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lure choice considerations - theoretical #13377210 12/19/19 04:11 PM
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SenkoSam Offline OP
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I recently was wondering why skirtless tubes worked but unfortunately from a human POV and not a fish's. Not being able to do much in the cold weather, I was in the basement workshop looking at lure composites I recently made and it came to me certain lure characteristics that increase strike potential - and of which there are a million combinations. We would like to think that certain lures are far superior because they've loaded the boat without questioning why or at least applying design characteristics fish are prone to turn fish aggressive from a suspended state. Here are a few just off the top of my head:
1. lure contrast
a. This includes color brightness such as fluorescent colors that stand out like a neon sign.
b. Laminate color contrast such as a darker color on one surface/ bright color on the other; bright tail color/dark body
c. Flash to include flakes in the plastic or on it's surface; spinning flashing blades (IE in-line)

2. shape and size combos that match the potential of a fish striking
a. Sometimes less is better IE under a float; at other times increased body bulk plus length challenge a fish's territory regardless the size fish.
b. certain lure profiles are programmed into a fish's DNA - depending on the fish in a specific water, keeping in mind that there are no guarantees of universal appeal.
c. a fish's current aggressiveness that falls into a range from 1-5 determines what shapes and size fish will attack -IE pre-spawn fish in the shallow and school fish are very aggressive.

3. lure action
a. there are many that do better retrieved slowly with pauses; other do fine trolled at a medium speed but that have a bill-induced wobble (crankbaits).
b. vibration-type picked up by sonic detection merits a close inspection of what a lure looks and acts like on various retrieves which matters more than we know. The waddle of a skirtless tube or my cone tails is a perfect example of a unique action that works most of the time. My 2-2.5" wacky grub-stick is another where tip & body twitch/quiver is another that I swear by.
c. horizontal action vs vertical action are key considerations for choosing lure design and presentation. This coupled with lure speed in either direction determine a lure's success.

I've seen many lures that were outstanding in certain waters, some that were more universal in appeal. But I can only look at them from a why-did-they-work point of view and not the numbers caught. The why they caught fish is the combination of factors mentioned above which I take into consideration and consider applying to lures I choose to fish with - either premade or homemade. It's like picking a lock and being able to open a safe - one lock per different safe and discovering key components of that combination.

Theoretical combination-by-design examples:
Spoon minnow grub : subtle thin, straight tail shimmy that tickles the lateral line slowly and in place
minnow shape profile built in to a fish's DNA
dart & pause retrieve that fits the profile or suspended under a float
[Linked Image]

Wacky mini-stick grub: caterpillar / slug design/ profile,
also a DNA stored profile
body and tail quiver with or without rod tip induced action
slim profile easy to eat
action that also tickles the lateral line at any depth we choose to fish it slowly and in one part of the water column.
[Linked Image]

Crankbait:
vibration: clacking hooks, maybe rattles inside the lure, major wobble (large bill) or quick tight wobble (Rat L Trap) that smack the lateral line and induce ambush-type strikes

Fish aggression range matters as does various DNA-lure combination potentials. Not all fish hit crankbaits as often as others - the window may be much narrower. Fish caught in waters without much pressure are more apt to hit more lures having different combinations of factors. So to think that a lure is universally successful may misleading when 50 or more fish are caught in one outing. This ignores all other lures that could have done just as well.

So in conclusion, my quest is to discover specific lure combination factors-by-design that fish respond to more often than not, and not just a lure that did well without investigating the combination that induced many species and size fish to strike it.

Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: SenkoSam] #13379566 12/22/19 06:54 AM
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Scents work. The problem is that most are oil or to oily. I use what I call stinky string but its not that stinky and its dry. Its specific amino acids, other proteins and a tiny bit of oil. Stinky string alone on a hook catches more fish than many lures that I've had. The pic shows it looped around the hook but it can also be hooked or tied, or tied like a bow.

Attached Files 20191222_014108~2.jpg20191222_015211~2.jpg
Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: SenkoSam] #13379571 12/22/19 10:17 AM
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It amazes me fish strike those ! Goes to show you that lures don't need to be pretty, nor match the appearance of a prey animal to catch fish. I'm not into scent but I wouldn't discount it as a reason fish attack them being that it's relates to the senses. Though if I had to guess the reason for their success, it would be the action tail of the grub and the spinner blade and tail feather action of the one on the right. Scent and color IMO are secondary considerations.

