction and precision pouring is outstanding.  I guided smallie anglers all season and we came to rely on your tubes to catch us bass when nothing else would.
JG. -IL. -6

graphicWater temperatures were about 43 degrees and we had to break a little skim ice when launching our kayaks. These tactics and baits are not only good for early winter but I’ve also used these baits and presentation during cold front conditions in summer and fall.
I was using a Winco’s Chillie Willee with a lot of success. Even in the cold weather and water, I landed double digit numbers of fish. The Chillie Willee rigged on a rock guarded football head (also made by Winco’s) is a deadly combination that will keep you fishing instead of wasting valuable fishing time trying to get you bait off a snag. If you want the rock guarded football head, you’ll have to mention it when you call to place an order. It’s a new product.
I spent the entire winter of 2010 field testing it. It’s extremely snag resistant. This summer there were days when my guide clients didn’t lose a football head jig to the river all day. Now that’s saying something . . .
JV. -PA. -7

graphic Al, I was on the Juniata with Juan Veruete Saturday.  The river was a little more stained than I had anticipated but it only took Juan a matter of about 15 minutes to hit on a pattern that we stuck with the rest of the day.  He started out by landing the first fish on one of your Stone Catties.  Not more than 5 minutes later he had another and I switched to that bait.  We had to keep our baits on the bottom and right on the walls of the trenches and islands we were fishing.  Juan switched to the Predator Craw after the 2nd fish and we stuck with that pattern the rest of the day.  That bait was responsible for helping us boat the majority of our fish.  Rigged on your flutter heads it kept us fishing from our kayaks as opposed to spending the majority of our time getting out of snags.  It will definitely be something I add to my arsenal.  I want to Thank You for a great bait and a great day on the water.  You have a great Pro Staffer in Juan.  He really knows his stuff and he is very enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge with you on the water.
RK. -MD. -8

graphic Last week, I had the privilege of kayak fishing tributary creeks off the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers targeting pre spawn smallies for three days with pro guide Juan Veruete and two buddies. Prior to booking my trip I spent several months reading and researching how to fish for spring pre-spawn smallies and possible baits to be used to target them. I spoke with Juan extensively to gain more knowledge of pre spawn tactics and baits that would be needed during our trip. I advised Juan that my main goal for this trip was to become more proficient and confident fishing soft plastics in cold water. Juan introduced and recommended me to Al Winco and his custom baits . He showed me numerous pictures of fish he has caught on such baits as the Predator Craws, Cold Water Smallie Delight's and Chillee Willees. I called Al directly spoke to him extensively on the phone and immediately I was impressed with his superior customer service and patience. Being new and unfamiliar to his products I had numerous questions about how to fish his baits in cold water and his past experiences on various small mouth subjects. Al had nothing but patience in helping me purchase the proper baits and answering all my questions, he never once tried to sell me anything that I didn’t need for my trip. After receiving my first order I was immediately impressed with the high quality of his products and how quickly I received my order. I proceeded to place several more orders getting my tackle ready for my trip, time to go fishing. This was my first trip to Pennsylvania for smallies and it was by far the best fishing trip of my life. Al’s baits along with Juan’s instruction and tactics allowed me to catch 6 personal best smallies over 3 days with the biggest coming in at 17.25 inches. Every fish was caught on Winco soft plastic Predator Crawls, Cold Water Delights and Tastee Tubes, the fish destroyed them. After seeing his baits produce fish after fish by everyone on the trip over three days I'm more than convinced his products produce results. I have since added to and built a small mouth specific arsenal of Winco products. Thank you Al for your excellent customer service, high quality baits, and your patience in helping me. I have caught smallie fever and you now have a customer for life in me, I look forward to future trips to Pennsylvania and to years and years of fishing your products!!
SB. -VA. -9

graphic I guided for three days and fished on the fourth with 2 friends. Each day the bite got tougher until the fourth day when I was back to fishing small baits that work during the winter bite. High water put us in the tributaries all four days. The primary patterns were:
the tail ends of eddies and depth changes in medium to medium slow current(for example rapid drops in depth from 5 to 8 feet or deeper). The bite had been fast and furious prior to our four day outing but a major cold front, massive amounts of rain and high waters put the fish in reverse.
We did manage some fish on suspending jerkbaits but for the most part dragging smaller baits slow was the ticket. Best producing baits where:

(1) 3.50" Cold Water Smallie Delight (2) 3.25”Predator Craw (produced the biggest fish) (3) 2 ¾" Chillee Willee We rigged the C.W.S,D.'s and the C.W.'s on Winco's flutter heads. Flutter heads helped us keep the baits from getting snagged as often on the "ledgey", rocky creek bottoms. I've been fishing these hooks for a couple of years and I prefer them for most soft-baits that I want to drag on the bottom.

