As you look at a lure for the first time, the first the question is invariably "now how does it swim?" followed by "how do I use it?" I asked myself exactly these questions when I first discovered the Itoka 210 and how was I to fish for pike with it on the big lakes of the Connemara.
What is great about the Itoka 210 is its size and trout like shape. In the Irish lakes where I fish, the pike have developed a liking to trout, big trout; this is the place to fish slowly with big lures! The Itoka 210 is a slow sinking swim bait which, I have to concede, is great for fishing margins and weedy zones, but not ideal when fishing 4 to 12 metre deep areas.
The trick is to fix a 12gr split shot to the central hook. The lure maintains its natural qualities like the wallowing sexy swimming action, but also gains others: faster sinking, new animation possibilities and highly improved slow trolling capacities. This is how many clients and I have caught trophy size pike this season. The other great thing about this system is that you can make it slow sinking again just by removing the added weight.
I like to use the Itoka when fishing is hard and the pike aren’t responding well to noisy jerk baits. The good size almost silent and natural looking mouthful is often the trick to hooking those fish. All you have to do is to cast it out and let it sink to the required depth before starting to retrieve. Slowly for the first 2-3m, a 5 to 10 second pause, then slow retrieve for 2 to 3m and pause... Until the lure is in the boat, watch out as the pike can take the lure just as it comes out of the water!
Another way to use the weighted Itoka is like a dead bait. You cast it and let it sink almost to the bottom then retrieve it using an “up and down” style animation. Using both ways, the fish usually take the lure as it sinks during the pauses or just as you resume the retrieve.
Even with the added 12gr, the 30-80gr Gunki Saburau Yama, is just perfect to cast the Itoka 210.
The Itoka has become a “must have” lure and one that I really advise when guiding. It is a dead easy lure to use, ideal for casting in windy conditions and, after a bit of D.I.Y, able to fish everywhere and anywhere!