The darter can be categorized as a slow sinking Jerk or glide bait.
It came out of my experiments with sinking Jerkbaits some years ago. The Dutch Angler Diederik Terlaak Poot had asked me about such lures and if I had any models available. Well I had been working on a lure for a while so finished off the unnamed lure and sent it to Diederik to try out along with the other lures he had ordered.
Diederik wrote back to me a few weeks later after he had tried out the new lure, and his opinion of it was that I had come up with a winner.
Back then I hadn’t really formulated many ideas as to why, or how lures behave, and more importantly how to give a piece of wood an action that would consistently time after time trigger the instincts of the Pike to attack. And boy did I do some experimenting. I’m talking weeks and weeks trying out different shapes, different weights and their positions in the lure. Not to mention all the species of timber available to me. Which one’s would resist the constant immersion in water. Which types would hold the finishes I applied to them the longest? The U S makers were using woods like Maple, Cedar, Pine, etc. And I tried them out myself, before dismissing them to the wood burner with all the others. I eventually found the best timber, which suited all the criteria.
At the time the Darter came out of the workshop, there were no other Lures like it as far as I know. Sure there may have been similar shapes and profiles around. But the action and the buoyancy, its sink rate and hang time hadn’t been seen before, here and for that matter anywhere. And like I said before, it only comes out of many long tedious hours playing around with lures until that piece of wood starts to behave how you want it to in the water at the end of the rod. It ‘s been well copied now by just about everyone who makes lures, the profiles of the lures will be slightly different but the principle is exactly the same.
Back to the story, it wasn’t long before the Darter got amongst the fish, and it wasn’t long before anglers realised the potential of this lure, and its consistency in catching pike in all the waters they swim.
Several sizes of the lure are now available, they all have basically the same action, darting from side to side whilst hanging or should I say appearing to hang tantalisingly in the water between twitches. The Titchy small and middle sizes are admirably suited to fishing in smaller venues such as canals, drains, and shallow pools. But they are equally at home on much larger deeper venues that the larger versions of the darter where built for. I think that on and in the deeper lakes where pike reside a larger lure profile can sometimes give you the edge, as the pike can be moving greater distances from beneath or from the sides of the lure. These larger lures cast great distances with the correct tackle, and are not affected by the wind as much which can and does howl across large open waters. Also because of their size, weight and momentum in the water a larger glide path or action is possible.
There has been so much written about the darter over the years, both here and abroad.
Diederik Terlaak Poot the Dutch angler went on to write many articles on the darter in one of them he stated that "using a darter is almost cheating"
Middle Darter in DL Perch