By Capt. Fred Everson
When fishing gets tough and the bite is slow, everyone should have a “go-to” bait. There needs to be one lure in your box to turn to when nothing seems to work – a confidence bait that will keep you fishing even when the catching isn’t so hot. Anglers are blessed with an unlimited number of choices here. There is not one lure that will outfish all others.
It might seem that way if a given lure is in the hands of an angler that has faith in it, but it is usually the fisherman’s persistence and conviction that puts fish on the line. You have to keep your bait in the water and working to catch fish, and this is never truer than when the bite is slow.
This is not about lure styles, colors, or types. It is about matching yourself to a lure you like to work. You may like the way it casts, or its action, or even the way it looks. So long as you can keep casting and retrieving without losing the anticipation of a hook set, your chances of hooking a fish are good. It only takes one to turn things around.
My current confidence lure happens to be Rip Tide’s soft plastic Jerk Bait. It used to be a bucktail jig. Next year it could be something else. Things change. If you lose confidence in your bait, by all means change it. The persistence it takes to catch fish is not possible with a lure you’ve lost faith in.
Part of the confidence thing with any lure is that it has to be matched to the rest of the tackle you use, which is in turn matched to your target fish and the environment he inhabits.
It took some fine-tuning to perfect the performance of my confidence bait. I designed a longer rod that could throw the un-weighted jerk bait 40 yards. I found a monofilament line that resisted twisting and proved hard to break in Stren’s High Impact 10 pound test line. And I came to appreciate the importance of fluorocarbon leader material. The 25-pound test increases strikes, and it resists abrasion better than monofilament leader material.
I experimented with several hook styles, but finally settled on 4/0 offset True Turn hooks, which are made in Norway.. They have proven to be very strong and the points are sharp. That’s the complete confidence package – from rod to reel to line to leader to bait to hook. With strong faith in your equipment, you naturally work harder and catch more fish.
Capt. Fred Everson
P O Box 3261
Apollo Beach, FL 33572