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TOPIC: Why fish bite lures

Why fish bite lures 2 years 10 months ago #2772

  • senkosam
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Consider this: fish don't bite lures because they resemble anything, but because they don't. Here are a few ideas that support this.

First, fish are sense sensitive, meaning that they have enhanced underwater vision and lateral line hypersensitivity. Not much enters a fishes locale without it knowing how big the object, the direction of travel, shape and motion. Fish depend on it's senses to track & attack when an object - your lure - moves just right and at a certain speed. Does a fish think about the object in any way, especially moving slow or paused? I wish I could say beyond a shadow of a doubt it were so. But seeing as how most lures have some features that are totally unrealistic (brush guard, plastic lip, hooks hanging down attached by split rings, jig trailers that resemble nothing, skirts on jigs, etc.), to suggest fish ignore those items and still believe the lure is one animal or another, attributes an imagination to fish they don't possess.

Fish understand lure motion - either inherent or imparted, meaning they sense a lures action and responds to that action if it's the right action that fits the lure. Not all soft sticks that resemble the Senko have the same action, mostly because of too much plastic hardness and maybe not enough salt. Fish will not bite it. Many cheap crankbaits aren't balanced and are usually ignored. When it comes to well made lures, fish may simply not be in the mode (not mood) to respond to the lure design and motion, whereas others seem to work very well.

Fish notice the little things. The are visually sensitive to tiny flashes of light such as that produced by metal flakes in soft or hard plastic lures. Coupled with the right lure motion, it could irritate a fish to attack. Subtle lure motions fall into the same category where sometimes less is best. Of course there are times when big flashy baits work, but not always.
Last Edit: 2 years 10 months ago by senkosam.
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Why fish bite lures 2 years 10 months ago #2773

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I have a job, I work with at risk kids, I'm 65 years old and still work daily, I love my work! If fishing was a detailed as work I would do something else to relax. I understand and respect for you and others it is not that way
I started fishing, on Greenwood lake, at 11 years old, my father rented a summer home for us each year there, I started with Blue gills, a one mile walk from Cont's bungalows to the old 17 bridge. by Brickners landing and boat livery. I used dough balls and then night crawlers , and learned by fishing every day , about the spawn, where on the weeds they were most likely to hit. One day pulling in a gilly, I saw a flash and now I had a pickerel!.
Then Mr Brickner gave me my first Rapala and soon my first bass was on line and this was the beginning of a beautiful friend ship
I also lived in New Orleans for several years with a lot of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas time and KISS , is what I have found out
I only fish soft plastics, the newest addition is Paddle tails ( 4 to 5) inches. Primarily I throw Worms, ribbon and straight tail, Craw fish, BPS Stik-O's, Zoom Brush Hogs , tubes and said paddle tails. I use Jig heads, Swim bait hooks etc to fish various parts of the water column .
I look for deeper water than the shore, flat grassy areas, rock piles and ledges. I like docks and mats shallow. I like overcast, slightly windy days best as well as being out at midnight. I will everyday and every time I can no matter what the conditions
So with this experience I have found for LM Bass:
I use Pumpkin Green, Brown, Water melon and shades with purple in them, For paddle tails I also use silver and pale blue This has worked in ever place I fish.
Color is most important for me with an environment with crawfish ,as every time I match the craw fish, the day gets a lot better. I have caught bass with crawfish in bodies of water where I didn't see one, but they work.
So there have been many days where one of my 3 primary colors ,Brown , Green and Purple hues, have out fished the others
There have been days where 4 inch paddle tails have out fished 5 inch Paddle tails and matching the colors of what they are spitting out has improved the outing's success

So Frank, I don't get into it like you, my trips result in depth searches followed by at the max 3 bait switches and Im good to go for the day.
Color and matching what they are eating has been a positive difference in a quick look at my logs; for a 3 year span ; 48 trips , so for me its an issue, but not one I ponder, research or fret about as I have a job already

ps I have been fishing River/Delta stripe bass and River steel heads since I got here, different games different rules!
It's fishing, if it gets more involved than that, I will take up napping
Last Edit: 2 years 10 months ago by Cheap Hooker.
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Why fish bite lures 2 years 10 months ago #2777

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Nice reply CH.
I too have favorite colors - not that it matters to fish what is used. I could fish side by side with you and do as well or better using totally different colors. That was proven yesterday on a lake that has exceptional size pan fish, where my partner used wacky florescent colors and I used bright white and muted colors. We both caught about the same number of fish on jig heads and different grub designs, and the only difference was the jig weight used.

As most experienced anglers know, lure speed is important and the heavier the lead, the faster it must be retrieved when swimming a lure vs. vertical hoping it off bottom. The only thing that affects lure speed, other than jig weight, is tail design - the wider the tail the slower the swim speed. I hadn't used Kalin grubs for years and decided the better quality fish this lake contains should have no problem getting hooked on this lure rigged on a 1/8 oz jig head. Large crappie, bass and even a few nice size sunfish were caught on this lure and jig combo. 1/16 oz and smaller grubs was mostly what I've used for the last seven years, but I never took into account that larger lures will work in waters that hold larger fish.