On day four the bite was really tough. I was fishing slightly bigger bait (3.50” C.W.SD.) that had been working the day before. I landed one fish and lost another. After seeing the other anglers land a few fish on smaller baits, I "reluctantly" switched to to the smaller "Chillee Willee".The bite was very subtle telegraphed by a very faint tap or just that wonderful mushy feel on the end of the line. This kind of bite screams smaller bait.

I was fishing a steep depth drop at about the middle of the creek that was cluttered with rocky snags. I had a hunch the smaller bait would be better suited for the light bite but I was kind of resisting going the the CW because it would be fished on a 1/8 football head and I felt it would get snagged more.  I remembered that Al had sent me some very uniquely designed, single& flexible, wire guarded hooks w/ double barbs to keep the soft-bait securely in position. The heads combined with the CW worked like a charm resulting in fewer snags than I would expect with a football head jig of any design in the rocky environment. That's what it is designed to do...be less snaggy in rock environments.
In all honesty, I was a little skeptical of how it would perform in hook sets because of the straight upward pointing "rock guard". .I'm pretty darn excited about this football head as you can tell! Anyway back to th fish....I landed several smallies on the fourth day using the smaller bait. The largest smallie was 17".
Juan Veruete. -PA. -10
Kayak Fish PA, LLC -Kayak Fishing Instruction and Guide Service,
Pa. State licensed Professional fishing Guide

graphic Al, I got my order on Fri, and was able to use them for the first time on Sun. I was fishing a tributary to the Susquehanna on an early spring afternoon. I hit the last deep hole upstream from the river that had been picked over by more than a few boats, including a guide with two clients. After letting the hole settle down for about 45 minutes, I eased my kayak up along the lower edge of the hole and started throwing one of your Undulators on your 1/8 oz football jig heads with the rock guard. My first cast nailed a fat 16" sow. My next cast got hit and I lost it. The third cast brought in a 14" buck SMB. Those aggressive  smallies  put some nasty tears in the bait  so I glued the plastic to the head and sat it to the side. I grabbed another rod rigged with a Cold Water Smallie Delights. I then spent the next two hours unhooking one pig after another. I counted at least 16, possibly one or two more. They all went between 17" to just under 20". I have never seen a bait that has the action that yours do. Couple the floating tail with the flutter head jig, and you have a combination that just slides through, over, and around the rocks and ledges common to most river systems. Snagging is at such a low rate, that you cast into areas that you normally wouldn't. I am so impressed that I have been telling anyone that will listen about your baits. You have made me a customer for life.
M.B. -PA. -11

graphic Al, I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for making such high quality lures.  I had my second outing this morning with your baits; specifically the Chillee Willee and the Undulator.  I caught two nice smallies, one of them pushing 20" and I caught a nice 18" brown trout!  Last week, I lost the fish of a lifetime when I had a brown trout that was pushing 30" smash a black Chillee Willee and I lost him not four feet from me.  Any how thanks again for making such great products and I can say with complete honesty that you've earned my future business.
M.S. -PA. -12

graphic Al makes stuff that catches fish, not fishermen. He's a tinkerer and smallmouth fanatic at heart. I enjoy talking with him because his logic usually fits with the experience I've had on the water. He puts out stuff that he knows catch fish as opposed to putting out stuff that will sell. As a businessman, it might be a fault, but as a bait designer. . . Like I said before, his stuff catches fish.
J.L. -MA. -13

graphic Got to love those flutter heads. Last year, I spent a lot of time throwing Predator Craws on flutter heads instead of tubes because I could fish all day and not loose a bait.
J.V. -PA. -14

graphic We fished a nice sized,wintering area on Friday(after Thanksgiving) Al, You've hit a home run with the Chillee Willee! It outproduced everything else 3 to 1.
J.V. -PA. -15

I tried the new Helgraleech bait from Wincos during this extremely hot summer. They produced some decent bass despite the poor fishing conditions. Rigged w/ a 1/4 oz. Flutter head, It fished in the rocks very well with nary a snag. I managed smallmouth as well as large mouth with it. It is a well put together innovative bait. This seems to be norm from Wincos. AL, thanks for another great bait to add to my arsenal. 
B.H. -PA. -16

