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Author Topic:  Some recent discoveries and experiences  (Read 1856 times)


Some recent discoveries and experiences
« on: September 21, 2017, 09:10:14 PM »
First, I would never claim that any bait is foolproof but instead that some baits work most time under most conditions. Thelaw of thelure must follow a certain formula to be successful:

right time / right place + right retrieve + right lure design = strike provocation

Of greatest importance is having confidence in the lure you're using and the only way to get that confidence is catching fish on it almost every time you fish.Soft plastic lures are my bread & butter for catching any fish species that bite lures and the greatest thing about soft plastic is the huge number of lure designs that fish attack. Some designs far outproduce others and those designs are the ones I keep on hand. But in order for any soft plastic or other material to work, jig head weight and hook size is extremely important. Jig weight determines lure action which is dependent on the type and rate of retrieve an angler uses.

Note: the wire attached is a bait keeper that prevents the lure from sliding down;
unpainted heads work as well if not better than painted lead;

The shorter the lure, the smaller the hook size for best lure action. Fish aren't capable of knowing the difference between hooks, but sense the differences between lure actions.

Lure action is dependent much of the time on the grub's tail design. Curl tail grubs must be moved at a certain speed in order to flap. Prong tail, thumper tail and flat tail designs quiver at almost a dead stop - an action fish notice and respond to when fish are the least inclined to chase a lure. Here are a few examples:

The above lures have all worked for crappie and most other fish species - including bass. None work better than the others when rigged on ball head jigs, but all provide actions fish can't seem to let alone.

Note about colors: All of the above colors work! Fish see what we see - bright, dark or subtle against some background whether it be the water's surface, sideways against weeds or less clear water, or against the bottom. Color never has to benatural but can be. Color outlines shape and enhances the tail action fish respond to. Recently I found the white thumper tail (barbell in shape) to be clobbered by perch, crappie and sunfish in the same area - total fish caught 10 in less than five minutes!

When it comes to line diameter, less is best for light lures. My suggestion would be the use of 10# test braid for the main line and a 4-6# test mono or fluorocarbon leader. The reasons for the small diameter leader is twofold: less line bow on the retrieve for better strike detection and the best allowable lure action. Fish are not line shy IMO but are sensitive to what a lure does on the retrieve - key to getting a response.

Rod action for light lures should always fall into lite and ultralight because:
1. fish should feel the least resistance to a lure once it's in it's mouth
2. fish should not be allowed to yank a hook out of it's mouth against a taut line / rod tip before a proper hook set happens.
Keeping the above in mind, a hook set is no where near that of a larger species using larger hooks which allows a rod tip over the shoulder power set. Instead, once a slight bump is felt at rod or reel handle, the rod tip is pulled to one side until the fish panics thereby allowing a firmer hook set with a rod tip twitch. Small gap hooks don't allow much more than that and hook sharpness must always be checked to begin piercing the skin of the mouth. Rarely do I ever experience a deep throated hook set but 99% of the time the hook is in the lip and is rarely pull out.

As you can see by the many lure designs pictured, even those produced by fusing the parts of two lures together and produce a hybrid lure that catches fish as well as any made. Variety to me is the spice of fish and I would be bored using only one design or color that works. In fact when I go fishing, I take along hybrids I made in my basement using a candle flame to fuse parts together and answer question I have regarding lure shape, action, size and color. The white barbel shaped grub was one I had my doubts would work, but fish insisted on biting it! In fact the largest crappie and perch of the day was caught on it. The other question answered once and for all was weird color combinations such as this bright pink/ green pumpkin flapper tail:

Note the fused area between tail and body.

A sunny decided to strike soon after the above:

Lastly is presentation defined as what the lure does based on the type of retrieve one uses. The lures shown will not catch fish if a steady retrieve is used - especially trolling behind a boat even moving slowly. Fish respond to slight changes in lure speed and direction which affect lure action by design - the magic that is so very important when using finesse action lures. Such an action is achieved by a combination of rod tip twitches, reel handle turns and pauses - slow but not too slow.
Even jigging a lure off bottom may required a long pause before the next hop or lure drag. Fish get excited from an inactive state by an object that moves the right way at the right speed. Whether the object represents any animal to a fish, I leave to those with an imagination to decide.

There are other great tips offered by the many experienced anglers on many forums and it always pays to consider them by simply asking the question : do they help? If they do, always keep them in mind when fishing. Adapting to where fish are is key to applying any tip from anyone and the excuse, 'fish just weren't biting', is one excuse I can never accept knowing what I do. The only reason I catch less than 30 fish on an outing is because I fished the wrong areas - wrong depth, wrong bottom, wrong shoreline and less often, the wrong lure size/ presentation.

