A concept alien to most anglers - LOL

Discussion in 'Lure Making & Customizing' started by spoonminnow, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. spoonminnow

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    Don't call the guys in white with the straight jacket - at least not yet, but I was watching a sci-fi show about two scientists hired to communicate with ETs that had a ship they could enter and try to figure out what they wanted on earth. The language was near impossible to understand at first, but one scientist finally figured it out and prevented catastrophe.

    As I was trying to figure out how to make my short worms as effective as the Slider, a thought entered my skull - kind of like a news flash:

    fish are alien lifeforms that see and feel or feel and see depending on lure visibility; and depending on what they sense determines how they react to the 'language' of a lure which involves shape, action, speed and maybe color - in combination.

    The first word we already know: vulnerability. If a lure is too large, moves too fast or has the wrong action, fish interpret that as not worth the effort (aka the expenditure of energy which follows nature's Law of the Conservation of Energy for any living animal).

    The second concept we have been able to decipher as lure designers is that shape always matters in the long run and that lure action is a function of shape. Ignoring those two laws equates to not speaking a fish's language when it comes to a lure's strike-appeal.

    Here are variations on a theme similar to that in music which starts with a theme and then proceeds with variations of it.
    Worm variations.JPG

    The Slider Worm design at the top is the central theme, those below it variation of the design, but all hopefully in line with what makes the Slider unique and a top-notch finesse lure. The bottom worm is the most different but has proven excellent for bass and larger fish of most species. Note: larger fish speak a language different than that of smaller fish with smaller mouths and therefore the meaning of what constitutes vulnerability is quite different.

    The best lures for any species will always fit the lock & key combination communicated by any fish that involves the above. Words such as natural, what fish interpret what a lure is, hunger or anger, have no meaning when it comes to fish and the lures they strike. They tell us what is a susceptible and annoying lure design and it is our mission to accommodate them now and at any time in the future.

    If fish could only talk... emoji_u263a.png

    Frank

    Now you can call the guys in white!
     
    #1 spoonminnow, Dec 5, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  2. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach
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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.. Sanity is overrated.. Lol
     
  3. Fomen

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    I like the write up. But perhaps you could elaborate how the 1st Law of Thermodynamics applies to a lure that is too large, too fast, or has the wrong action. I'm not saying you don't have an explanation for it. I just fail to see it without elaboration. I understand that the expenditure of energy equates into "conscious effort" on the part of the fish, and that the fish's potential energy is opposed by the kinetic energy via hydrodynamic friction as it chooses to "pursues" or "investigate" the lure. I'm thinking that you're trying to say something very simple in a very complex way..... If the lure doesn't look interesting, the fish isn't going to expend the energy to go after it as this would require physical exertion on it's part. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
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  4. spoonminnow

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    To my knowledge (after watching nature shows and my pets), animals feed, reproduce and suspend - that's it. Fish suspend most of their lives comparable to land animals sleeping a great part of the day. The phrase Conservation of Energy seems to apply to the inactivity animals experience a great percentage of their daily lives.

    My theory is: a lure rouses inactive fish out of that state by stimulating their senses: sight via one or both eyes and sound /pressure waves via inner ears and lateral lines going down both sides of their bodies. Traditional theory regarding the sequence of the strike: 1. a fish senses a lure, 2.thinks about what the lure represents by associating it to some prey species locked in memory, and 3. then attacks it to eat it. Glen Lau produced videos that disagree.

    My comparison to a human's attempt to understand anything about an ET is, in my mind, no different than trying to understand why fish strike lures. If you believe the above paragraph - stop - read no further. But if you consider the simple fact that some lures in the same design category (jig & trailer, soft plastic grub or worm or Senko-type worm) are superior to others in the same category, you might (or should) wonder why.

    Curl tail grubs are not all equal in my experience and I've cast quite a few from different sources that have proven some designs are better. Finesse lures and especially soft-plastic lure design is an obsession of mine (apart from fishing) and I continue to search, discover and group those that work and those that work far less.

    This idea applies to all lure designs whether they be crankbaits, spoons, giant swimbaits or surface lures. Specific dynamic qualities are what set lures apart and differentiate different lure actions in water - especially subtle actions. And it's a lure's subtle actions that finesse anglers count on to stimulate inactive fish to strike regardless of stomach contents or feeding activity.

    "depending on what they sense determines how they react to the 'language' of a lure which involves shape, action, speed and maybe color - taken in combination."

