Can Finesse Lures catch most fish species ?

I've been making many of my own lures for over a decade starting with soft plastics and expanding to spinner baits, skirted jigs, and spinners. Before getting into molding soft plastics for bass, I modified baits by taking a part of one and adding it to a part of another by using a candle flame to join the parts and the new hybrid baits have worked quite well over the years. But in the last two years I pretty much stopped using molds for making soft plastic lures that mostly caught bass and other large species of fish and instead use a process that produces finesse lures.

Now I'll bet most anglers have caught some very nice fish on small baits such as a drop shot 4" worm. I know I have and done so when fish weren't chasing baits. Finesse styles of fishing have increased over the years and more or less emphasize a few important things that make them so successful. First, the baits are small and exhibit action on the slowest retrieve. It's not that fish won't attack a faster moving lure, but that a slow retrieve with the right bait annoys the living *&## out it! A fly buzzing around your face has the same affect - KILL IT! Again as I've said in other posts, I never assume fish want to eat any lure they attack, not knowing with any degree of proof what they think a lure is.

Lure recognition is something humans are capable of and attach names to such as Spook, Brush Hog and Wart. Fish IMO sense what is real which is built into their genetic makeup. Do they know the anatomical difference between a crawdad and minnow? Does it matter? All I know is that both get eaten and that very few lures are exact duplicates in appearance and action. If you've ever experimented with making and using your own lures, you discover that fish strike the weirdest things in the strangest colors with nothing comparable in nature. Bubble gum colored plastic worms are the best example that catch bass and that one would have a hard time explaining.

Back to finesse lures catching most fish species all times of year. The simple fact is that they do and not just small fish. This year I caught three large cat fish, weighed for accuracy. 5 1/2 lb, 5 1/4 lb, and 7 1/2 lb cats were taken on a small 1/16 oz jighead rigged with a soft plastic minnow I invented that has a wide super thin tail that comes off a thicker body. I make the lure in different sizes mostly use those in the 1 3/4" - 2 1/4" range. Now that's a small lure by any standard and I've caught six species of fish on them and four other designs I came up with last winter in my workshop.

Almost every time I fish them I catch at least 30 fish but most times I record over 40 fish in different species and weights. In fact a friend I fished with last year got one bass over 5lbs on a used lure I left on the boat seat. I don't mean to sound like a braggart but to simply illustrate that finesse lures and presentation have accounted for far more fish than I can normally catch on larger lures post spawn. But there is logic behind why the lures work so effectively. For one, fish are super sensitive to any moving thing in their home territory, be it a frog, craw, fish, bug - or lure. I equate that sensitivity to an eagle's eye sight during the day or an owl's at night. Next, fish track moving objects, having no choice but to do so - same as you or I wondering what is making that noise on the back porch.

Are fish curious about what moves near them? Curiosity may kill the cat but reflexive action catches the fish. Someone suddenly sticks you with a pin, you don't think about what it is but that your body's reflexes take over avoid it further. Lures on the other hand that irritate fish long enough either with one slow retrieve or with multiple retrieves to the same spot, don't also don't have a choice of whether to strike that annoying object that had the nerve to enter its space teasing it to attack! When you think about it, many larger lures do the same thing with sound and action befitting a brass band in a quiet neighborhood - at night !

Having had the opportunity to fish many different water in the last two years rather than just two, I've been able to prove the above by catching numbers of fish almost every time I fish as well as quality fish. I still use classic bass lures of course that fit the situation, but finesse has taken on a whole new meaning and increased those number dramatically simple because of the elementary prerequisites catching fish on lures, namely: work areas thoroughly with lures and retrieve speeds capable of doing so.
The rest is just reflex.

Frank