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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Over the years I and I'm sure many other anglers fall into the same mindset when it comes to lures, especially those new out of the package that catch fish the first time tried or don't catch fish even after a few outings. Just because a lure worked this week doesn't mean it will work all of the time. There are a lot of usual reasons lures don't work:
1. The usual - bad location. It has to be presented where fish are to catch fish!
2. Wrong presentation. Speed matters and fishing something too fast or too slow can make all the difference
3. Wrong lure design or size for the season or conditions
etc., etc., etc.

The reverse allows a lure to shine if only for one day, week or season. It's probably human nature, not honed by extensive angler experience, to believe that a particular lure has almost magical magnetic properties no fish can refuse. But reality sooner or later rears its ugly head (Sarah Palin style) and the lure proves to be a disappointment when it fails to catch a single fish the following year! :( :-\

I've had it happen with most style baits and wonder, what changed the fish's mind so completely that they now seem allergic to a bait regardless of changes made in color and size? Worse is when another lure of similar design, size and color seems to have acquired the magical magnetic properties no fish can refuse! - almost by osmosis in the tackle box!

The mystery continues, but I have a feeling that there are no simple answers or guarantees except:
there will always be exceptions, flukes, blind luck, lack of skill and of course, superstition, when it comes to lure choice, use and success. Some lures will usually shine more than others most of the time. Some will be dogs that need to be sold on Ebay to make more room for more lures that fail utterly and that we believe incapable of catching bass (which is most likely far from the truth!)

The fact is that lures that aren't defective may work as well as similar or even many different lures in many locations and during many times of the day. The same as for presentations. For example, if you are catching fish punching heavy jigs through heavy cover, in all likelihood many designs of soft plastics will also work. If bass are going after spinnerbaits, the possibility exists they can also be caught using grubs or swimming a skirted jig with action trailer. Substitutions are many and to think one lure is the only one for a certain location or time of day or season is a misconception (greatly reported in Bassmaster).

Granted, there are exceptional lures, some costing a premium price, but many cheaper substitutes can be found to do the same job. Angler confidence is never a bad thing except when substitutes are automatically ruled out. Worse is when lure choice is based on a particular color of a particular lure of a particular brand. Kind a sounds like the feeling one has wearing a highly valued lucky charm or underwear that hasn't been or won't be washed! Bass could care less the mind set of an angler or the pretty details of a lure chosen for those details. Once it's provoked, that it!!!

But interestingly enough, the right lure in the right hands may be all that's needed, sans substitution, to catch more than a limit all day long and in many locations! That's not superstition at all - that's skill!
 

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Great thread. Being an angler (boater) going after money I have found in the last three years that there is definitely a set of lure choices that will always work. You all know what I'm talking about...black jigs, green pumpkin beavers, worms and many others of the like.
I have found that actually finding the big fish is the most trying task when executing a game plan. Unfortunately, it all comes down to spending at least one to two days on the water before an event to let the fish and body of water talk to you. Does this make any sense?
 

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Alot of the "superstitious" feelings are probably based on two things... one - you caught a fish early on using X/Y/Z lure gaining confidence - then wind up using it more further building up your confidence and faith that it's magical.

I tend to always tie on lures that worked before as first options - and leave the ones in the box I haven't tried as much or "didn't work". I tried to change that this year choosing "not to buy" anything (ok that's a lie - just no where near as much as usual) and fish the stuff I had until it's gone or lost. It's amazing where you'll throw a lure you don't mind losing - actually in alot of places you'd never think to throwing that "magic" lure!!!! You'll also find out somethings that had no magic before all of a sudden seem to work!!!

As we always seem to discuss - 90 something percent of the battle is finding the fish and the rest is using something that causes them to stirke... magic or no magic.

J.
 

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100% agree w/ J. If you catch w/ a presentation time and time again most will start / that works . why waste time on something You feel that don't work w/ results , unless your fishing partner brings a banana on board or in your beach 4x4 then all bets are off ! Then I go to the P B & J to break the spell .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You'll also find out somethings that had no magic before all of a sudden seem to work!!!

As we always seem to discuss - 90 something percent of the battle is finding the fish and the rest is using something that causes them to stirke... magic or no magic.
Both statements pertained today to what happened on Whaley L fishing with Bill Stea. Once and for all I decided to only use one comfort bait and the rest lures I had stopped using or new ones I modified. We caught quite a few dinks measuring close to or just longer than 12" and in my case, on a variety of lures. I'm not one to change lure designs often and may stick with one type of bait (ie bottom pattern type) all day. Today, except for a topwater, I caught fish on:
two crankbaits, one deep, one shallow,
a 9" worm I hadn't cast in years (Big Wag by Riverside),
a white willow leaf spinner bait with a white craw with action trailer claws (reflex strike on the first cast)
1/2 of a Senko T rigged with a bullet wt. and
a 3.5" tube.

The worm and tube were rigged weedless on a swim bait hook so the heavy wt wouldn't bang into the plastic lures, driving down the hook (I hate using tooth picks). This was the first time in a long time I used a heavier weight (3/8 oz) to get the lures down fast in the weeds and for better sensitivity on the south end's hard bottom.

This illustrates what J said to a T! Right place, right presentation and lures that did the job. Though most of the fish were dinks, they slammed the baits like they were twice the size and put up a decent fight. Now all of a sudden these baits got the mojo I was hoping they'd had after years of storage in my basement.

Now I believe these baits have a place in my tackle box and will be used this week on 2-3 different waters with confidence.

Any superstition or bias regarding the catching ability of those lures dispelled forever!

(BTW, the picks that John and I caught 8 years ago in the south end were still there biting our lures today!):furious:
 

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about 3 weeks ago that lake was 3/4 weed/grass from east to west , to find the weed edge and using deep crank were the larger fish ( 30' ) range.Most of your dinks were in shaded locations/ low water 3-7' ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
3-7' is about right. Bill, who sat in front, blocked the sonar in the bow so I couldn't be sure of depth much of the time. If you go about 50 yds. due south from the last island, that's where the weeds get sparse. The eastern tree lined shore wasn't too bad as far as weeds (ie were the tree rope hung over the lake) and we caught bass there also. Once you went further north, the 5' deep flat, with no shoreline trees and only RR tracks, had more weeds but didn't hold fish.
 
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