Hit the gap solo at first light this morning. Water conditions were perfect and the weather couldn't be much better for a summer morning wade, I was hopeful that the fishing would be just as good. The first fish of the morning succumbed to the buzz and the river darter junior. The action was a bit spotty from 6-7 but after that things began to heat up and the darter ran away with the show. The remainder of the morning consisted of me casting and reeling in fish. At one point I went 4 for 4 on consecutive casts. This morning was not about the size of the fish it was all about the numbers... I fished till 1030 and then called it quits. 37 fish were landed on the 3.75" river darter jr and 3 on the buzz. The most notable fish were 14-15", while the majority were typical D summer smallies. I have a feeling that in the next couple weeks the bigger fish will be out-competing the smaller ones as the shad continue to grow. Now is the time to get out if you are looking for some good summer smallie action, just make sure you talk to Al and get ya some of the river darters before you go. 
F.R. -PA. -17

Al, I have to tell you about this.  I just got back from a week long trip with my dad.  Caught fish on the river darter 4.75 inch until they were all gone, caught fish on the W.W.S.D. and C.W.S.D. until they were all tore up, caught fish on my Wink's Walker . . . I can honestly say I caught hundreds of smallies on your lures last week-  made a believer of my dad and his friends.  You'll be hearing from me soon so I can order more darters, I love the sjb bite. 
M.R. -PA. -18

Testimonial from Mexico:  Posted from Anglers' Inn Lodge at El Salto, at 1233 pm.  Sorry, keyboard is Spanish and strange to me.  Did anybody hear three long yells at 9:30 am? That would be me. I caught an 11.3 bass on one of Al Winco's Magnum Wacky Stick worms.  Yes, I nearly had a heart attack. And yes, he nearly got away about 15 times.  It took a million years to get him in the boat and my husband is green with jealousy. He is also extremely happy and proud of me, to be completely truthful about it. He has vowed to get another 12 pounder like he got last time, and start up the ladder again.
    Al, the wacky worms cleaned up this morning, absolutely cleaned up.  We must have caught 85 fish on them this morning.. The O ring installed, which comes standard on that model worm, makes a huge difference. We ran out of Winco's and had to buy a Japanese company's worms here, they fall apart like wet Kleenex. . Yours went on and on and on....awesome.

V.T. -PA. -19

 Al your baits have changed my life. Prior to speaking to you I was a chunk and winder fishing mono in 30' of water, getting jigs stuck in the rocks and loosing lures. Al, you make great products. That Bubba Craw reduced snag jig is a killer for both LMB & SMB and- the CWSD series of jigs is awesome for smallmouth bass in the offshore rock piles. I don't know why people would not give your lures a chance (they are missing the boat). Your soft plastics hold up better and last longer then any I've used on the market.
    I spoke to Al a few weeks ago and he asked me if I was using the Sonar blade baits he had made for me, I said "No" and he asked me "Why not." I told him" I was still using the CWSD jigs"- he also asked me what the water temperature was. I told him it was 52 degrees and he asked me why I wasn't using the Float n' Flies that he made for me.  I told him "Neither the Float n' Fly, nor the blade bait , had been working for me, and I was ready to throw them in the bottom of the lake."
He asked me how I was fishing them and I told him. He informed me I was lifting them up too high and fast. He explained the proper way to drag them for 5-8 wiggles-then pause and exactly the way smallmouth bass hit them. The next few days - BOOM!!!! I loaded the boat. In the rain, cold wind, flat calm it did not matter. We caught four fish that were over 18 in. in 48-52 degree water, and at a depth of 12-16 ft. of water-providing I fished them as Al had instructed. I only lost three blade baits in one day. I called Al from the lake to order 16 more and was delivered at my house by the end of the week. I can hardly wait for springtime to try the new Bronze Bushwhacker spinner baits.
R.W. -WI. -

"Here is the deal. So I posted on epfr.net about loving Senko baits. After chatting with Al I decided to make the switch and ordered his 4 1/4'' Stickworm Jr. It only makes sense. Al's baits are stronger sink faster and hold up so much better then a Senko. Winco's are where it's at. Catching the same amount if not more yet going through half the number of baits as normal, yet at almost half the cost. Al you have got a great product. Thanks for having me switch to the Winco way of fishing/Catching!"
K.B. -PA. -21

Hello Al, my friend, got the package of lures today.  My husband and I had a great time looking over all the great stuff; thank you so much for all your help in choosing the colors and product for our lakes -  and thank you for making up a custom mix of weights of Bubba Craw rigs.  Really,  I don't know where to stop appreciating your customer service, because you were so giving of your knowledge, experience, and passion about the sport. I am sure we will be giving you excellent fishing reports. Thanks for  all the extra samples, and the demo samples to show us how to rig.  I just don't know where to stop.  What an amazing value, and what an amazing resource you provide. 
V.F. -PA. -22

I fished the Neshaminy Creek today -late morning/early afternoon. Started out with some topwater nothing. Then jerk n minnows and wacky creek worms nothing. Tied on a Winco Stone Cattie and picked up 10 smallmouth right away. This is a hot lure.  I've used it on two occasions so far and each time it caught some fish for me when nothing else seemed to be working out. Thanks Al.
H.T. -PA. -23

