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lurecrafter
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317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At one time I belonged to two tournament clubs at the same time and fished from my bass boat for most club events. I couldn't tell you how much gas I used for the truck to tow the boat and the 90 hp Mercury motor, but considering fishing at least 45 minutes away from home for each tournament, I used a considerable amount of fuel. Add to that, fishing a local private lake every chance I got though close to home still had me filling the tanks every two weeks or so.

With gas through the roof, I don't know if I could have afforded that expense given the three kids and other expenses. Gas engines haven't improved that much (truck or boat) when it comes to fuel economy especially for 150+ HP motors. For newbies, bass boats can go as high as $70,000 and that's for a used Ranger, though many new boats sell for a lot less and come with a warranty.

I sold my Ranger bass boat a few years ago and fish from smaller aluminum boats, length depending on whether fishing solo or with buddies. No trailer means no registration fee or added insurance. Granted, the truck only get 14 mpg, but a 2.5 hp Merc does fine pushing the boat where I want it to go on smaller waters and uses far less gas than the 90 hp. Besides, I fish for all species that bite - not just bass - and when not on the water, make and design soft plastic lures like the one I showed in a recent post.

Granted, tournament fishing was fun (except for a few a.holes that thought winning was everything), but I don't miss it or targeting only bass.
 

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I definitely agree with you. I was never into like you were.But I was a member of Long Island Bassmasters years ago, only did small club tournies. I fish oit of a 10 ft Pond Prowler, I catch more fish and have more fun than I ever did. My electric motor uses no gas, my tow vehicle gets 25 MPH on the highway. I still target smallies but anything puts a tug on the line is great! Enjoy yor time on the water Tight Lines!
 

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lurecrafter
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317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I guess it was more for the comarderie and learning from more skilled anglers than myself. Plus I got to teach newbies the basics. The money or how I placed wasn't primary - learning new waters was. Other than the expense of tournaments, the downside added expense was buying stuff I would rarely or never use thinking that the next magic lure was going to be a hands down winner. Same for rods and reels for bass of which I have far too many in storage that I'll never use.
I use light tackle and lures though tempted at times to bring along a baitcaster and heavy lures for bass.The challenge of catching 2# or larger bass on a light action rod is a thrill while that fish bends the crap out of it, wondering if I'll be able to document the size and species before it snaps my line (braid).
This one already had a Senko type stick hooked deep:
Water Fisherman Fish Lake Recreational fishing


But still attacked my claw lure:
Water Fish Ray-finned fish Tail Plant


It says something for smaller lures.
 

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You are definitely right, the thrill of a bass on light tackle. I fish a lot of Ned rigs on light and medium light set ups, I have always been a finesse angler. Last year I had a 5# smallie on Lilly and this year in Alexandria Bay, Ive never caught a fish with another bait in it, but I have have two bass on one lure a few years back. I think in the current times a lot of anglers will be scalling back, Ive heard a lot of pros switching to Alum boats for economy and getting into tight spots. Also with a smaller a boat I feel fish areas more thoroughly due to teh reduced range. Overall I think it made me a better angler in the long run.
 

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lurecrafter
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317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your're right about going into shallow water areas larger boats can't access. Plus the noise of gas motors entering an area may put off some strikes in those areas. Finesse for me all the way!
 

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you two guys are rare stalwarts that will still post on here! Frank: I have been killing various species lately with blade-baits 18-22 feet deep on the 'Voirs.......Yellow, whites, sunnies, Catfish, occasional Crappies, you name it....
 

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lurecrafter
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317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would love to see some examples of the lures John. Lure action is my middle name and I'm fascinated by the huge variety of lure actions that catch pretty much everything which is why I'm always searching for unique shapes /actions.

BTW - one of the best designed forums anywhere!!!!! Guess I'll have to post more just for the fun of it. At the least, I could place to store my findings minus any feedback. LOL
Frank
 

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HardCore
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I fished club tourneys, regional circuits, Federation tourneys, and even a couple forays into the national BASS tourneys back when it was still semi-affordable, for 30-plus years. And then one day, waiting through a fog delay for the start of the tournament up at Ti, I decided I was done. Fished that day, but skipped day two of the tourney and went pig hunting to a nearby lake instead. Caught an 8 pounder, too. Never had the urge to fish competitively again.
These days, I fish from an18 foot aluminum with a 70. Small ponds, rivers, big impoundments, salt water. Doesn't matter. I have enough boat to handle most of it, and enough common sense not to try in conditions beyond what it will safely and comfortably handle.
Still consider myself a bass fisherman, but fish as much or more for stripers these days as fresh water bass, just because it's close and I like big fish. Once upon a time, C'wood was my "home lake". Won't go near it these days except for rainy mid-week days. If there aren't a couple tourneys going on there, there's 20 boats out practicing for tomorrow's or next weekend's tourneys. I don't need to deal with that.
 

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lurecrafter
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317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I have been killing various species lately with blade-baits 18-22 feet deep on the 'Voirs.......Yellow, whites, sunnies, Catfish, occasional Crappies, you name it....
This may be off topic John, but you hit on something that's universal to fishing lures vs live bait: the magic of lures that catch fish of all species. The following is a dissertation of my belief why fish strike lures, so if you're not into long reads, flip the page.

