Choosing lures effectively

I often hear folks proclaim that 70 percent of the lures on the market today are made to catch fishermen rather than fish.

Well, if that's true, that's a high-risk gamble.

Think about it: Do you really think manufacturers will put all the time, effort and money to design a fish bait only to have the primary concern be that it's appealing to the eyes of anglers? Consider the setup and tooling costs and the manufacturing and marketing needed to make and sell it. These costs are staggering. You'd better bet that before a lure designer gets past the prototype stage, many people have been convinced the new creation will catch fish.

Sure, some lures will seem to catch more fish than others, but it's common to find one angler who swears by one bait, while another complains he can't catch a cold using it.

The size, weight and color of a lure can make a big difference. So can the manner it's presented. Yet the biggest factor in successfully fishing artificial lures remains confidence. If you don't honestly believe it'll catch 'em, you're wasting your time using it.

Bass fishermen are notorious for gigantic tackleboxes. These big ol' portable cargo holds are crammed full of plugs and baits of every imaginable color, size and shape. Now, it's good to be prepared and to be able to carry what you need. There are even times when every lure in that giant box will work, but there might be times when only a handful of baits are needed.

For a beginning angler, I believe cramming a tacklebox with one size and color of a number of baits is a mistake. A much better approach is to select a couple of different types of lures and learn to work them to perfection. You might choose several spinnerbaits and possibly a few bottom-bouncing lures. Or you might modify your selection to suit the water clarity and temperature of the locales you fish most often.

Regardless of what you settle on, take the time to learn to work it as well as you can. You'll catch more fish on a lure that you know how to work and have confidence in. It's that simple.

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