You've discovered a set of lure components that in combination are in contrast with a fish's environment and provoke sense-related attacks.

Nice going !

Last edited by SenkoSam; 12/22/19 10:20 AM.
Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: SenkoSam] #13379754 12/22/19 04:43 PM
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I always thought that you have to get the fish's attention first. Flash, movement, vibration, ect. I remember reading that Bass only see two colors red and green. At depths those colors look black. Black and white are not colors.

Nothing on the fishing market flashes like these crystals. They flash the 7 colors of the rainbow but no matter what color they flash. They also flash UV light that penetrates murky water. A multitude of sharp, bright, long distance flashes in all directions up down, right, left, front and back. They get noticed. The stinky string gets them to bite. It smells and tastes like food.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube of many different game fish following lures but not hitting them. There are plenty of videos of bass inhaling numerous types of lures and spitting them out just as fast. The lure gets their attention but it doesn't taste like food. If you don't feel the hit and quickly set the hook you miss fish.

Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: SenkoSam] #13380484 12/23/19 01:45 AM
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Quote
I always thought that you have to get the fish's attention first. Flash, movement, vibration, ect.

Nice observation.

That same idea came to me this afternoon - you gotta get their attention and then hold it long enough to let the lure's action push its buttons so it strikes.
Unlike some lure companies and a few anglers who post on forums would insist, there are more than just a chosen few lures that can accomplish the above - ANYTIME!
It simply comes down to the combination we choose.

I forgot to mention that a part of the combination must include angler input using the best hand/wrist action, reel speed and presentation that complements a particular lure design that makes it effective. If a lure is used incorrectly, it could be the best one ever and yet snubbed by fish. Each of the lures below have different ways of using them that make them eye catchers and strike provokers due to each's unique action and size:
[Linked Image]

The Sweet Beaver mod I would use on bottom, allowing the bulky body and flapping tails to get the job done.Bass and catfish I expect would strike it - not panfish.

The three sticks -bottom left - can be rigged wacky and regular. Both rigs can be used anywhere in the water column due to a body quiver or body whip action using a slow retrieve.

The smallest grub with the thick butt is rigged the regular way using a light jig. It has a unique bob & weave action of a boxer and gets hit by all species.

The grub-worms that have the tail of a Kut Tail Worm or copy of it, have a unique whip action that quivers and wags on the pause - one of my greatest discoveries in the last few years.

The white hair jig (my dog's hair) is the most finesse action lure there is except feather and breathes and pulsates with the least action applied. It's works with slow retrieves or when used under a float.

A good combination is no different than that of a lock or a boxer in that it never changes and always works more often than not in the right place and time. Pro anglers understand the importance of combinations and excel using them once fish are located, but so can anyone - even a newbie just starting out.

Last edited by SenkoSam; 12/27/19 10:08 AM.
Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: SenkoSam] #13542622 05/02/20 02:45 PM
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great thread, keep it coming


GOD is good!
Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: SenkoSam] #13542654 05/02/20 03:15 PM
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Okay, I had other thoughts (actually quite a few) regarding why fish strike lures.
When you think about all the lures angler catch fish with - even catfish - does it ever make you wonder "what the heck do fish think they are?". Here's my take:
So many times you hear or read about lures having a natural look whether in appearance or in action. For the life of me I can't think of any that are remotely natural in any way but in fact it's the unnatural quality of lures that provoke/ coerce fish to strike. Take the spinnerbait. Bright, strobe-like flashing blade and pulsating skirt. What the H in nature does that resemble?!! Another example:
Crankbaits waddle either in a wide path or subtly depending on bill width and length. Again, what prey fish waddles?
The skirted jig & trailer is a creature from another world as far as predator fish are concerned - especially if you add a Rage Tail Craw as a trailer!

Most of us have used unnatural lure colors from bubblegum, to fire tiger (fluorescent chartreuse, lime green and fire orange). Fish wouldn't be caught dead in those colors nor are fish translucent! Here's an example of a 5" swim-grub I colored this morning:
[Linked Image]
I have no doubt fish will attack it because of shape, action and colors, but do clear plastics catch fish such as these?
[Linked Image]
The first bass I ever caught using a clear plastic Zara Spook convinced me that the side-to-side swish and rattles were key.