    An example:
    I discovered a grub shape I would never have believed would catch fish if I hadn't stumbled upon it sitting in my tackle box. I had always assumed grubs must have action tails to work having used Twister Tail grubs and Sassy Shad grubs for decades. Come to find out, the cone-shaped tail, as seen below, moved totally different from the two tail styles mentioned and was far superior at an almost dead-stop speed.
    UY8BLY0.jpg

    Curl tail and shad tail designs are usually hopped off bottom (vertical jigged) or swum horizontally at a certain speed to give the tails action. That's fine if a fish will chase a lure going at that speed, but not so for fish in 38 degree water (as I found out recently). But even in water over 80 degrees, fish may not chase a lure or budge from an inactive state; and depending on how long the lure is in what I call its zone of irritation, may never become a strike zone object.

    The cone tail grub when used with light line, waddles, darts and glides at the slowest retrieve speed. Other tail designs are also capable of displaying actions fish notice, become irritated by and then seem to strike more often - but only as long as the lure creeps along doing its thing. Another lure design feature is that the cone be made of soft plastic that quivers with the slightest motion imparted by the rod tip.

    Figuratively an angler speaks a fish's language by asking the question: what in my tackle box will a fish strike and how must the lure move to generate that strike? A strike is a yes answer; multiple strikes on the same retrieve a big yes; and a strike and hook set on a third retrieve to the same fish, a - WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!? (.. if only you could talk!)

    If you watch a lure's action in the water - especially one that excels others in the same category - you have an idea of what makes that lure effective beyond its size and color. Fish communicate which lure actions rile them up the most along in combination with the best retrieve(s) for a certain lure design.

    No, I'm not a physicist and failed physics in college, but did well in zoology and botany and continue reading articles in science magazines, though taking fishing media articles with a grain of salt any claims made why fish strike this or that lure design. Being a lure crafter and tester has given me insights over a few decades regarding lure design, but most of all which lure designs used which way(s) catch the most fish. Lure design is in the details and the best lures show it.

    I don't think I can explain it any other way.
     
    #4 spoonminnow, Dec 15, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  5. Fomen

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    I think that fishermen have been trying to figure out this subject for millennia. If you ever watch a professional fisherman in a tournament, they have 15 rods already rigged up with different lures and crankbaits. And they have 15 tackle boxes filled with various other lures to fall back on if their "go to" lures don't work.

    What in nature does a senko replicate? How about a giant purple, plastic worm dragging on the bottom? Why does chartreuse work one day and not the next? We may never know. Unfortunately as human beings, we seem to be the only creatures on this planet with consciousness, self awareness, and premeditation. So when we toss out a lure to a fish, we're essentially tossing out what we "think" they want to see. We fall back on logic and reasoning instead of instinct, which instinct is the PRIMARY reason that the fish are biting.

    In years of watching the Hunt for Big Fish, I remember an episode where Larry Dahlberg addressed this subject. He admitted that he likes to think outside of the box, and that (prior to popular opinion) he believes that fish are instinctively curious. So he makes it a point to toss out something differing in color, shape, hydrodynamics, and sound from what the fish are used to seeing. Take for instance the "Whopper Plopper" he invented. Looks like nothing in nature, but makes a terrible racket on the surface. As sound travels 3x's faster under water, and in the right conditions it travels farther, it draws a lot of attention. Once the fish's curiosity is aroused, and it moves in for a closer look, it identifies whether or not it will fit into it's mouth. At this point the fish almost cant help itself.... It's like the call of the siren to unsuspecting sailors. Or how about a purple cedar plug dragged in the whitewash of a boat for tuna? Looks like nothing in nature.

    But we're not fish. We'll never fully know. I will admit that some lure concepts are GOLD, while others are duds. But I think it's advantageous to find a few varieties that work for you and get some different colors and sizes of them. Unless you're getting a sponsorship, you'll break the bank trying to keep up with the latest and greatest lures. If I go out on the water, and I exhaust my arsenal, I conclude that they just aren't biting that day. I don't put much more thought than that into it. Fishing can be feast or famine- and sometimes the reason differentiating the two scenarios just cannot be explained. This is just my $.02. Admittedly, I'm not the best fisherman, and I'm not the worst.

    I like your post however. I can tell your a smart guy who's put a lot of though and research into your conclusion. Much respect for that.
     
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  6. spoonminnow

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    Excellent post Fomen !!!!
    Before I go on, you'll have to excuse my misuse of the word hydrodynamic. Dynamic lure qualities would be more accurate in describing a lure's motions in water.

