What's in your Tackle Box By: Bryan Rice
Lures are basically tools used for tricking a creature of nature, the bass, into biting or eating something that is not real. Over the next few articles, let’s go over tools of the trade, one by one. So … What’s in your tackle box?
When considering which lure to tie on, first consider all the variables. Is it winter, spring, summer or fall? Is there natural bait present? What kind of bait is dominant for the lake you are fishing? Are the fish in pre-spawn or post-spawn? What’s the water temperature? What is the water clarity? What kind of structure are you going to be fishing? Are you fishing deep or shallow? This is just a start on variables. In this age of computers and mobile communications, most research can be done sitting at home, but nothing will ever beat on the water time.
So let’s start with a year round favorite, the Spinnerbait.
Spinnerbaits come in all sizes, shapes, weights, and colors. There are also many blade combinations, like Colorado blades, Indiana blades, Willowleaf blades and Oklahoma blades. Each blade has a different action and vibration. Colorado blades give off a heavy vibration, while Willowleaf blades have a lot of flash. Indiana blades are a combination of Colorado and Willowleaf blades. The Oklahoma blade, for me, has a flash and vibration different from the other three. I use gold and painted blades for off-color water and silver blades for clear water.
How we choose which bait works is by considering the variables like the few I mentioned at the start, and with some trial and error on the water. Conditions can, and often do, change in a flash. Cloud cover, muddy water moving down the river or lake from a rain storm, a frontal system passing in the middle of the day, and location of bait, are just some of the variables.
The spinnerbait can be fished fast, even waking on the surface, to slow crawling the bottom like a worm. Water clarity, water temperature, bait-fish activity, structure, and even changing conditions throughout the day may dictate that you change your retrieve to find that right depth and speed where fish are active and holding. Even when fishing structure, there is a right retrieve and depth when using a spinnerbait.
When you consider the variables and chooses a spinnerbait to fish, don’t give up on it too quickly. I have changed weight sizes, blade shapes, skirt colors, and even changed or painted blades with markers when I am positive a spinnerbait is the tool to use. That first fish you catch will usually help you dial in the right combination to make your day productive.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with spinnerbaits. For a metal and silicone bait, it is one of the most productive lures when fished correctly. The fish will tell you what’s correct with their bite. It’s up to us to listen.
The BOOYAH Colorado/Indiana is one of the favorite blade combinations of spinnerbait fishermen. Colorado/Indiana combinations produce a unique flash and vibration that have fooled bass for years. Equipped with a 55-strand Bio-Flex silicone skirt and a Mustad Ultra Point hook. www.BooyahBaits.com
The BOOYAH Double Willow Blade is a proven bass tournament winning spinnerbait. It's designed for maximum vibration, making it perfect for cool- or murky-water situations. The 55-strand Bio-Flex silicone skirt undulates like a baitfish and hides one of the toughest and sharpest hooks in the business. www.BooyahBaits.com
The Black & Purple Mean Mouth Nighttime Spinnerbait is a specialized lure for slow rolling along the bottom using precise noise and vibrations to attract fish at night. The handmade skirt, gold Colorado blade, and mean hook complete this Pro Series lure. Available in black, gold, and nickel Colorado blades. www.MeanMouth.com
The Terminator Short Arm Oklahoma Thumpr Spinnerbait from Rapala. The exclusive Hydro Flow blade QuickSkirt changable premium silicone shirt are available in go-to color patterns with a flash-enhancing blade. www.rapala.com/terminator