The other consideration: prey don't change colors as they move but lure colors do change constantly on the retrieve whereas prey look the same moment to moment. Fine, certain crankbaits like the one below may look like a prey fish (to humans), but certainly doesn't move like one nor sound like one with its clacking treble hooks and nose down, side-to-side action .
[Linked Image]

Anyone ever cast a Worden's or Helin's Flatfish crankbait or one similar in design? Pretty bizarre in motion to a fish, but fish will strike it at times as they do lures that hop, jump, waddle, spin, whirl, shake rattle and roll. Can't think of anything less natural. What were these catfish thinking!!
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
or this 7.5 lb cat ?:
[Linked Image]

Last edited by SenkoSam; 05/02/20 03:34 PM.
Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: SenkoSam] #13542688 05/02/20 03:44 PM
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Part 3 Why fish strike lures - the nitty gritty of specific lure triggers

It's not that the selling of lures is bad, just that hype presented in the form of articles and videos were inaccurate and confusing. For example, any articles in fishing magazines gave reasons to carry x,y and z lures in colors to match prey animals and colorations colors. Not until Keith Jones wrote Knowing Bass did I finally respect a writer that was a fish biologist and defined what fish see and feel when it came to lures. I don't even condemn the many that just wanted a paycheck, many who were celebrity anglers such as Roland Martin and Bill Dance. The misinformation had me and many others believing the wrong things when it came to why fish bite lures. I guess I stopped following their advice once I started making my own lures such as spinners, spinnerbaits, jigs and trailers and then testing them in different waters.

(Note: Roland Martin did give me the idea of attaching a huge willow leaf blade to a spinnerbait claiming it helped him win a bass tournament. And ya know, it caught fish! but not for the reasons he gave. His other weird lure, The Helicopter Lure, was junk and it disappeared along with the Flying Lure - a flat tube and the Banjo Minnow (all of which I chucked in the garbage.)

Of the millions of lures sold, many were worth the money and for reasons having to do with specific strike triggers-by-design in-combination. Triggers include lure shape and action, texture, speed range of retrieve and size.
Look at all the lure examples above and you'll find that each has a specific set of strike triggers such as this hand poured swimbait:
[Linked Image]
This is only a guess on my part, but the lure's triggers - in combination in this case consist of the paddle tail that causes the thin shape to shimmy through the water.But as you can see by this other bass caught within the hour, color wasn't a factor nor the exact shape design. The second swimbait was poured using a different mold.
[Linked Image]
The top lure was rigged on a weighted wide gap hook weedless; the bottom lure was rigged on a 1/4 oz ball head jig hook exposed. Both were retrieved like a spinnerbait: steady and medium fast (another trigger regarding speed.)

So when you find an incredible lure that catches fish more than most of the same type, consider a combination of triggers (obvious or obscure) as the only reason the lures work so well in many waters and seasons. I have a long list of lures that are exceptional and a much larger list of lures where their trigger combinations don't provoke strikes. Pays to keep a photo log of lures and the fish they caught for future reference. This way there's no guessing and photo proof is unquestionable.

Last edited by SenkoSam; 05/02/20 04:07 PM.
Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: SenkoSam] #13542695 05/02/20 03:49 PM
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SenkoSam, your comments about spinner baits is right on. I can't wrap my head around a fish thinking a tiny jig head that looks like the head of a tiny baitfish , surrounded by wire, spinning blades, and a skirt would look good to eat. But I have been catching on them more and more lately as I have began to experiment with different ways to fish them.


GOD is good!
Re: lure choice considerations - theoretical [Re: ReelSlow] #13542729 05/02/20 04:12 PM
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Key word experiment .

The more lures you catch fish on, the more that that the concept of trigger combinations make sense. Guess what - there are thousands!
Being a soft plastic maker, designer and modifier, I have loads of fun catching fish of different species on many different lures on the same water. But before I forget: some lures excel using certain or multiple presentations as part of the combination. Take the skirted jig and trailer example.

A long time ago before plastic trailers were sold, I use Uncle Josh's #1 and #11 pork frog (no way a frog). The triangular skin tails at the back of the almost half moon chunk, I found flapped on the drop. After having caught bass using it with that presentation, I noticed the same tails flapping when retrieving it back for another cast. So the idea popped into my head, why not swim the jig like a spinnerbait and see what happens ?!! Dang if it didn't catch bass in or on different structure in 5' or less! Years later I found different jig trailers that worked horizontally or on the drop just as well as that good ol' pork trailer.

Combinations are just that - the parts of which may be changed to produce lures as good as the original.

Last edited by SenkoSam; 05/15/20 08:22 AM.
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