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Author Topic:  What determines whether a lure is great, average or not worth casting?  (Read 117 times)

Offline SENKOSAM

I've been making many of my own lures for a while and most have caught fish, but I wondered what separates those than catch from those that don't. But then it just occurred to me that much of the time a lure is only as good as the angler using it and if certain conditions are ignored few lures can prove their stuff or provoke strikes.

One factor that is extremely important is where a lure is used - depth being upmost in importance. Many anglers like myself like to fish water less than 10' deep and that usually requires different lures than those that are used in water water 15' or deeper.

For example, I fished a deep reservoir with a friend a few years ago but didn't have crankbaits that dived deep enough over an old roadbed on the bottom. My partner hooked me up and I hooked bass in water at least 15' deep. Of course there are many other lures I could have used that effectively catch fish in 15', but when the deep-dive crankbait bite is on, why bother?  

On the same water we hit steep shorelines with steps going down and my jig & trailer did fine in water around 7' deep. He tried a drop shot but nada. Would a spinnerbait have worked? Maybe, but again I wanted to cover the bottom with the fastest presentation needed - but not too fast. And I didn't want to cast lures that were too slow dropping, too small in profile and having too little action such as many finesse designs exhibit. And so rather than use a light 1/4 oz jig, I cast a 1/2 oz jig for a greater vertical speed.

So, those lure examples are those that excel in deeper water along with modified presentations  that provoke the most strikes and those I have the most confidence in. So what is it about shallow water that's different when it comes to lures? First off, there are more lures that can be fished shallow in comparison to those used in deep water. Take the Senko - please! What depth do you prefer to use it? As for myself, 6' or less and a great design in shallow water.  But as good as the Senko is, there are other shallow-use lures that cover more water effectively and in all lure categories. But among those categories, a few stand out.  

Shallow water lure designs are limited only by the imagination and the actions of many are unique. Having experimented with new soft plastic designs and caught fish on them, has shown me that bass and other species are far less picky much of the time than using crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Slower presentations in shallow water are the reason. In fact most of these baits can be used by most anyone to catch fish with even a little bit of skill, but only as long as fish are shallow or near shallow water (IE near a break into deep water).

So, though I would prefer to take credit for phenomenal lure designs, I can't, seeing as how very many shallow water designs work more months of the year and for more fish species. It could be said that shallow water bass are more susceptible to lures whether suspending or active and those lures don't need much talent to catch fish except a twitch here and there to get hit.

What we use and how we use it will always depend on where we use it to catch fish, the best lures always dependent on those factors.






Linkback: https://fishinpedia.com/bass-fishing-forums/lure-talk-fishinpedia/10/what-determines-whether-a-lure-is-great-average-or-not-worth-casting/2801/

Offline Oldschool

Location, timing, then lure selection. If you are not in the right place at the right time lure selection is meaningless.
What makes bass fishing so much fun for so many different anglers is bass strike a varity of lures presented several different ways.
What seperated the better anglers from others is the ability to catch bass consistantly and basic knowledge of bass behavior to determine where to fish and when.
Select lures that can be fished effectively where the bass are located, at the depth they are feeding that looks similar to what those bass are looking for. If bass are feeding on crawdads use bottom bumping lures, baitfish use faster moving lures that look similar to those bait fish,surface feeding anything moving on top that looks alive.
Tom

Offline SENKOSAM

Quote
Location, timing, then lure selection. If you are not in the right place at the right time lure selection is meaningless.
What makes bass fishing so much fun for so many different anglers is bass strike a varity of lures presented several different ways.

Select lures that can be fished effectively where the bass are located, at the depth they are feeding.....
Tom, we're on the same page with the above, but I have questions about the rest:

Quote
at the depth they are feeding that looks similar to what those bass are looking for. If bass are feeding on crawdads use bottom bumping lures, baitfish use faster moving lures that look similar to those bait fish,surface feeding anything moving on top that looks alive.

Unless someone is underwater telling me what bass are feeding on, how do I know - especially in shallow water? How do I know which bait fish bass are feeding on - if they even are - an how large in general? Baitfish generally don't swim fast - they suspend in schools - unless attacked where they dart around for a few seconds and then return to suspending.