As with most things one reads regarding fishing, controversy is a part of fishing that prevents agreement seeing as there will always be exceptions to the rule. But in general, the above has helped me catch fish after years of not doing well using the same old lures and tactics. Even my 6 year old grandkids did well the first time they held a fishing rod and that's proof enough!

Linkback: https://fishinpedia.com/bass-fishing-forums/catching-other-species-of-fish-fishinpedia/24/some-recent-discoveries-and-experiences/2671/


Re: Some advice based on recent discoveries and experiences
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 09:34:46 PM »
To add to the above, the mystery of fishing is made a bit clearer and less of a mystery every time I fish. Here are the questions that have been answered recently:

Will fish strike a bright pink lure even when the color is combined with another less bright? - yes as seen in the above post.

How many lure designs that were created in my workshop would actually work - especially those that resemble nothing ever sold?  A BUNCH!!! The Slider thumper tail in white (pic) that resembles a barbell worked great for four species in the same area.(see pics below)

How light a jig head should be used and when?  1/32 oz is the lightest I've found necessary to use given the fish's inactive state that required a very slow retrieve. If baits had to be shortened, 1/32 oz to 1/16 oz with smaller hooks were used for the best lure action.

Though I routinely use a 6# test fluorocarbon leader, could I forgo the leader and use orange 8# test Suffix line tied directly to the jig? It worked fine for shallow water fish.

Would the lure and location pattern stay around until the seasonal change?  It has for about a month regardless heavy rains and dying surface algae clumps.

Would the soft plastic, topwater jerk worm work and at what time of day? It got slammed by bass from 12:30 pm to 4 pm ! (#2 and #3 modified from #1)

Offline Coldbasser

Re: Some recent discoveries and experiences
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 08:12:37 PM »
 :fingers-crossed: I can attest to the fish catching aspect of Senkosams
Lure technology I was fortunate to receive a few of his baits & I'm still learning to slow down & fish light weight jigs & up to 6 lbs test line.

Great post & very much appreciated 


Re: Some recent discoveries and experiences
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 10:22:24 PM »
Thanks Fred! 

Along the same lines, I was on the water a few days ago and had an idea why fish bite lures and the difference in aggression levels. As most of us who've cast lures for decades know, some lures of a particular design outperform others within that design category. Take surface baits.

Before the many soft plastic surface lures were invented, Spooks, Poppers, Chuggers, Floating Rapalas and other plugs were the only lures available. They worked at times, which provided me with many fond memories. But then came along the weedless soft jerk bait like Flukes and the ones pictured in the post. Other than area type versatility (weeds), I found that bass were more apt to bite them than hard surface lures.

Theory: Fish are extremely sensitive to moving objects and that move in certain ways.
That sensitivity can make them strike or just nip a lure, but in all cases fish are the most sensitive detectors of shape, texture, size and motion of any aquatic animal. Could it be that the curl tail on the end of plastic worm contributed to the strike in combination with the profile, texture and maybe most important - it's unique motion apart from that of other soft plastics?

Mr Twister Phenom Worms were my bread and butter lures for years, but then the Senko came out with a totally different action fish attacked with abandon and on different rigs. I'll bet bass didn't know the soft stick was the same lure whether wacky rigged or Texas rigged, but only that they moved differently. In fact I suspect that within a fish's DNA, there are many such lure/presentation combinations a fish is programmed to respond to, some more often than others. This goes against the grain that fish are capable of thinking before they strike.

I'm guilty of spending a lot over the years searching for that magic lure that could far out catch fish regardless the conditions. Fish help me decide which lures are superior and those which end up taking up space in my basement. At least now I know I can modify certain lures that caught few fish when the bite was tough and test them.

Now when it comes to aggression levels, I look at it a couple ways. Fish schooled in any area are apt to bite a greater variety of lure types, sizes and action. I've caught pan fish on skirted jigs and 5" surface lures when they were super-sensitive. Fish not as aggressive may require changes to raise their level of aggression from one that stares at a lure to one that slams it. Cold water fishing is a perfect example of fish that don't need to eat often due to a slowed metabolism but that will still aggressively take the right lure presented the right way. Changes in water chemistry can affect fish even when the water is still over 70 degrees. Recently this was the case in one lake because of a seasonal algae die off and fluctuating surface water temperatures - night versus day by at least 5 degrees - in shallow water. To adapt, I found a small difference of in the length of a grub reduced by 1/8" lure made all the difference and in the case of the jigs shown, going from 1/16 oz down to a 1/32 oz jig head. Small changes can make a big difference when attempting to force fish to becoming aggressive. Typically when the bite is slowed, smaller and slower seem to get a reaction. At other times larger lures seem to work better possibly because they challenge a fish's space or overcome it's tolerance for anything strange suddenly entering the area.

Who knows for certain why fish respond differently to different lure and presentation tweaks, but fish like humans react to environmental changes resulting in changes in behavior.

Just some theories for you to consider produced by an imagination and based on years of experiences.


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