Look in any anglers tackle box and you will find two distinct types of lures. No, Im not talking about crank baits and worms, or spinnerbaits versus jerk baits. What I am referring to is old favorites versus the latest technology. Old school against what the latest research says is THE bait a bass just can not help but eat. Which is better? It all depends on two simple factors, the age of the angler and the personal experience of the angler. Now I realize I have just either confused some people, while in others starting a shaking of the head in total disagreement. Lets take a moment to look hard at our lures and see if we can come to an understanding of why each of these lures finds a valued place in our overstuffed boxes.
In these days of computer designed graphics and super high competition between lure manufacturers, lure making has come to take on the appearance of high tech usefulness. You buy the latest and greatest today, only to find out a month from now someone else has come out with the bigger and better version, so your month old lure is now out of date. The question I pose is, who is telling the bass?
Every angler, be it tournament pro or weekend warrior, has buried deep under the unopened packs of new baits, some old favorite that he or she just cant seem to toss out during the annual spring cleaning of tackle boxs. You take it out, look at the scares, the faded paint, the bent wire, you start to put it in the discard pile, then something stops you. A chill runs up the back of your neck as you sit back while your thoughts wonder. You remember a certain day. Maybe it was a warm spring day, you found this little point, or the back of a small cove. You had the bait tied on and started casting. Suddenly the line goes tight and the rod tip bends. A large white mouth, open wide, breaks the quiet surface with that bait stuck to its lip. It shakes violently as it tries to hand you your lure back. You dip the rod tip down as the scaled monster slides back below the surface. Unknowingly, you start to grin as you remember how hard your heart was pounding as you waged war with this unknown predator. He finally submits to your shaking thumb grabbing his bottom lip and hoisting him onboard. The lures job is done as you remove the hooks and cast it aside, admiring the trophy shinning green and white in the sun.
Perhaps the memory was of a day when you couldnt buy a bite with a hundred dollar bill clinched in your teeth. You tied on the bait as a last resort. Suddenly one fish after another tries to take your offering from you. They are not wall hangers, but they keep coming, one after another. That little fake offering either saved a day of fishing just for the fun of it, or perhaps it filled out that stringer to save you from going to a tournament scale empty handed. Whatever it was, it was worth every penny you paid for it that day.
You place the old battle hardened veteran back in its place, maybe even placing that newest expensive lure on top of it. It may or may not get used in the coming year, but the confidence factor it gives you, just knowing its there, waiting to save another day if needed, makes it one of the most valuable baits in the anglers arsenal. We will all spend more money than needed on new baits, but never forget what brought you to the dance!