Posted Nov 20th 2012
Perhaps you will recognise this situation! Drawn in by inspirational advertising and marketing, you have bought a handful of 'must catch' lures and rushed down to your local venue with a view to emptying it. Hours later, your result is much the same as it ever was, and you don't catch a great deal more. Feeling that your money has been wasted, you either start scanning the media for more lures or perhaps even loose heart and give up. In my experience, this scenario is not at all unusual. But it needn't be like that!
In order to sell lures, or any products for that matter, manufacturers have to show them in their best light, and promotional tactics range from the most conservative to the outrageous, as the market is very competitive. It is easy to be drawn in with clever promotion, but the bottom line is the product itself and how well you make use of it. As a Rapala consultant, I know that we have the finest range of lures available, and it is true that we don't make a big noise when promoting them as other companies do, but the fact remains that they stand against the very best in the world in terms of quality, value and fish catching capability. From the point of sale though, whichever lures you choose, the rest is up to YOU!
I have always maintained that most lure anglers make the initial mistake of buying lures and then trying to find somewhere to use them. I always do things the other way round. I look at the venue in terms of the species present, depth of water, water clarity and time of year, and then select lures that will obtain the best result within those parameters. Having done this though, I must repeat that the rest is still up to YOU!
There will be times when it is simply a case of casting out and predators will attack lures, but these days are few and far between in my experience. Most days I have to work at the fishing by going through a series of tactics that will offer a different presentation. This might involve varying the lure speed, or maybe changing it's action using rod tip movement, and a whole host of other tricks which can only be discovered by practice. As you might be starting to realise, I hope, catching the predator is partly down to the lure I am using but mostly down to the skill of the angler using it. It's only common sense that you cannot become a lure fishing expert overnight, and for consistent results you need to gain experience. This comes with practice, but it is vital that it is performed in a structured manner.
Where is this leading to? If you really wish to become a better lure angler and catch more fish, I would respectfully suggest that you forget everything you know, put aside your old ideas, and start again, building your skills from the ground up. This isn't the place to detail this, but it must start with selecting the ideal rod, reel and line for the type of venue you are fishing. Just as important is selecting an appropriate wire trace. It may seem a minor point but you may one day appreciate how this can affect presentation. Next, using the procedure I have outlined, you must select a small range of lures to practice with. Until you can really make these lures sing and dance, and you have exhausted every possibility that they offer, I suggest you do not buy further lures until the experience you have gained, tells you exactly what you are looking for.
Serious trial and error will eventually unravel the shortcomings of lures in particular situations. You could conclude after a period of time that, for example, you need lures that work deeper or those with more subdued colours. Other considerations such as subtle variations in colour and action might also enter your mind whilst trying to get the best from the lures you have.
By taking a logical and structured approach to your lure fishing, you will not only catch more fish, you will spend less money in the long term, and actually enjoy the fishing a lot more, because the result has come from your own effort. When a predator hits my lure, it is the ultimate in fishing pleasure, and if this has happened due to my skill rather than luck, then the reward is double. Happy lure fishing!