    As to why fish bite a lure design in one area of a lake and less so in another is a question without an answer. Too many variables! But on a day-to-day basis, fish that bite one design more often than another similar in design may allow for an educated guess based on observing the lures in motion.

    You've seen a wacky rig Senko fall horizontally and that of other brand soft sticks. The fall rate and tip wobble are unique as is the texture of the plastic. No other stick demonstrates the same motion in water - though I'm getting close.

    I mentioned Mr Twister Curl tail grubs. The design of that tail is much different when in motion than that of Berkley's RibbonTail Grub. Note the Ribbon tail's thin attachment and how it comes to a sharp point which is much different than the tails of the other designs. (Body design differences are insignificant.)
    zemsbJO.jpg

    Compare it to Berkleys PowerBait Power Grub
    4Ysx6bY.png

    Mr Twister Curl tail grub
    w9ldP56.jpg

    The tail design of the top grub demonstrates a sharp whip action; the other tail designs are wider at their attachment and have rounded tips that flutter like a flag. For some reason, the whip seems to generate more strikes most days of the year and especially when the bite is slow. Those who match lures to prey can never explain why that tiny but significant detail equates to more strikes and neither can my local tackle shop explain why they stopped selling Ribbon Tail grubs they could never keep stocked.

    The senses sense; the brain is just a simple switch that connects the senses to a fish's attack-anatomy and when overloaded causes a fish to act aggressively for better or worse.
     
    #6 spoonminnow, Dec 15, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  7. Fomen

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    I love the research you've put into this. It's apparent that you are passionate about this subject. Did you make the paddle tail lures you pictured in the first post?
     
  8. geofish

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    I disagree without rating a disagree. Hydrodynamic implies Dynamic action in water......therefore Hydrodynamic.....not to be a smarty pants but.....

    Otherwise a good read. Well thought out and compelling. I like this thread as well as your input.....
     
  9. spoonminnow

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    The top worm is a Slider, the rest are hand poured. The Slider profile and paddle that comes to a point at its tip, causes a unique action when jigging on a light jighead. I haven't found a mold for it and the only other copy I've found on Ebay is made using plastic that's much too firm.

    It's going to be a long winter, giving me enough time to either make a mold using silicone or getting one made in China. (...and no, I don't sell copies of lures that are protected.)

    hydrodynamic, - pertaining to the forces in or motions of liquids or relating to hydrodynamics:
    1.The branch of science that deals with the dynamics of fluids, especially incompressible fluids, in motion.
    2. (used with a pl. verb) The dynamics of fluids in motion.

    "Dynamic action in water" - but of what?
    Not very descriptive of lure action causation.

    In any case, I think the main theme was understood and just maybe of value to some.
     
  10. mcfish

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    What size jackets do you guys wear.........kidding! Interesting discussion on something we may never figure out! Do we really want to figure out everything that makes a fish pick a certain lure? Don't we fish in part because of the puzzle of trying to fool the fish on any particular day? Would fishing be the same if we always know what the fish want? Ok, I'll buy myself a jacket!
     
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  11. spoonminnow

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    " Don't we fish in part because of the puzzle of trying to fool the fish on any particular day? Would fishing be the same if we always know what the fish want?"

    The idea that angler's fool a fish into biting is opposite the post's theme: superior lure design means everything when getting fish to react to a manmade object of which they don't (can't) have a clue.

    Do you use just any crankbait, jig or soft plastic brand? If you had a choice between a Senko and Yum soft stick worms, which would you choose? If your only reason is that Senkos are 'plainly better lures', fine. But for those that do wonder why one lure outperforms another of the same type most of the time, the post indicates some possibilities why and what to observe as the lure moves at different speeds.

    As for myself, I am fascinated by the designs that have caught fish for over 60 years such as the jig & pig which caught large numbers of bass but not because of the pork, salt or what it supposedly simulated. The reason that put Uncle Josh put out of business was the variety of soft-plastic trailer designs that did just as well if not better than the pork frog's flapper tails and for far less money. Even the hassle of keeping pork wet contributed to the company's downfall.

    Many anglers never questioned the style name - pork frog - and assumed the black spots on a green background against a white bottom meant fish were fooled into believing the lure to be an actual frog; as some pro anglers insisted - a crawfish or a shad. I stopped fooling myself years ago believing pro-sponsor paid claims why their lures work.

