The Yo-Zuri Hydro Magnum Deep Diver has been triggering strikes and hooking fish at depths where saltwater and freshwater fish usually don't see an artificial lure that isn't on a downrigger.
It isn't just the long, sturdy plastic lip, or the exclusive double ring on the lip, that takes the Hydro Magnum Deep Diver deeper than the popular Hydro Magnum that has been a favorite of fishermen who troll all over the U.S.
The D.D. version with the double ring will get the lure to 35 feet compared to the swimming depth of 20 feet for the Hydro Magnum. If that isn't deep enough, a 1- or 2-ounce weight can be clipped on the artificial lure's patent-pending depth adjustment ring on the bottom of the lip to get down as far as 50 feet.
Since being released in January, the Hydro Magnum Deep Diver is catching on from Florida to Texas as well as along the East Coast, and muskie fishing may never be the same again in the deepwater lakes of the upper Midwest.
"Some guys here use it for kingfish, wahoo and tuna. And it's catching a lot of bonito and dolphin," said Yo-Zuri America's Dave Bertolozzi, who's in sales and marketing out of the manufacturing company's office in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
"On the Northeast coast, guys are using it for stripers, too. It's a versatile lure," Bertolozzi said.
Grouper love it, too, according to veteran charter captain Frank Piku, who alternates between muskie fishing in Lake St. Clair along Detroit and charters off Key West, Fla. When he's in Florida, Piku's boat often catches 40-50 grouper a morning and many of those have been caught on Hydro Magnum D.D.'s in 2004, he said recently from Detroit.
"I can tell you a whole lot about it. You might say I'm a professor on those deep-diving lures. I use them extensively," Piku said. "It's good for wahoo, kingfish, tuna, any of those species. We fish wahoo 25- to 30-feet deep. That's the zone they cruise in."
Piku, who knows Bertolozzi and the folks at Yo-Zuri America, asked for some of the new deep-divers when he heard about them over the winter. He left after some great winter fishing in Florida for Detroit to catch the muskie season opener the first Saturday of June in Michigan. He's think about feeding the muskellenge a Hydro Magnum D.D.
Like any good professor, Piku has made a video on artificial lures that help make his saltwater fishing trips successful. If readers want to see a Hydro Magnum D.D. in action, he said, log on to www.worldwidefishing.com and go to saltwater/florida/key west/captain frank's charters. Or use Google and type in the key words CAPTAIN FRANK'S CHARTERS.
He has been fishing the waters off Florida's coast since 1989. Most of the time he heads for the Marques Islands — a nursery for tarpon and permit and the only atoll in the U.S. — 25 to 35 miles to the west, and when the water's too rough he'll slow to 5-5 1/2 m.p.h. and drop two Yo-Zuris.
"If it's rough, I troll slow to the site so I don't beat up the clients," he said.
The Hydro Magnum D.D. does the job, he said.
"We troll in no less than 25 feet of water (for grouper). I want the plug 1 foot off the bottom," he said.
That way those grouper, which like to stay with their bellies on the bottom and in a hole or on structure, spy the wiggling artificial lure that looks like something swimming away fast, dart out and engulf it. They don't have time to get back to their ambush position.
"The advantage to the plug is having it going fast enough," he said, "and you've got to have it in front of his face and on the bottom."
He ties it to a 6-foot, 150-pound-test monofilament leader.
The Hydro Magnum D.D. is 7 1/2 inches long and weighs 3 1/2 ounces. It has a colorful holographic metallization finish and etched lateral line, plus animated and oversized 3-D eyes and raised gill covers.
The lifelike appearance is enhanced even more by a side-to-side swimming motion regardless of the trolling speed. It is available in 10 colors, including chrome green mackerel, bubblegum pink, blue/silver and purple/black.
A wired-through construction makes it a durable artificial lure, Bertolozzi said. The eyes and all the hooks are unified via a heavy gauge steel carriage molded into the lure, he explained, and it is nearly impossible to lose a fish because the hooks pull out of the body.
While the artificial lure is designed to go deep, it is actually a "floater" and can be effective when trolling slowly in the shallows.
"They hold up. They just get beat up," Piku said about the deep divers.
To contact Piku, call (305) 509-1547. For more information on the Yo-Zuri Hydro Magnum Deep Diver, or other Yo-Zuri products, visit the website at www.yo-zuri.com.