  The Bubba Craw,,, First cast with one put a nice 4 pound LM in the boat. You probably heard me laughing all the way over at your house. Nice bait ,,,I crawled it around in the rock and did not get hung up at all. My nephew also got a LM on one today. Tuff bite this AM.
B.H. -PA. -24

For the last 12-14 months I've talked a few times with Al about artificial stone cats. Al and I talked about colors, sizes and perhaps most - how to rig or hook them so that they fall correctly. I had a modified jig I pour and Al had his own ideas and put far more time and $$$ than I ever did. When he finished the lure, he sent me 3 to try.

This weekend I hosted my daughter and her friend. They were using another "modified" bait I made and catching fish and I figured about an hour into the trip I'd toss Al's new Stone Cat. Second cast I caught a 15+" smallie, (I think I was the FIRST person to ever catch a fish on this new Lure). Two casts later, I landed another decent fish, and then I tossed it in real fast current and bumped bottom, at the swing I had a vicious strike. After getting it in, it was just a mark shy of 18" and was the best of the 30+ bass we caught in 3 hours Saturday morning. The 4th bass came about a dozen casts later, but he tore the tail off and that was the end of the story.
C.G. -PA. -25

Al, Thanks for the great lures. Here is two photos of each 20 7/8 fish caught on the Bubba Craw . "Bubba Craw , what more can I say, I caught 21 smallmouth bass, 17 inches to 20 and 7/8 inches. In six hours in 57 degree water temperature. This lure out fished my buddies lure 4 to 1 !"
R.W. -WI. -26

About 3 weeks ago I ordered a Bubba Craw Kit from Al and have used them in two lakes nearby my house with amazing success. One of the lakes holds some very big largemouth bass but is a hard lake to fish. Many bass fisherman including myself get skunked often. Well let me tell you I've been killing them (just an expression C&R only) on the Bubba Craw. I can't believe how well they've been working. My first trip out with the Bubba Craw I caught 9 beautiful largemouth bass. Last Saturday I took my father in law there and we were nailing them again. We actually had fisherman come up to us and ask us what we were using because we were catching and they were fishing. Al, the Bubba Craw is gold and my new go to bait! Your the man! Thank you so much!
H.T. -PA. -27

Yeah Baby....................That's what I'm talkin' about.
I got a chance to try out those C.W./W.W. Flutter jigs today. I did well with 1 that I took with me. I fished some very rocky areas and was very pleased with the way that jig worked thru the rocks. On that 1 jig I caught 6 smallies, 2 largemouth, and 3 pickerel. You can bet there'll be another order for more, before I make the Canada trip. Thanks again, Al
K.D. -PA. -28

[Air temperatures 28-29 degrees, water temperature 35 degrees w/chunk ice flows in the Susquehanna River]
After cleaning up the snow from around my house I decided to try some of the new stuff I got from Al Winco.  
Got some  Cold Water Smallie Delights on the Flutter head jigs. Fished the hook "texposed."

Well, 11 smallies and 3 walleye later I was still using the C.W. Never got hung up once and I make a lot of casts upstream and fish down current. I lost 2 regular jigs today and keep pulling leaves and grass off of the round head jig but I didn't touch the C.W. once and no snags. It certainly appears to be a snagless lure and picks up no grass or leaves.

Five of the bass were in the 15-16" class. You will note that the C.W. attracted more than smallies. And it was very consistent in winding up in the corner of every fishes mouth. All those fish came on the same piece of rubber. They last! You know that CWSD has that single bodied worm-like configuration with the silicone strands attached and looks somewhat like a "stickworm." I call the CWSD a "stickworm on steroids.
B.Y. -PA. -29

Al, here are a couple of pics of my very 1rst winter smallies off your baits. Caught them yesterday on the New. My second cast of the day I hooked up on the free sample of the   C.W. Stand up jig worm. My 3rd cast, I lost it. So I would like to order one of the kits you have. Just thought I would let you know how pleased I am with your lures.

S.G. -VA. -30

 Al,  Just wanted to let you know I love the jigs/plastics.  This Saturday, the C.W.S.D. 3" soft-bait jig was the ticket on a local reservoir.   I caught several smallies, including a 19", along with several nice largemouth.  It was supposed to be a tough day with bluebird skies, post-frontal conditions and still caught quality fish.
E.S. -TN. -31

 I need to purchase a couple of Wink's Walker plugs.  Ive got one of the 2.75" models This has become my absolute favorite "spook" type plug.  For my smallie creeks here in Central Kentucky, it seems to be the perfect size/weight and these fish love it.   It has been crunched, chipped, blasted out of the water, smacked around, paint worn off, stuck in trees that you had to climb to retrieve it, and more for the past yearstill walking easily and catching fish.