    When a lure is discontinued that I caught a lot of fish on for years, I search for one similar in design that moves the same way given the lure's profile. At times it's frustrating not to be able to find one or more lures made by a company that went out of business. It's like preferring to use the same rod & reel you've had for years and having it stolen or destroyed. Sure there will always be substitutes, but developing loyalty to another is tough and for reasons your mind and hand associated with success. I am hesitant using old lures no longer made that are stored in my basement for fear some pickerel or a frayed line will result in their loss.

    The above should provide ideas when evaluating which lures outperform and for which reasons - color not being one of them. You may pay a lot more for a crankbait having to do with a superior design never wondering why except that - it just catches more fish on more outings than others.
     
    #11 spoonminnow, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  12. Nute

    Nute Researcher...
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    I agree. Decent read, and informative if you take the side of your perspective and observations. I briefly searched through your posts and couldnt really find any reports or fish pics. Do you have any results to your theories that you can share?
     
  13. spoonminnow

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    Be glad to.
    7qIP4TH.jpg Kqd4TEp.jpg

    m12Z0Fo.jpg pT5VyGP.jpg

    63TffPi.jpg j6tMOCE.png

    PGs9y1H.png yv9fMGV.png c1GvSdg.jpg
    ZArotF4.jpg HwvaDsL.jpg OmvT2Va.jpg
    gMei7IE.jpg cPDSIv6.jpg
    mU8Kww7.jpg

    zIXpoKc.jpg pXyRswn.jpg
    E4F1IfK.jpg CIwINi1.jpg iWMztPR.jpg XJRAC6Y.jpg

    All caught bass on different days in different waters:
    uvg9vTW.jpg PWakseb.jpg

    Lure on the left derived from original on the right.
    vorT63o.jpg

    oo7dRYF.jpg
     
    #13 spoonminnow, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  14. spoonminnow

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    I keep a photo log of pretty much every outing to always have on record which lure designs always caught fish regardless the species. Every fish pictured was caught using 10# test braid with a 1.5 ' leader of 6# test fluorocarbon line and a light action rod. Seven water were fished - caught fish on all - at least 35 per day, mostly over 60 per day and some days over 110.

    Depths fish were caught ranged from 2-15' in water temps ranging from 38 degrees - 85.
     
  15. Nute

    Nute Researcher...
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    Very cool, I keep a log as well. Are these local SD spots? Clearly your theory is effective. Now for more questions. What are you thoughts on bigger models of LMB? 6-double digit class. What characteristics, if any, do they share with smaller models?
     
  16. spoonminnow

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    I live and fish in NY. Only fished in a lake near LA once with my brother, who, though a good angler using live bait, never fished much.

    Bigger models of LMB? Not sure what you mean.
    As far as fishing for larger bass, larger lures are needed because larger bass IMO need a larger target that challenges it when trespassing into its space. Larger baits move differently with actions that are less finesse in nature:
    larger spinnerbait blades = more flash and thump;
    large bill crankbaits = a wider body wag at slower retrieves;
    heavier jigs with larger trailers = more mud cloud and bigger skirt and trailer profiles;
    larger soft plastic lures = larger profiles, length and maybe greater action as in the case of 7" swimbaits with their wider wobble and tail thump.

    Smaller fish respond to the twitching imparted to smaller lures at the slowest speed - larger bass not so much unless you hit them on the head. (Though I have caught big catfish on small lures and light line; a different species that acts like a bluegill.)

    If you've ever watched videos of Florida guides that rig large live bait-fish on their client's hooks, 10 lb plus monsters grab that bait like it was a snack in shallow heavy weeds.

    My theory about the success of lures is that: 1. they challenge a fish to a duel or in other words, say, "come and get me" by teasing the scales off them and 2. hold their attention long enough for 1. to happen. When it comes to catching any species with lures, size matters along with speed and lure action.

    This isn't to infer that only large lure catch large fish - many large fish are caught on small finesse lures such as a drop-shot 4" finesse worm worked slowly above the bottom. But increasing the number of bites by any fish usually requires smaller lures with finessed action retrieved slowly taking into account that fish usually don't chase lures but rather inspect them for a longer time period before attacking.
     
    #16 spoonminnow, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  17. Fomen

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    If you ever decide to come to San Diego for vacation, let us know. There will be no shortage of people willing to take you out on the water and show off our local fishery.
     
  18. spoonminnow

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    "MIC?"

