October 5, 2022

The Explosive Time Bomb

I needed another ice jig like I need a hole in my head, but while visiting the FishUSA Pro Shop, a Product Specialist strongly suggested giving the Clam Time Bomb Spoon a try.

I looked at the lure and said, “You’ve got to be kidding!”

The Time Bomb looks like a spinner that lost its blade. I am used to dainty ice jigs – this is a brightly colored conglomeration of seemingly unrelated parts. What I didn’t know was that all these moving parts are designed to make noise to attract fish – not just any noise, but a carefully thought out clicking and ticking sound (time bomb!) that mimics wounded prey. Could it be that employing noise and vibration to attract and catch fish was missing all these years from my bag of tricks?

There is an important design feature that separates the Time Bomb from other lures that rattle. Other noise-making lures on the market have internal rattles. The Time Bomb design uses an exposed noisy brass washer that slides up and down the shaft in reaction to your jigging motion, colliding with the bead and lead body generating noise and vibration.

I can’t say I’ve ever heard the sound that wounded prey make under the ice, but the theory sounded plausible. I picked out two colors that looked appetizing to me – the Glow Chartreuse and Glow Firetiger – and stowed them with my ice fishing tackle.

I wasn’t able to give the Time Bomb a try on our local waters due to a mild winter, but I did make a couple trips to Canada that season. I was catching fish, but nothing to write home about. During a lull in the action, I remembered the newfangled Time Bomb I had with me. It was time to give it a try.

The Time Bomb is a dense lure that fishes vertically. Dropping it down the hole, it finds the bottom quickly, something I really like when fishing deep water. I hadn’t read the manufacturer’s recommendation in the product description to bait the treble hooks with a minnow head, waxy, or spike, so I was fishing it bare. It looked to me like the glowing epoxy treble hook was enough to show fish where to bite.

It didn’t take long until a perch grabbed the Time Bomb. Then another. I’d like to say I proceeded to catch hundreds of fish, but I didn’t. I did catch half a dozen or so when nothing else was producing.

The Time Bomb is available in 1/8 and 1/4-ounce sizes. Each size comes in seven attractive colors. For panfish, choose the smaller size and save the larger size for game fish.

The Time Bomb showed me lots of promise and will get a good workout this winter, except this time I’ll be prepared to tip the hooks with some bait or plastics!

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John Scherrer

Erie, PA John is a freelance writer and a life-long Erie resident who has fished across North America. Fly fishing, light spinning tackle, and ice fishing are his preferred methods to fish his home waters of Lake Erie.

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