We all know the most exciting word in fishing tackle is “new.” You may actually own an entire warehouse where you store the baits you have purchased and accumulated over the last 10 years, and yet, when you even hear the word new in front of color, size, or its equivalent of just available in this country, you forget about everything in your inventory and try to get the latest and greatest.

And why is that? One of the special delights in bass fishing is to catch ’em on something the other guys don’t have–at least not yet. At Lake Mead last week, I broke out an all orange peel colored 4-inch ringworm on a darthead. And it happened. I felt that immeasurable pleasure when finishing up my first cast, I started reeling in fast and a shadow appeared behind the worm. I stopped and dropped and the fish made a crash dive and sucked the whole thing in.

I wanted to wave that fish in the air and show off that orange worm to the whole world–but they couldn’t see it–the bait was buried in fish’s maw. Of course, I also caught them on half a dozen other, more traditional colors and shapes. Some were “clear water” colors while others were more natural forage related.

Thus, you might conclude, orange may have been new to the fish (and maybe some fishermen) but it didn’t necessarily prove to be better.

And that, truly is the cycle of the lure biz. Some stuff we buy and fish with expectation of success based their track records, while others we hope will give us an edge in surprise, that the fish, having not seen the lure, will respond in a positive manner.

Since “new” is a relative term, we love it when, for example, some new imported walking bait hits our shores. But the fish have seen that action before–the first Zaragosa, a wooden walking bait by Heddon, dating back to 1922. The Arbogast Hula Popper came in 1941 and the back-weighted chuggers maybe 20 years later, but that action still works. Same for plastic worms, the first in 1948. While we have 500 or more variations today, it’s pretty hard to find one that totally doesn’t work.

So how do you look at bait choices? What raises your confidence? Do you have to have the latest and greatest, or do you count on old reliable?




5 Responses to “Expectation or surprise?”

Seems that angler tastes change faster than fish behavior.

Is there a trendier bunch and ain’t it great?!

Mostly I stick with what I know works, so I don’t HAVE to have the latest and greatest. I have a bunch of lures that I’ve never thrown, but I like them so I keep them! 🙂 However, being the tackle junkie on a budget that I am, I do buy lures that I “think” might work, and that I like for color, size, shape, etc., and that don’t cost me an arm and 2 legs. As for what raises my confidence…using lures that I KNOW will work, even if they are OLD school…after all the fish that I’m fishing now, have never seen the old lures so they’re all “new” to them!

by George Kramer

I wonder if it’s too much to ask for–a Sexy Shad Hula Popper?

George…what made you do it?? Was it that crazy Color C-lector you often talk about (or at least you used to) or was it your natural born inquisitiveness?

by George Kramer

John: Usually, if we have it, we’ll throw it… 😉