This post is in memory of a fellow fishing fanatic who passed recently that was of the same opinion why fish strike lures. This is only one man's opinion so please don't shoot the writer. I don't expect any replies considering the various reasons we believe certain lures catch fish such as color and the designs we have confidence casting having caught fish with them.

I've been fascinated by man made objects: lures that catch fish and over the years have spent thousands of dollars in the buying lures I hoped would do well or in fact better than others. Once I got into making many of my own such as spinners, spinnerbaits, all kinds of jigs and now mostly soft plastics, did I finally discover a central theme of why many caught fish. Simply put: lures poke the bear or in fish terms: poke fish senses so that they respond aggressively. So, how might lures accomplish that?

Take your own sense of feel. Once a biting bug sticks you, you become more sensitive/ irritated and mostly likely pissed off when it comes to others of those little bastards attempting to suck your blood leaving behind an itchy welt! 😬 That said, keen sight and/ or sound (vibration) detection is what fish depend on to survive though not always aviod danger. (Heron come to mind.) A simple brain is the conduit between those senses and a body ready to respond to the presence of live animals (or lures) once detected nearby. Fish may watch a moving object such as an insect on the surface or a hair jig under a float, but it must be in the mood to strike. When it comes to lures not all lures have the same potential regardless right place/right time given the simple fact that fish suspend most of their lives to conserve energy.

I don't care what fishing articles say about why fish strike lures or what to use based on what they are supposedly eating. Consider this simple fact: lures are UNNATURAL in all respects. They don't move like anything that ever lived and many lures can't even be considered freaks-of-nature considering how unnatural they look. Fish do not have an imagination much less are able to correlate what a lure is supposed to represent i.e. a prey animal.

So, of all the lures all of you have consistently caught fish on why have they done so well over many years? I'm not just talking just a few types of lures but the wide variety of lures that have proven themselves in general. This word that seems most applicable: COMBINATION.

As we have all found out after casting many different lures, when it comes to lures, not all lures have the same potential regardless the right place and time used. I look at it this way: Provoking fish to strike is like knowing the combination to a lock. The best anglers are able to figure out the combination and load the boat. Other than knowing when and where to use lures is knowing the basics of why some lures poke the bear, and it goes back to lure characteristics - in combination - that get it done.

The elements of a good combination are: shape, size, action, weight and lure material. Most anglers don't question the reason(s) that set similar lures apart but the elements of a combination say it all! Take crankbaits for example. For bass, size may or may not be important as long as the lure has the right wiggle you want. Does it suspend or float? Is bill size and shape correct for the depth and action desired? Screw what it's supposed to look like to a fish! It either catches fish more often than many other crankbaits or it doesn't.

Once I discover a particular combination of lure action/ shape/ lure material/ and size that catches fish, I document it with photos taken of fish caught that day and on any days after. Just a few caught fish is all it takes to have confidence in a combination that I'm convinced will always catch fish that are hypersensitive to being poked. Hypersensitivity is a must and I believe that certain lures can raise a fish's sensitivity level higher from a just-hanging-out state. Smaller and slower are two considerations that have allowed me to rack up the numbers that include some nice quality fish regardless the species.

John's example shows that fish will be fish regardless the species. Good lures i.e good combinations used the right way (presentation) have the highest potential. One design I discovered recently that has blown me away is what I call the light bulb:
Green Body jewelry Blue Cosmetics Yellow
Water Liquid Fluid Plastic bottle Bottle


I have not doubt considering the over 200 fish of all types and sizes caught on it that I will always be in my tackle box. I even increased the size to 2 3/4" to catch mostly bass that get hyper real fast when something like this lumbers close violating its space.
Hand Finger Terrestrial plant Thumb Fish


Why does the design catch fish? The shape when twitched waddles. That's it! I can use it at any depth and on many jig weights and depth fished. (The one above is 1/32 oz for catching fish in water less than 3'). It can be used off bottom or horizontal to it.
Similar shapes do as well:
Fish Amphibian Terrestrial plant Thumb Terrestrial animal
Fish Snout Scaled reptile Wildlife Bait

Size range is from 1 1/4" to 3".
Does it do better than plastic worms? For what I fish for - which is anything that swims - for sure. My largest fish caught on the design was a 3 lb cat fish.

Here's another example of a combination that does well on the slowest retrieve. A flat thin tail on a flat sided body:
Plant Arthropod Insect Organism Pollinator


You probably figured out one element of the combination that get fish pissed off: tail flutter.
I've even used it under a float and had fish pound it. Was the color important? Could be if it enhances lure shape and action. Bright colors that just don't fit in like the lure itself, can be as irritating as the lure's action it emphasizes. Subtle colors and even clear plastic catch fish regardless water clarity.
Still, most important are: size, shape, action especially, lure material and weight. Find a right combination and anyone could catch fish on it.
 

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lurecrafter
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317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Like all of you I know I can find and catch fish on the usual OTC lures I bought years ago, but where's the challenge in that? To sum it all up, I guess you could say I have an obsession with coming up with new combintations that poke the bear - in particular the modification of soft plastics. I rarely use the lures I pour after I've caught fish with them. More fun joining different parts together and tesing them on unsuspecting fish.
 
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