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  • Yakima Bait Company

A Time & Place For Large Salmon Plugs

By: Mark Romanack

Larger salmon plugs such as the Mag Lip 4.0 and 4.5 are ideally suited to plug wrapping. A practice of using a herring strip to create a fish attracting scent stream in the water. Mag Lip is designed to handle the weight of the herring strip and still deliver its signature “skip beat” action.

The Yakima Bait Mag Lip plug is one of the most productive hard baits on the market. From the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes region, everywhere anglers target salmon, they depend on the Mag Lip family of baits to catch them.

Part of the success Mag Lip has enjoyed boils down to the many sizes this plug is produced in. The Mag Lip is available in a 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 sizes. Each of these Mag Lip sizes features the famous “skip beat” action that drives fish wild. The Mag Lip is designed to wobble aggressively and then without warning dart to the side momentarily before recovering. This “hunting” style action sets the Mag Lip apart from all other plugs, triggering savage strikes when other lures fail.


In late summer and early fall when salmon are staging in preparation for spawning runs, the 4.0 and 4.5 sizes come into their own. This is the time of year that salmon have reached their maximum size and the same is true of the common baitfish species salmon depend on. The 4.0 and 4.5 Mag Lip does an excellent job of matching the hatch.


As salmon are staging near river mouths, they encounter stained water created from nutrient rich river run off. Stained water calls for using larger plugs that give off more vibration and are easier for fish to spot.


The practice of wrapping a Mag Lip with a strip of herring is hugely popular in the Pacific Northwest and has even caught on in the Great Lakes. This practice creates a natural fish attracting scent stream in the water. The Mag Lip even has grooves molded into the sides of the bait that are designed to hold the thread used in plug wrapping.

The Mag Lip 4.0 and 4.5 sizes are the perfect choice for plug wrapping. These larger plugs do an excellent job of carrying the weight of the herring strip without giving up any of that “skip beat” action that triggers explosive strikes.

Both fresh and brined herring strips work well for plug wrapping. A good trick is to wrap up a few plugs with herring strips the night before fishing and place them in the freezer. In the morning, toss those wrapped plugs in a cooler and use them as needed during the day of fishing.

Herring strips that have been brined hold up a little better than fresh herring. To add a little more enticement, many anglers squirt a few drops of herring oil onto their wrapped plugs every 15 to 30 minutes while fishing.

Mark and Jake Romanack of Fishing 411 TV use the Mag Lip often to target Great Lakes chinook salmon like these couple of brutes.


Every Mag Lip comes out of the package tuned and ready to fish. According to the Precision Trolling Data phone app, the Mag Lip 4.0 reaches a maximum diving depth of 21 feet when fished on 20 pound test monofilament. The 4.5 Mag Lip dives to 24 feet on 20 pound test monofilament.

Mag Lip can be fished as flat lines, in combination with planer boards, on downriggers or in combination with lead core or Snap Weights to gain more depth.


In short, the Mag Lip catches fish and is built to take the punishment salmon dish out. For more information and to check out the newest colors, visit the Yakima Bait Company web page to see the latest and greatest from Yakima Bait Company.


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