B.Q. -KY. -32

 Al, got a chance to use the Reduced Snag jigs on the River Craw and [Smallie] Crawlie on Sunday.  We were fishing clear cool moving water about 3.5' deep and impossible rocky bottoms.  When the top-water, Wink's Walker and Jerk n' Minnow were not on the menu, I switched to the 3" Baby Stickworms (nose hook and wacky style) and tubes but got snagged on every cast.  The Reduced Snag jigs were too perfect at avoiding snags and the smallies agreed.  I let them hit bottom, count to 4 and give 'em jerk.  Usually hit on the first or second fall.  We landed 50+ smallies and I lost exactly one jig in 2 hours of fishing them.  Great product - I may never drag a tube again.

D.A. -PA. -33

[Case SSS vs. Jerk'n Minnow (rate of fall test)]: Got my Jerk 'n Minnows today, (thanks Al) and decided to do a sink test in my pool. Jerk 'n Minnow sank at at much faster rate.  Both look like stunned baitfish on the fall. Actually they both looked lifelike on the fall.  So if the bass are hitting falling baits I will use the Jerk 'n minnow.  If they are up on top, probably go with an SSS.

D.H. -NJ. -34

Top-water hits are just so darn much fun. My companion favored a Pop-R and I used a little Winco Quad-wing buzz bait with a grub instead of a skirt. Bigger fish (over 15) liked the buzz bait Tuesday evening...The bigger fish came from deeper spots, tubes, and a Winco Stone Cattie jig w/a special belly weighted swim-bait hook. I got my largest 2 fish from the Winco Stone Cattie softbait jig . This stone cattie jig is going to get a lot more research from this fisherman. I tied it on because I promised Al I would try it out. I had doubts because it is bigger and heavier than I typically use in a jig. It is a nice-looking soft-bait that Al pairs with a custom hook with a weighted shank that is T- rigged. The shank weight keeps the Stone Cattie moving belly-down, and the T-rigging, as it turns out, never caught a rock until late the second day. Anyway, I threw it in a deep drop-off near moving water that we had pulled a few normal-size fish from with flukes and tubes. As soon as the Stone Cattie spiraled down to the bottom, it stopped. I said, crap, it found a rock. But then as I pulled back on the rod to free it, it moved a little, then moved away. When I got it to the boat, it had an 18+ on the end. I threw it again and got a 16. Over the course of the next 2 days, I used it here and there. It worked best for me in slower, deeper water where it can be allowed to fall and be worked along slowly.
F.S. -PA. -35

Got back last evening from my annual Canadian fishing trip. The largemouth were willing to play so we targeted them mostly. Flukes ... From 7" to 3.5" from Zoom, CaseSSS, [the] Winco's Jerk'n minnow Sr & Jr. Wink's 3.75  in blue glimmer hologram outperformed them all. These lures had the best sink rate and there was no mistake on the pick up. The bass just hammered them.

K.D. -PA. -36

Fished south of 332 from 1300 to 1615 today and managed to land nine Smallies and about a dozen assorted panfish. I slapped the waders on covered a lot of ground to get the fish. The highlight of the day was my personal best NESH smaliie coming in at 17.5". Another 4 smallies at about the legal limit with a couple of dinks thrown in. Water was fairly clear and somewhat chilly, glad to have the waders on for sure. I have to give a shout out to Al Winco for his 3" Baby Stick worm as all fish were caught with this excellent soft plastic. It is extremely durable and only three were needed for the entire day of fishing. Had I been using Senko's I most likely would have had to go through 2 packs. If you don't fish with Al's gear, do yourself a favor and get some, it will definitely increase your success rate. Thanks again Al for the Great Products!!!

R.C. -NJ. -37

For those of you that would like to continue your fishing success well into the Winter Months, you must have a few of the Winco's Sonar Blades. I have caught some of my best bass ( Largemouth & Smallmouth ) with these baits with the water temps into the very low 40's. These baits offer sticky/sharp hooks and high quality split rings. My favorite flavor has been the silver holographic in the 1/2oz or 3/4oz models. Try a few, I promise you won't be disappointed.

D.S. -PA. -38

If you haven't tried the Rigged Smallie Crawlie from Winco's yet your missing out. This bait flat out catches fish. It has been a big producer for me this season so far, bringing in my two biggest bass of the year, The smallmouth love it, as well as the LM. It is definitely a big fish bait. I seem to consistently bring in better quality fish when I use this bait. I find myself throwing the hard jig less and less and turning to the soft rigged Winco jigs. It didn't take long to get confident using it, and it is now a go to bait for me. I have caught good fish in all kinds of lake and weather conditions with these baits. I really like the roadkill Camo. Thanks for the heads up on this bait Al.

