The Truth About Burts and Dawgs

Burt and Bull dawgAlthough I rate the Burt and the Bull Dawg as two of the best pike lures I have ever used, I still hear of people who can't catch pike on them - even though I reckon they work anywhere and everywhere. I guess it must be down to how they fish them. Here are some of my thoughts about how to get the best out of Burts and Dawgs. Not all my tips you understand, but enough to get you started!

A squirrley caught jackFirst of all let's get the misconceptions cleared up. Floating Burts float. Easy enough to understand. Weighted Burts float too. They are not supposed to be sinking lures - although some do. For some reason which I cannot fathom, weighted Burts do vary (I think a weight gets left out or added by mistake now and again) and some probably leak. They all catch pike, as do Burts with curly tails - the infamous Squirrley Burt. Floaters will 'swing' out to the side more than the weighted models. Follow the tuning tips which accompany the lure to improve the swing, but don't worry too much if a Burt only 'swings' one way! Burts are jerkbaits, but they are not gliders. Better to treat them as 'pullbaits', and work them with more of a steady sweep of the rod tip rather than a brisk jerk or tap. DO NOT expect a side-to-side action from Burts. DO expect an up and down action. ALWAYS expect takes on the pause.

Read more of what I have to say about Burts here.

Despite what you might read, Bull Dawgs (pronounced bulldogs) are not really jerkbaits. They can be fished erratically like a jerkbait, but they are better pike catchers when treated as crankbaits. Cast out, allow to sink, wind back in. That is all there is to fishing a Bull Dawg. So simple it is hard to believe! Of course, it should go without saying that breaking the retrieve up in various ways will improve your success rate. Dawgs are not always the best of hookers. Although pike will sometimes try and swallow them, they will equally often grab and eject them in an instant. If you feel anything unusual during the retrieve STRIKE! To improve your hooking percentages take a pair of pliers and open out the gape of the rear treble on a Regular Size Dawg so that the points are parallel with the sides of the lure, or splayed out a tad. Do this to the back hook too. There are a couple more Dawg mods that I use which can be found here.

There you are then. The simple truth about Burts and Dawgs. Dull, isn't it? At the last count I had over twenty five Burts and more than twenty Bull Dawgs. Most of these have caught fish - or at least had a hit or two. I guess they must have something going for them. Maybe one day I'll let you into some of the things I do to these lures to make them even better when the going gets tough. But for now I think I'll try and keep that edge!

PS I have had a count up and reckon Burts have scored for me on over seventeen waters and Dawgs on at least ten - they have also accounted for two of my three biggest lure caught pike!

(This article first appeared on this website - June 10th 2001, latest update February 12th 2002)