I fish for smallmouth locally and the river averages less than 8 feet deep. Most of the best bites are near banks or on rocky flats near rapids. If the surface bite it on (almost always before 10AM, surface lures get used. After that time, a large number of subsurface lures can be tried: soft plastics, spinnerbaits, jigs, etc. - many different designs or lure types bass hit even midday.

The same goes for lakes I fish. Some bass are deeper, some shallower, both usually respond to the same lures whether on the bottom, on the surface or in between. The only consideration is whether fish will chase a lure rather than have to be slowly provoked into biting one with a much slower presentation - including retrieve speed and type of retrieve.

If I had to guess, I'd say bass suspend 95 % of the time (especially in the north in winter), but are alway keenly aware of objects that make their way into their strike zone (zone of provocation). Whether bass care if the object is alive, to me, is not as important as whether the object annoys it into reacting - same as a cat chasing an object tied to a string after watching it for a short time. Both bass and cats are predators by nature, simply reacting to moving objects not having the ability to imagine or care what the objects are unless they are real animals. IMO, by their very nature, predators sense that an animal is an animal and attack because of: 1. vulnerability (can't fight back), 2. edibility (sizewise), 3. easy to catch and consume with the least effort, and 4., because of 1-3, worth the effort.  All animals naturally conserve energy and only hunt for food a minority of the time. Bass are opportunists, but when opportunity knocks - whether the object is a real animal or simply something (??) that its senses become aware of, as a predator, it is prone to attack.

Spitting out lures is well known after fish have bitten them. One might think it's because the fish figured out the object was yuk, but on the other hand one might consider what led to the strike in the first place: to simply attack that which moved a certain way.  I would love to think the skirted jig and pork trailer I'm casting represents a crawfish or some other animal, but since I can't prove what a fish thinks or even that it can think, I chose lures on a trial basis to see what bass are reacting to in that at time and place.

Anything else is what an angler imagines the reason fish strike particular lures when it comes to what their feeding on. I'd just as soon not guess wrong but rather, with trial & error, discover what they'll bite at the time of day in that location. Could be one of may lures or just a few.

Offline SENKOSAM

The bass don't read magazines, messageboards, or watch fishing tv shows and instructional you tube videos.  I don't know how many times over the years this has been proven to me.  Personal experimentation and experience is your #1 resource, everything else is just a guideline.

With that said, those other resources (including UB) are wonderful because you get to see other's experimentation and experience, and you can also get tons of ideas to expand your own.

I'm just trying to reinforce what others have said, that there is no wrong way if it's working.  A lot of the latest greatest lures and techniques came about because somebody was using an existing bait/method "the wrong way".   

 ~c~

It would be nice if bass recognized our lures - especially soft plastics. They react or they don't and whether T rigged or Texposed matters not if the lure is fished wrong (IE presentation). There's a lot to be said regarding presentation and some lures can be fished different ways on different rigs. Certain soft plastic designs can be fished horizontally or vertically - one is in contact with the bottom, the other rarely touches bottom. Either can be fished slowly or faster - but never too fast because fish have to sense the lure long before it expends the energy to attack it.

Too much is attributed to fish IQ which is zero in human terms. Regardless of the rig you're using, ya think a fish ponders it and rejects a lure because of a rig type? Bass and all other fish (except the lowly carp) are sense machines! Once they feel and see a lure, it's just a matter of making the fish an offer it can't refuse. 

Lure size can be a huge strike or no-strike factor, more so than the rigging of a lure. Fish are bullies that seem to have the need to overpower a moving object - whether animal or lure. If a prey animal, it eats it if it doesn't have to chase it to far; better yet if it's stationary. But if an object (lure) stimulates its senses long enough and becomes a major pain-in-the-caudal fin lo (IE the lateral line), fish tend to want whatever is irritating it to stop and does so with their mouths - the only substitute they have sans hands. In a sense, it's scratching an itch.

A combination of lure factors tops rigging most times and part of that combo is lure size (girth and length), action, color(maybe) and shape (which most times determines lure action and presentation possibilities).

A little imagination and an open mind on the anglers part can make all the difference when it comes to what lures are used and how they are used. There is no wrong way to fish lures unless certain ways never or rarely get strikes. Time and 1000 casts tell all.

Sorry for the long rant, but at my age and having caught fish on many lures many ways, I can say with absolute certainty that the best way to not catch bass it to limit oneself by not discovering for oneself what works, when and where it works. Videos and magazine articles offer possibilities base on another's opinion. Nothing is carved in stone.

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