B.H. -PA. -39

After reading fishing reports posted on EPFR referencing Al Winco products, I contacted him to order some supplies. I explained to him I am a newbie to Delaware River smallmouth fishing. He then devoted about an hour over the phone giving me tips & techniques to catch smallies. He suggested some hot products & shipped them the same day which I received the next day with some free extras. This past weekend I was able to try his products out. I hooked into smallies with everyone of his products I threw at them. The products I used were Winco's Jerk'n Minnows, Wacky Stickworms & Wink's Walker. I got bass on all of these. The products & service he provided were great, give him a try. Thank you Al for a great first outing on the Delaware River

P.G. -PA. -40

 My dad and I finally got out for only the second time since early June and had some of our best fishing ever as far as numbers in this stretch. The water was very low and clear and the smallies were ready to go. On Friday night we managed 66 smallies in 4 1/2 hours and Saturday under bright blue skies we pulled in another 52 over the course of 6 hours. Fish were caught in slow water and fast water, deep and shallow water. It didn't really matter as any where you could find shad fry you found feeding smallies. The trips were great for action, however bigger fish were few and far between as a half dozen fish in the 15 to 16 1/2 range had top billing. 99% of the fish were caught on soft plastic jerkbaits in the smaller sizes. We must give props here to Al Winco's Jerk'n Minnow Jr. in the pearl fantasy and blue glimmer colors as they clearly out fished the Case plastics, are much more durable and hold up way better against the vicious strikes of the smallies. In fact I managed to catch 8 bass on one Winco Jerk'n Minnow before it was so beat up it flew off on a cast. Hopefully it won't take us this long to get out again and I would advise anyone with the time to head out and fish now when the bite is so good. Also, if you don't have any, do yourself a favor and pick up some Winco's Jerk'n Minnows.

R.C. -NJ. -41

Wow what a crazy day yesterday!!! (Upper Delaware River) I've never had a better fishing day in my 2 year fishing span (i know short span) we launched out of Eshback on our kayaks at 7:30 am and fished until 2 pm. we got 30 smallies up to 17" and i caught a nice 24" pike on Al Winco's W.W Smallie delights!!! speaking of Al's products WOW.... his Jerk'n Minnows #12 and #28 were really hot during the stretch as were his Wacky Magnum Stick Worm in #6,7,5. there were 3 of us on kayaks and man Al's products came thru in the clutch for us. Al has been working with me (amazing support) to create a new color for his Wacky Worms (perfect sinking rate) which I will hopefully get to use this weekend coming up. I don't want to sound like I'm working for AL or anything but dude his stuff works! I can't say enough about those lures thanks Al !!! I've only been fishing 2 years but man I've never had soo much fun catching fish as I did this past weekend.
I.M. -PA. -42

Went out at 3am today smallmouth fishing. Ended up leaving the river at 12noon. Ended up boating around 70 smallies, had one 28 channel cat an 1 musky hooked up but was cut off. All fish were caught on Winco Rigged Smallie Crawlies and salty Jerk 'n Minnows-both 3.75 inch an 5 inch models.

T.J. -PA. -43

I have been using Winco's lures for years! (I would have to say for about 15 years now). I can not tell you how convinced I am in these salty delightful baits.  I am a jig fisherman - I probably throw a jig 70% of the time, and have won many tournaments on Winco's jigs. I have tried them all, just like everyone else, but I always came back to Winco's jigs. That is until this June, when I was picking up an order and Al showed me these " new, gonna knock their socks of wide bite jig" That's what he said at least, and all though I know his regular jigs worked, I said yeah we'll see, and I grabbed 1 Black and Blue and one Crawdad. Oh- by the way I am a pork man! I have tried the zoom chunks, etc... but I throw pork!!! So like I was saying, I grabbed these 2 jigs, and said "Al I don't have any pork that would match that crawdad color" so of course he threw me a couple of his 3" Claw chunk salt and scent impregnated jig trailers and said he would convince me that plastic is the way to go.
Well.... I now have nothing but his Mega-wide bite jigs, and yes, I have switched over to Winco's chunks. (Sorry Al, I do still use pork on occasion LOL) This is in part to the 22Lb limit I caught on these jigs, The 6+ lber that is attached to this letter and many other fish i have caught on these jigs. I can't believe the hook/catch ratio I have had since going the wide bite jig. Just awesome is all I can say. Good Fishing
N.F. -PA. -44

