I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely go wild when I end up in a fishing store. It’s really something I can’t control.
There’s always a type of line, some hooks, or catchy lure pattern that I didn’t get to test. Those small details that wink from the shelf making you hope for total fishing success. Not to mention the lures you lost during your last fishing trip, that are already on the shopping list.
The thing is, in most cases I end up buying lures. Different sizes or patterns of the lures that were successful during the year. New models that need to be tested, or just stuff I “missed” until then. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a shopping fanatic, I’m just trying to be an attentive, detail oriented fisherman. Because fishing is all about details, isn’t it?
But in these days, when the variety of choices is becoming overwhelming, you can easily end up with more than you came for. In fact, I’m sure you all know what I mean.
The good part is that in time I developed a process for getting the most out of each lure. A process I try to stick to each time I buy a new lure. It’s not just about buying lures that seem to work right out of the box. Each lure has many secrets that aren’t revealed right away. It takes some serious testing to understand all the variables that form a bait.
If you get to really know your lures, you will know exactly what to pick and test in each difficult situation you will face on the water. And believe me, there will be many.
Having the lure knowledge will give you the short path to plan B. Especially if you’re into fishing competitions where making good and fast decisions is crucial.
So here are a few tips to use after buying a lure:
1. Start in crystal clear water
I usually start testing my new acquisitions in clear and still water. It can be a swimming pool or a pond with clear water, preferably not deeper than 10ft.
In this stage, the presence of fish is not a must . This is necessary especially if you’re testing lures that swim underwater. You will immediately get a clue of that lure’s evolution and finally you will learn how to turn it into a tempting scared or wounded pray.
You can begin by following the manufacturer’s instructions and then improvise using your imagination and experience. In the end it’s all about using your creativity.
So, before you start to go fishing with your new lures, spend a little time and try to learn as many “secret moves” as you can. This will be of much help later.
2. See what the fish think
After you got an idea of the lure’s evolution and maybe even discovered some of its “secret moves”, it’s time to actually land some fish. I think we can all agree, that a good lure is the one that catches fish, not fishermen…or other intruders.
Weather it’s a topwater, softbait, crankbait or jerk as long as it brings fish to your boat it definitely is a good lure. So, a very important step is to see what the fish say about it. See how they react. It may seem all nice and attractive to you, but in the end it’s really up to them to decide.
Even if you got an idea of it’s evolution, you will only get 100% percent of that lure’s secret moves after you throw it to the fish. In this situation, test all the “moves” learned in the pool, and see how the fish are reacting. Their response will most definitely give you clues on things you’re doing good and things you should improve. After landing a few fish you will start to polish your fishing moves, and get to fish that lure better and better. Also, your confidence in that lure will increase, and we all know the best lure is always the one you’re most confident about.
3. Change, change, change…
When the fishing is good and fish are very active, don’t hesitate to try different lures. This will increase your confidence in those lures. When the fish are active and responding well, it’s important not to get stuck to one lure, because in moments like these you can discover other “forgotten lures” that work great. Besides, this continuous testing will show you how your lures function in different situations. And by this you will get even more lure experience.
4. Play with the variables
Is there still room for improvement?
Of course. Just try changing the line type or weight and you’ll begin to notice some changes in the lure’s evolution. The sinking speed will differ, even the swimming depth. The same if you use different rod types, or different lure sizes.
5. Be realistic
Be sure of one thing, that there is no such thing as a perfect lure. And by perfect I mean universal. A lure that catches any type of fish, under any circumstances. This would really make it less fun, right?
Each lure has it’s strong points and works best under specific conditions. You just have to figure out how and when to use it. Because in the end playing with all these variables is what this whole fishing game is about.