Building lure confidence requires research, both at home and on the water. Angler wishing to build lure confidence in a particular technique or presentation must start by researching. Using the internet, magazines, or fishing partners experience gain as much information as possible. While researching, learn what action rod works best, what type of line are other using, maybe a particular gear ratio reel will help the lure’s productivity. Research how other anglers are fishing the lure. Learn retrieves, water conditions, weather conditions and file this back for when it’s time to start on-the-water research. Armed with all this information, set up the equipment and watch for conditions where the lure will excel.
Lure Confidence – Hit the Water
With knowledge and appropriately set up equipment, it’s time to hit the water. One of the best ways to build lure confidence is to cast, and cast a lot. I’m not one to believe anglers should tie on a single bait and fish all day with it to build lure confidence. This effort can prevent confidence. If it’s one of those days when fishing is tough, it’s hard to catch bass on any bait. In a situation like this, spending all day with a new bait will destroy confidence. However, I do recommend having this new bait tied on and ready to use all day. Using known or confident presentations and lures, determine bass location and activity. Once a pattern is established for the current conditions, switch to the new bait to build lure confidence. I’ve used this example before; an angler is confident in fishing Texas rigged soft plastics and wants to learn to fish a jig. Find the pattern of the day with the soft plastics, and switch to the jig. The same can be said of spinnerbaits versus crankbaits, vibrating jigs, or swim jigs.
Building confidence in a bait requires testing and experience. Very seldom can we take a new lure to the water and smash bass on the first outing. Unfortunately, this is the downfall of many new lures. If they don’t work immediately, they are lost forever in the bottom of an endless tackle box. Build lure confidence by fishing in as many different conditions as possible while being honest with the lures capabilities. Don’t give up on it, keep trying various conditions while adjusting equipment. Many times I’ve learned only after multiple outings my original rod action or line choice could have been better. Make adjustments and keep casting, it can take several trips before the smashing begins.
Lure Confidence – Pitfalls
The biggest thing anglers do when lacking lure confidence is working the bait too quickly for the conditions. This applies whether it’s a jig, new soft plastic presentation, or crankbait. Be honest with the lure, know it’s capabilities, apply them to the season, and give the lure a fair chance. All too often I hear people say after a tough day, “I even tried, the new X Bait and nothing.” Many times the brand new bait or technique is working very well; however, the angler didn’t give it a real chance. New baits might get five minutes in the middle of the day. When testing a new bait, anglers must fish it at the proper time of day for the conditions at hand. A spinnerbait works better in stained water, clear water with wind, or any lower light-penetrating conditions. So fishing a new spinnerbait at ten o’clock, on a bluebird sky day with no wind after nothing else has worked; it failed before being cast.
Be honest for a moment. When going to the lake with a new bait, is it tied to a rod or still in the box waiting? Those still in the box only get tried when nothing else works. The angler who tied it on before getting to the lake will have success. This angler took the time to analyze the conditions, picked a proper rod action, the correct line type, and weight. An over exaggerated example: Have you ever fished a popper with fluorocarbon line? It won’t work; the line sinks and drags the nose of the popper down. Yes, proper line is important when trying a new lure.
Lure Confidence – Prepare for Success
Preparation is a big part of lure confidence. If we are confident in a bait, we’ll make sure it’s set up perfect for the conditions at hand. Take soft plastics for example. Anglers study lake conditions to pick the perfect color. Not only do anglers analyze fall rate to get the perfect bullet weight, but some will also color coordinate the weight to the plastic. Naturally, we select the exact rod, line, and reel ratio to use. Every detail is analyzed and perfected. Conversely, with a new lure, we tie on whatever color and size is at hand no matter the conditions. We use whatever rod doesn’t have a bait on it and give it a shot. Typically, this leads to disappointment, and the lure is never fished again.
When building lure confidence, we have to be honest with the lure. Give it every opportunity to succeed versus a few minutes to prove its failure. In the beginning, the Alabama Rig was touted as the best lure in the world. Anglers could catch five bass at one time. Millions were sold, millions of anglers were unhappy with the results. Soon we learned we needed special rods, reels and it eventually came out this was not a one lure fits all seasons. There are specific conditions which make the Alabama Rig the right choice. However, now it’s too late for most. Most anglers who fished the Alabama rig when it first came out will never fish it again, and those anglers will miss out on some great opportunities. The next time a new lure presents itself, research it, prepare, and execute in the proper conditions and it might just become a new favorite.
Check out other great artilcles on lure choices and presentations in the Ultimate Bass Tips and Techniques section
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