The Winco worms are less expensive than Senkos AND are more durable. more importantly, un-weighted, the sink rate is just perfect and they catch fish.  I use 3" and 4" for smallmouth and 4-5" for LM.
D.A. -PA. -45

I'm hardwired frugal and won't pay for a name brand that doesn't perform. Until recently, I used Yum Dingers because they worked just as well for me as the next guy in the boat fishing Senkos at twice the price. That is, until a recent trip to the Schuylkill with Al. I became convinced when Al started to out fish me 5 to 1 with his Wacky Stickworm. Whether it is the weight, the density, the flexibility, or whatever, it drops and wiggles in a way that entices smallies. And as a frugal guy, because they work better and last longer, they are even cheaper when you calculate price per fish caught!
F.S. -PA. -46

I've been meaning to send you this for some time only it seems that darn fishin thing keeps getting in the way. A couple weeks ago I placed an order for some wacky worms and some WW Smallie Delights. I don't know where you came up with that idea for the smallie delights but I love it.
They have produced fish when tubes, worms and spinners won't. Like yesterday (8/18/07) I went wading over in the Delaware and the WW Smallies Delight jigs were the big producer. Caught 9 smallies in 3 hours, 1 on a spinnerbait and all the rest on the WW Smallies Delight jig. Most in the 10 -12" range. Large was 17". Happened the same way 2 weeks ago on the Delaware and a week ago on the Schuylkill. This bait just saved the day when everything else wouldn't produce a thing.  Kudos to ya!  Thanx

H.P. -PA. -47

Just received my order in record time after talking with you--the spinnerbaits look fantastic (got the ones you described above plus black), as do the Wink's Walkers, the Buzzbaits, the Smallies Delight jigs, and the Jerk 'n Minnows. I'm getting out on the water with them ASAP! You were very responsive and accommodating, and these will definitely give my smallies something different to look at. Great to have a sponsor like you on RiverSmallies.com. Thank you!!
T.E. -VA. -48

Last week I asked for some help on jigging for bass. Al Winco (smallmouthaholic) offered some advice and posted some pictures of jigs. I figured I'd support a local business who helps support my favorite web site. So I gave Al a call. We had a great chat about what I fish for and where I go plus a few other things like early season bass fishing, the crappie Bassmaster Classic and the Dead Sea - Beltzville. He said he would call me back the next night with some ideas. He called, made recommendations and I placed the order.

They came today, just 2 days after I placed the order!!! Top quality stuff !!!!! I got some Ultra Point Weedless Jigs - black n blue & crawfish, football bass jigs - black n blue & crawfish, warm water and cold water Smallies Delight - all the jigs have a trailer on them! Plus some Pro's Soft-Bait Glue. Those jigs look BEAUTIFUL!!!!! BUT There's MORE!!!! He threw in samples of some Rigged Creatures, Hootchie Worms, Jerk 'n Minnows, Finesse Worms, Baby Stickworms and Magnum StickWorms. All those samples look AWESOME!!!!

Now I have a problem! These baits all look so good and I can't use em yet!!!!! REALLY looking forward to launching the canoe!!!! I will be bagging some Bass on Winco's Custom Lures!!!!!!  THANKS for the advice AL!! Great looking baits!!! I'll be back for more!!!
L.N. -PA. -49

I like Winco's Wacky Worms. The fall rate of his worm are perfect. Drifted with the occasional twitch and you have one life like artificial worm. The o ring on them also helps the worm last longer, prevent cast offs, or a smallie running off with it. They really work great and are good to have in the arsenal!
J.R. -PA. -50

I really like this little bait Al!! When I placed my order for hair jigs earlier this spring, you sent me a couple freebies. These smallies really enjoyed the #28 Jerk'n Minnow Jr. this past weekend!!! I will be placing an order for a few more very soon. Thanks again

S.H. -PA. -51

This warm water Smallies Delight jig has been the ticket for me the last 2 weeks of fishing. The Roadkill jig is definitely the ticket today on the Juniata
P.H. -PA. -52

Got my order of WW Smallies Delights today. I couldn't wait to try em' out so I went to my honey hole on the flat water and from the shoreline I had a good night. I'd have to rate them with a big thumbs up. I had one smallie take 3 swipes at it till he finally hooked up. I didn't have a ruler but my guess would be in the 18-19" range. I can hardly wait for the weekend to try them in the Schuylkill to see how they work in the moving water. Thanks Mr. Winco for rushing the order
K.D. -PA. -53

