Editor’s note: The following blog was written and submitted by reader Kelly Corcoran of Boston Harbor, near Olympia.
by Kelly Corcoran
He’s put more smiles on fishermen’s faces than he will ever know. Who? That would be Otto Lagelbauer, an 81-year-old tackle inventor and fisherman who created the Grim Reefer jig and now a super-sparkly tape for lures.
Ask any fisherman from Alaska to the lower Puget Sound and they will tell you that Otto’s jigs will catch everything from rockfish to salmon and more.
I first met Otto about nine years ago, while he was doing a seminar for the Puget Sound Anglers’ South Sound Chapter.
OTTO LAGELBAUER. (HYPER-BLING.COM)
Otto explained in great detail how flash and action excite fish and trigger strikes, especially in low-light conditions where most predator fish prowl. He shared why his jigs were so effective, the “hyper-vis painting process” he developed and field tested for many years with excellent results.
Most fishermen who find a lure that consistently catch fish get lockjaw and aren’t willing to share their secrets. Not Otto; he wants you to catch fish, as well as learn why fish react in different conditions.
BACKED BY VERY STICKY TAPE, HYPER-VIS+ IS DESCRIBED AS A “MULTI-AXIS VISUAL ATTRACTANT” THAT YOU CAN APPLY TO FISHING LURES — IT’S THE SUPER-SPARKLY STRIP ON THE SIDE OF THE JIG THAT THIS CHINOOK BIT. (HYPER-BLING.COM)
As a fish junky I asked a lot of questions and he had fast replies that all made perfect since. At the end of his talk he came over to me and gave me a 2 2/5-ounce Grim Reefer jig and, with a big ol’ smile, told me, “Give this a try.”
A week later, I was in the East Cape of Baja, Mexico, fishing the Sea of Cortez, casting from the beach into exploding fish with no results. Then I remembered that I had brought that jig with me.
First cast I hooked a beautiful roosterfish, or pez gallo as it’s known in Mexico.
For the next couple of hours the catching continued. Now I know why Otto had had that big ol’ smile on his face when he gave me the jig. He knew that smile was contagious.
AUTHOR KELLY CORCORAN BEGAN TO THINK HE WAS ONTO SOMETHING AFTER A TRIP ON A LOCAL LAKE YIELDED BASS AND A LOT MORE. (KELLY CORCORAN)
When I made it home, I called Otto to tell him what happened. His response: “I’m not surprised; I get letters all the time from people all over telling me the same thing.
In April of this year the phone rang and it was Otto, who asked me how the fishing was. My reply was that it had been good and we were catching fish.
“I have a new product out; you interested?” he asked.
Somehow I knew we were both smiling at the same time.
As fishermen, we all want to learn and have that extra advantage with the time spent on the water. Of course I was interested, Otto!
Otto drove to my house that day. “What I have here will help you catch more fish, and I’m going to tell you why,” he explained.
He showed me his new invention, did a complete demonstration and had my head spinning around like a No. 6 Vibrax spinner.
PAULA CORCORAN SHOWS OFF THE FRUITS OF A SUCCESSFUL SURF PERCH FISHING TRIP. (KELLY CORCORAN)
Again I asked questions and got fast replies that made perfect sense — deja vu all over again from nine years ago.
Otto left me some samples and said he would wait for my call.
As soon as he left I headed for the nearest lake to give it a go. It wasn’t the first cast but the second, third … and for the next two hours I caught fish — four different species.
Being skeptical I wanted to test it again the next day, so my wife and I drove to the ocean to fish redtail surf perch.
It turned out to be one of our best days of fishing the surf; we left the beach with easy limits and big ol’ smiles. Otto strikes again, I thought.
Since April we have caught 25 different species of fish in all conditions using his new product. Our catch ratio has more than doubled.
CORCORAN HAS DRESSED UP HIS SALMON LURES WITH HYPER-VIS+ TAPE TO DEADLY EFFECT AS A GOOD RUN OF NISQUALLY CHINOOK HAVE RETURNED TO HIS HOME WATERS IN SOUTH PUGET SOUND. (KELLY CORCORAN)
What is Otto’s new product? It’s called Hyper-vis +. I’m going to let Otto tell you what the hype is all about.
You can contact him at www.hyper-bling.com.
A big thank you to Otto Lagelbauer for sharing secrets that
help fishermen and fisherwomen catch more fish.
And for the Big Ol’ Smile.