Back to why fish (maybe) attack lures:
Lure action may be coincidentally natural by design. My thin tail grubs have the most imitative tail action of a fish's tail I've ever seen. Could it contribute to their success wherever I fish them? Could be. It's possible fish see that flutter and think minnow. But generally speaking, the tail action has proven superior to other tail designs and that's good enough for me. But having caught fish yesterday on the wide flapping tail of 3" Kalin grub in bright white, proved that unnatural lure action and color serve a purpose that can provoke fish for similar reasons: still, one visual/ one lure action related.

Bright white or florescent colors glow in the water, creating a halo effect fish can't miss even in murky water. More extreme lure action is easily detected and holds a fish's attention when the lure is moved at a slower speed. My favorite analogy is a bull fighter taunting a bull with his cape draped over a sword: the bull is provoked - no different than fish are to our lures moving at a speed appropriate to fish activity levels. Maybe a more extreme lure action challenges a fish, getting its dander up to attack, having nothing to do with feeding; the bright color a more extreme contrast than any color a fish ever encounters in its lifetime.

It may be possible that subtle colors and lure action are superior when fish are a bit more sedate, but that a larger range of colors and lure actions work (coupled with lure speed) when fish are more easily excited to strike, as during the spawn or schooled in shallow water.

For the above reasons, I'm not locked in to using any color, but lure action and speed always makes a difference in the numbers of fish caught. A simple concept that works for me and results in over 50 fish caught of different species on the same day on the same lures. Numbers caught don't lie, but many pro's do that push lures for the wrong reasons based on misinformation (such as matching forage) and are IMO typical of politicians that say trust me. One can believe either source and still do well, but one concept easily negates the other when fished side by side.
Last Edit: 2 years 10 months ago by senkosam.
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Why fish bite lures 2 years 10 months ago #2778

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The 2 guys fishing different colors is interesting. Using the same Culprit 7.5 inch worms, side by side on the same day with my usual fishing partner. I always use Pumpkin green, first and mostly my partner uses Pumkinseed, both with great success . So one day on an active bite we switched and both of us started getting less fish, when we went back to our regular used colors and we started getting bite at our usual rates, So that says something
Need to address something else, especially when using unweighted soft plastics FALL RATE! is extremely important for me I can alter the fall rate by changing hooks I change from light wire almost Aberdeen to Bass Pro Shops Magmas or thicker Owens wire hook and a lot of times the fall rate pluse the right color equals success for me Again These are my colors for soft plastics ( all that I use) Green Pumpkin , Watermelon ( red seed), PB & J, Brown and purple hues , and some black and that is it.
It's fishing, if it gets more involved than that, I will take up napping
Last Edit: 2 years 10 months ago by Cheap Hooker.
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Why fish bite lures 2 years 9 months ago #2782

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when we went back to our regular used colors and we started getting bite at our usual rates, So that says something

So true and I think it's happened to most anglers - at least for soft plastics. Confidence may be a factor using certain colors, but sometimes we don't know what a fish visualizes especially with different light levels which are affected by many factors.

On the other hand, I never need to change jig skirt / trailer color combinations, pretty much staying with green pumpkin with flake in both, along with quite a few others that work if I get bored. If I'm in an area where the jig bite is on, bass clobber it no matter, and as you said weight matters especially with skirted jigs where or what depth I cast them to.

Grub fishing success IMO depends on matching a jig to the soft plastic, but taking into consideration swim speed. Since I usually use straight tail grubs in different designs, the lighter the better in water less than 6'. These are what I consider twitch & pause baits and it won't work using too heavy a jig.

What we are agreeing on are technical lure factors based on fish activity, the type of bite in an area, light levels, water color, depth, etc. Anyone can claim this or that bait represents this or that forage, but when we chose lures and find we have to modify our choices, technical lure factors make all the difference and those factors take into account fish senses and other biological / presentation considerations such as: fish in cover like to ambush lures, school fish seem to compete more for particular lures once other fish bite them, fish on bottom like to observe particular lures before attacking them as they do staring up at twitched surface lures. Experienced anglers like yourself know this and chose lure characteristics that accommodate the bite.

IMO the best thing anglers who push certain lures in magazines or on TV can do, is to relate the above to those factors as In-Fisherman has done for years. Lures come and go and those that have stood the test of time have proven dependable in some or many situations and all because of design and angler skill.
Last Edit: 2 years 9 months ago by senkosam.
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Why fish bite lures 2 years 9 months ago #2784

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Mostly I use pumpkin Green , there are certain lures where color makes a distinct difference

Jigs; I have about 2 dozen jig heads 1/2 football. 1/2 Arkie , I use my own skirts ( pumpkin green, PB and J, Purple and brown and black and blue) with Yomama Craws, all in the same colors There is a definite edge using one color over the other on a given day, this is from a lot of log entries and with craw fish , there are clear and definite preferences that result in more bass to the boat on a given trip This does not mean I match the hatch, which I think is basically a waste of time and advertising crapola However there are definite preferences daily that will affect my success
I also throw Slider heads with Zoom Mag Finesse worms on them , any color will work, as long As its pumpkin green!
Finally with sticko's Sometimes the Color of the bottom side of the stick can make a difference
I dont care if the bass are hungry or why they bite I just care that they bite and when I find the location and then the preferred bait I stick with it This is not a job or rocket science and I am no expert , and I fish based on the day and my years of experience with what works for me
It's fishing, if it gets more involved than that, I will take up napping
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