New Bailey Lure Sure to Inveigle Fish by Ned Kehde
The Capital-Journal (Topeka, KS), Sunday, November 7, 2004

When historians write about the preeiminent anglers in northeastern Kansas during the last half of hte 20th century, there will be many worrds penned about Overlnd Park's Harold Ensley, Overbrook's Blair Flynn, and Lawrence's Tom Burns and Elden Bailey.

Nowadays, Flynn is octogenarian, and Ensley and older than that, but they srtill fish a bit.

Burns, who often carried the moniker “King of the Kaw,” died in 2003 at the age of 83, and with his death, we lost his encyclopedic understanding of the ways of the flathead catfish that abide in the Kansas River. At his funeral, one admirer called Burns “the savant of the Kaw.”

Compared to those three legendary anglers, Bailey is a youngster, and at the age of 65, he still influences the way anglers fish hereabouts.

Back in the 1980s, Bailey was the best walleye angler in Kansas, and his name regularly appeared at the top of the leader-board at area walleye tournaments.

At the same time, he became a stellar crappie fisherman and developed many of the tactics today’s angler’s use to catch crappie in the winter at Pomona, Perry, and Melvern lakes.

Now, Bailey spends several months every winter in Texas, teaching anglers at Lake of the Pines, Toledo Bend Reservoir and Sam Rayburn Reservoir how to catch crappie by employing a Bailey Magnet.

The Bailey Magnet is a soft plastic lure Bailey created in the late 1990s and began manufacturing in 2001.

According to Ray Brooks, a masterful crappie angler from Perry, the Bailey Magnet is an exceptional lure he has used to win several crappie tournaments.

Not only does the Bailey Magnet allure crappie galore, but it has also become an important item in the repertoire of a number of small bass angler. In these angler’s eyes, it replicates an entanglement of bloodworms, which some smallmouth bass relish.

When smallmouth bass anglers affix the Bailey Magnet to a 1/16-ounce or lighter jighead, they can bewitch an astonishing number of smallmouth bass.

In springs past, this combination of a light jighead and a Bailey Magnet has been especially effective at Coffey County Lake, inveigling a smallmouth bass on one cast and a humongous crappie on the next cast.

But when smallmouth bass stop foraging upon bloodworms and other tiny invertebrates and begin relishing bigger morsels of food, anglers notice the two-inch Bailey Magnet loses its effectiveness.

Then anglers find two to three-inch soft plastic tubes or four-inch Yum Dingers catch the fancy of the smallmouth bass.

To the delight of northeastern Kansas smallmouth anglers, Bailey has created a new soft plastic lure he calls a Bailey Magnet Magnum.

It measures three inches in length, and eight of its color schemes are the ones area smallmouth bass fishers covet, including root beer and green flake, black and blue flake, green pumpkin and black flakes, and smoke with black and red flakes.

Smallmouth anglers anticipate the Magnum affixed to a mushroom-style jighead will quickly become a staple in their tackle boxes. Many of these same anglers say it looks to be a fine lure to attach to a drop-shot rig and drag across a boulder-laden hump.

Bailey, however, isn’t a smallmouth bass fisherman. He designed the Magnum to allure wipers, stripers, walleye and big crappie, thinking when the Magnum was affixed to a half-ounce jighead that it could be hopped and dragged like a spoon.

In Bailey’s eyes, all of the tentacles or appendages that drape off the tail of the Magnum make it more enticing than the traditional spoon are anglers use to catch walleye, wipers and white bass at humps and other offshore lairs.

Because he designed it for species other than smallmouth bass, the Magnum will also be manufactured in chartreuse, white, silver and other hues that commonly entice crappie, walleye, wipers and white bass.

Bailey anticipates tackle stores, such as Chapman Creek Fly & Tackle, in Chapman, will have it in stock within the next six weeks.