Today there seems to be an awful lot of confusion, on the part of the fisherman, as to what lures they should buy. This is easy to understand, because there are literally thousands of lures out there! In an effort to help narrow down your choices, let’s take a look at the facts. There are really, only 4 different “types” of lures. Any lure ever built falls into one of the following categories:
- Crank baits (free swimming-bottom bumping lures)
- Jump-type (jigs and plastic worms)
Before I begin to examine the relative importance of each type of lure, understand my conclusions are based on successfully catching the “school” of fish over the the entire season!
Topwater Baits – These lures are fun to fish and can be effective, when the fish are congregated in the shallow water. This only occurs for a few short weeks during the spawn and late fall, so these lures should not be used very often. As you look at the entire fishing season, topwater baits will be effective about 1% of the time.
Weedless Baits – Again, there is a time and place as to where these lures should be used. But, looking at the entire fishing season, the schools of big fish will be located in the weeds about 1% of the time.
Jump Baits – This type of lure is our second most important group and should be used about 8% of the time. In my opinion, these lures are used far too often by most fishermen because they don’t understand speed control. Sure, these lures are weighted and can be fished at any depth, but they are very limited as to speed control. They were meant to be fished slowly. If you try to impart speed to these lures, they will leave the bottom and you will lose your #1 control …depth!
Crank Baits – This type of lure is by far the most important, as it gives us our greatest latitude for fishing various depths and various speeds. (Let me add that the best crank bait ever built is the “Spoonplug”. With 7 different sizes, we can all fish depths and all speeds from 0-60′ (except dead stop) and there is no other lure able to make that claim!) Over the course of the entire year, when fishing for all warm and cool water species, crank baits should be used about 90% of the time.
Here’s the bottom line: You should have some topwater and weedless baits for those infrequent times when the fish are located in the shallows, and then have a good supply of jump baits, for when the fish are extremely deep and extremely dormant. Also, be sure to load up on the crank baits (preferably Spoonplugs) so you can check all of the depths with a variety of speeds.