I'm preparing for some upcoming spring fishing and I just had to give Al a call at Winco's. What a great guy to deal with! He took my order and then we spoke for awhile about fishing in general.
I really wanted to try the C.W. Smallie's Delight Jig. I ordered the 1/4 oz. size since I expect to use them in spring water which may be high and cold. As a fly tyer, I know that making these jigs take some time. Al will have them from November thru March. So, if you're thinking about picking a few up, you only have another month.
The smaller Jerk'n Minnow Jr. caught my attention. Al had sent me a sample and I really liked the weight and size. I ordered the Blue Glimmer Hologram and the Blue Glimmer Hologram/with Chart. tail. I have a sneaking suspicion that these will be killers on smallmouth this year!  Thanks for taking the time with me this evening, Al.
T.B. -PA. -54

I gave Al a call and placed an order on 3/1. He told me my merchandise should come on Tuesday (3/6). I got home from cutting firewood on Saturday afternoon, my wife says a package came for me. I was quite pleased to see a package from Winco's!! Thanks Al for fast service and for the extra baits you sent along. Those Creature baits look awesome, also like how your Wacky sticks already have the "O" around them. Can't wait to get on the water and throw the Rabbit hair jigs along with the Smallie Delights!! Thanks again
S.H. -PA. -55

Fished this past weekend with a Wink's Walker and a I must admit it was outstanding. In 5 hrs of fishing I landed about 25 smallies and had at least 15 more blowups. Fish jumped out of the water for that thing. I started the morning fishing a soft plastic jerk bait and was getting very slight hits. Switched to a walker and the fish seemed to get a lot more aggressive. Bait is real nice.
J.B. -DE. -56

Awesome bait [Wink's Walker]. I've caught a bunch of fish on mine, just not really been a "big fish" year for me.
B.Q. -KY. -57

Jake and I met for another trip with Blaine from Backwoods Angler today. The weather was not the best, rained steadily until about 1 or 2 pm and was cold as all get out! None of us had any feeling in our hands by lunch time, but we kept at it. I dropped a few fish because I could not close my hand around the reel. We ended up with 24 Smallies and a Walleye. Ranging from 13-19". We had to work for them, but we would get into a couple per hole and some holes gave up a few. We had a couple 17" and one 19" or so.

A few came on tubes and Jerk Baits, but 90% of my fish came on the Winco's C.W. Smallie's Delight jig. The rest of mine came on a River craw [#27] Winco's Rigged Creature. I only had 3 CW's  and was lucky enough to make them last all day, the one held up for 5 or 6 smallies and a walleye and then I lost it!
V.K. -PA. -58

I was able to field test these jig and worm combos (Enticer Jig / Wonder Worms) this year and I love the jig head style. It does everything you want it to do. It will stand up on almost anything and comes through cover really well. The Wonder worms screw on the jigs easily and perfect every time with their concave head design (very slick idea). This is custom, high end tackle that works!
K.F. -PA. -59

I just wanted to take a moment and thank Al Winco for the great service I received during my last purchase. Al was helpful and did everything he promised. The lures look great and are very well made. Looking forward to giving them a try in the coming weeks. I have tried to support all the sponsors on this site, and will continue to do so. Give Al a call the next time you are looking for a quality line of lures that you won't find at Wal-mart. The freebies were cool too.
D.R. -WVA. -60

After a successful trip to the Susquehanna, I was using a small Wink's Walker on a private pond shore fishing in Virginia.  It snapped off during a cast and landed in the middle of the pond.  Just like a scene from the movie "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (and to the surprise of my fellow fishing buddies on shore), I swam out to rescue it. The dark murky water sure appeared different from eye level (did wonders for the imagination). Even though my car alarm keys didn't work afterwards (forgetting they were in my pants pocket), I am proud to say that I was able to withstand the 'laughter' knowing that I rescued my favorite bait that had given me multiple top water strikes during that summer.
A.W. -VA. -61

Fished the Skuke yesterday with a friend in our kayaks. We launched at the Linfield ramp and floated to the 113 ramp. Had a pretty good day. Between us we caught over 40 fish, all smallies. The largest were right around 14-15 inches. The water was generally clear until we got around the power plant upriver of the 113 ramp. All fish were caught on plastic worms either deadsticked or wacky rigged. Most fish were caught in fast water except where we were able to find deeper holes. The plastics of choice were Al Winco's Wacky Worm and his Baby Stick worm. The colors of choice were watermelon and green pumpkin.

J.M. -PA. -62

As for the topwater bite, Anyone who has not seen the Wink's Walker in action, your truly missing out. With an early morning water temp. of 61.4, Al casted a topwater plug. Two wobbles and POW, fish on!! These baits are by far the best 'walking the dog' baits I've ever used. They cast a mile, easy to walk (even in wind, current, debris, etc...) and have great pause position. I am not great at 'walking the dog', but a few hours of casting this lure, I was receiving a lot more strikes, so the fish approved.

M.K. -PA. -63

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