Ever since I caught my first bass on a crankbait, I've wondered if most of what I read or heard regarding lures is correct. In order to test those statements of fact
such as those of Homer Circle and other household names in fishing, actual time on the lake or river is essential - one can't challenge conventional wisdom
from and arm chair.
The first statement we've all heard is that matching the local or current forage is necessary to get fish to bite. This is easily disproved when two anglers in the same boat catch fish on different lure types and lure colors.
When it comes to colors, are natural
colors the best? If so, why do fluorescent colors work regardless the season? Yesterday I wanted to see if this unnatural combination could catch fish:
Bright pink body and brown pumpkin tail were grub colors I would never have thought could work many years ago, but the grub pictured caught eight fish / four species, same for the chartreuse grub.
When I think of fine tuning
tackle to conditions, I think in terms of tackle and presentation such as what line type and diameter, lure length and action. An ultra light lure must be matched with a light action rod and small diameter line otherwise sensitivity to a subtle strike is lost and when setting the hook, it's pulled out when fish sense something wrong.
I had to experiment with different lines, jig head weights and hook sizes to see which combo when matched to a grub would cast the furthest and allow good hook sets.
are those that combine the parts of two soft plastic lures using a candle flame and the combos that work
are infinite. Those that don't work are noted and never made again. In fact I would have to say that for me, most soft plastic lures right off the rack fall short for reasons I can only guess such as: tail or body too thick and/or the lure too long for a desired action.
Watching a lure move in the water gives me an idea of how fast I can move it and what action I should impart - especially after fish are caught! That lure needs to be duplicated and taken on every trip because successful lures work any
time once they've proven themselves better than others. This not to say that only one size lure of a great lure should always be used. Fish will strike larger lures at times with a gusto shorter lures might not. But when the bite is tough due to seasonal transitions (especially in early fall), I lean toward smaller light lures and slower presentations.
Back to color choice. A good lure works in most colors no matter how strange and unnatural and colors may be divided into super bright and subtle categories. Actual hue is a personal
preference - not a fish's - and you might be surprised how well strange colors work. Anyway, what fish see is most times different than what we see with lure in hand considering water clarity and color. Believing fish have expectations as regard to color, is an age old superstition busted the first time you catch fish on a fluorescent pink or fluorescent chartreuse lure. Again, lure action speaks louder than color any day!
When it comes to what is the best time to catch fish, my experience over decades and especially recently, is when you hit the water. Much of my fishing is started after 11 am and much of my best catches are from 12 pm on - like yesterday when I found a mixed school at 2pm and clobbered bass and pan fish until 3:30 pm along two shorelines.
Ask questions and try to find answers while on the water. Fish much of the time are happy to assist --- until they're on board your boat!