We have noticed bass fisherman and tournament anglers are turning to artificial lure fishing more than ever before. The reasons why can be summed up as follows, but more importantly we recognize the change and have a solution for you.
A) Lures present more of a challenge and develop an angler's skill.
B) When you hook a fish on a artificial lure, it's just you and the fish at opposite ends of the line. As we like to say, "one jerk, pulling on another."
The usual argument against artificial lures is that they get hung up and we lost them to often to be worth the cost. Artificial lures can indeed be snagged and lost, we see it each day. However, a little patience and a lot of practice will alter your odds considerably. While the old adage "a marketed lure, catch more fishermen than fish," maybe this has some truth to it. This is only one more benefit of hiring a professional guide, you use and loose his. Wisdom will prevail if you ask yourself why you really want to purchase all of those artificial lures.
It used to be simple to lure fish, there were four basic types: Plugs, Plastics, Spoons, and Hard Iron. Nowadays, specialization and style have overthrown simplicity. There are some lures that have such a specific style that they cannot fit a category. And still others have properties that could match several descriptions. And yes, there are more colors available then there is in a rain bow. How to make sense of it all?
A QUICK LIST OF ARTIFICIAL LURES WE THROW ON GUIDE TRIPS
Crank Baits: Usually refers to a shallow, medium or deep diver. Medium size body is used the most by freshwater anglers. The bodies are, oval, round and flat baits.
Jerk Baits: The style of jerking or pulling a lure created lots of action. It's most often a floating lure, but most do sink to a slow fall. We do add weight at times, in conditions of wind, deeper water or we just want it to sink faster. Most common used would be, Senko's, Zoom Super Fluke used.
Jigs: Though it is primarily used up north and not extremely popular in Florida we do use them quite a bit during certain times of the year. A jig could mean anything with a lead head fastened on the top of the hook. While one of the best lures to date on the market is the so called "shaky head" which is probably one of the most productive for us. We do still fish the common skirted jig which when used it can product big trophy bass. They can be used jig-style, pitching, flipping or cast and retrieved.
Plastics. Almost always means soft plastic like worms, crayfish, frogs, and swim baits. Modern times have rendered it essentially meaningless as a term.
Plugs:Examples of all three categories are found in Rapala, Shad Rap, Bomber, Rebel, Rat-L-Trap, and Pencil Poppers. The term "plug" is also a holdover from the past and is more verb than noun these days.
Spinner Baits. This is the lure with a lead head on one end of a v-shaped wire and a blade or pair of blades on the other. It is almost always a productive bass lure. We can so how to change blades and choose the right colors to catch more fish.
Spoons. The common Spoons wobble and ripple the water, and more often than not they reflect light. They more commonly are thrown on the big lakes like Okeechobee and Toho that have lots of grass. Most of them, like Johnson Spoon are weedless and are made of metal, but there are some plastic varieties.
Stick Baits: This is a minnow-shaped lure that is supposed to resemble darting, skipping baitfish. They work on the surface and dive up to15 feet on light line. It can be retrieved steadily or jerked. Examples are Bagley's Bang-O-Lure, Luck Craft Pointer Excalibur, Rebel, and Rapala among many a world of others. A go to lure for most pros and when used right can catch fish in almost any conditions.
Swim Baits. Just about every angler saw the Banjo Minnow on TV, and most of us scoffed that it was too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Just one more gimmick. Maybe. But there is quite a lot to be said for swim baits. They do catch fish and big fish! However, most anglers will sacrifice a relatively inexpensive swim bait for a nice fish. They throw beautifully and retrieve splendidly; there isn't much doubt about that. Rigging is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. It's a bait that is best used with lots of confidence!
Artificial Lure Fishing Techniques
Finally, here are some techniques and pointers about casting and retrieving, that our guides offer on our trip when artificial lure fishing.
1)A basic sense in fishing is "Retrieve fast in warm water, retrieve slowly in cold water." At the same time, be prepared to vary your retrieve, both the speed and the style. Fish strike for many reasons. They could be hungry, reacting to instinct, or protecting their nests, and sometimes change will trigger a response.
2) Try to cast slightly beyond your target area so that the artificial lure is functioning properly by the time it reaches your objective.
3) Choosing the color for a artificial lure, "Light days, light colors; dark days, dark colors." You may think that just the opposite would work since the contrast would show off the lure, but that's actually why you wouldn't want to do it!
4)Remember two keywords: Presentation and Presence. You are bringing an artificial object into a fish's environment, trying to trick that fish into biting that lure. The more naturally and deliberately that lure moves through that environment, the better your chances of success.