    After rereading your well thought out reply, the above paragraph made me think of some things that could explain the often used excuses why fish aren't biting or biting a particular lure. Here goes:

    Right place, right time, right presentation (lure speed and angler imparted action), avoid using the wrong lure in the wrong size, shape and action and just maybe all of this determines whether a lure is success or not. That said, the reason is not that some or most lures don't work in a lake on a particular day, but that fish location and lure characteristics can make all the difference. The reason some tournament anglers have an edge sometimes is a game plan that starts out taking into consideration specific depths and structure types (heavy weeds, suspended weeds, rock walls, shallow/ deep etc.) If they lock themselves into one area only, they would be ignoring the simple rule of fish behavior : they move from hour to hour and day to day.

    Specific areas and depths require different but a select group of lures. Fish in those areas may be suspended but still vulnerable to what Fomen said: curiosity.

    Claiming fish have lure preferences is like saying fish intentionally chose one lure while rejecting another, attributing to fish the ability to make lure comparisons such as between a Senko vs. a Yum soft stick. At times the Senko shines because fish require that extra tip action and faster drop, but at other times, both do just as well because fish are more susceptible to a wider range of lure actions and sizes. Anglers must discover the right place and time to use them.

    The point I'm trying to make is that fish in any body of water don't prefer lures, thereby indicating a want, desire or need, but that a lure or lures may, in that moment in time and location, provoke fish and initiate strikes. One lake I fish has at least 10 area types that have a greater potential to hold fish from year to year and that requires using certain lures for those areas.The reason I carry 5 rods rigged with different lures is to scout out those locations and maybe establish a pattern in the same day or in the days that follow.

    Many will laugh at my experimenting with lures on panfish to compare to bass, but in my book fish are fish and if I prove a theory catching panfish on certain lures and presentations, bass are sure to do the same. One theory proven, as you've seen in the photos, is that some lure characteristics matter more than others but at the same time not at all. What I found last year fishing five different waters was that:
    1. lure length, action and overall shape matter.
    2. jig head size mattered.
    3. what didn't matter as much was color, considering the fact that at least a dozen colors caught fish using certain lures. I've proven this using various colored jig & trailers, spinnerbaits and soft plastics rigged on light jig heads.

    I consider lure size as a trigger. If the shape and action are correct, lure size may be a factor that makes a fish want to clobber a lure and for a few possible reasons:
    1. if the lure is on the small size and exhibits a subtle tail or other body part action, irritation finally gets the better of any size fish.
    2. if a lure has the right shape and action but is large - say 1/3 - 1/2 the length of the fish, the bully and territorial nature of predator fish surface making that fish explode. I'm sure we've all caught small fish on large lures and wondered, what the H!!??
    3 Surface commotions
    accomplish the same thing by interrupting the reverie a fish experiences while suspending (which an adult fish does 98 % of the time). A fish doesn't know the size of the lure making the splashes but attacks it anyway assuming it to be larger than it is. I never underestimate but usually count on the territorial nature of predator fish.

    Pictures don't lie and my log is a photo collection of fish caught, where caught and which lures caught them. They also demonstrate the idea that finding fish is tougher than catching them given the right lures chosen for the right area and time of day.

    What all of the above suggests, are the variables anglers must get right usually by experimentation and focusing on lure presentation. Blindly casting lures not appropriate for time and place results in casting practice and little more.

    Just more musings of an old chap stuck in the house avoiding wind chills below zero.....
     
    #19 spoonminnow, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  19. spoonminnow

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    The examples I gave above about modifying soft plastic lures really does make some lures more effective and in many cases far better than the originals right out of the bag.
    All it takes is a sharp edge (razor or scissors), a way to fuse parts together* and a bit of imagination. The combinations are limitless ! and when found to work, can always be
    counted on.

    *candle flame, Mend-It for soft plastics (smells like PVC glue), maybe Super GLue.

    Here are a few modifications:
    1. shortening a lure - many times bass go after smaller versions of the same lure design. Rather than 6" Texas rigged, shortening a worm to 3.5 inches by cutting off the front of the bait and rigging it on a 1/8 oz. jig head.
    What this accomplishes is altering the same bait for a different presentation and fishing conditions. No mold, no mess or fuss. IT WORKS!! The shortened worm can now be used as a finesse worm.
    2. changing the tail - I used to think that a curly tail worm or grub had to be used the way it came out of the package. But once I accidentally discovered how to make thin straight tail grubs, did I start thinking about the 1000 or so grubs and worms I hadn't used for decades stored in my basement.
    All it takes is is cutting off parts of the tail to transform it into a straight finesse-tail that quivers when the lure is almost stationary - kind of like a do-nothing presentation.
    3. Fusing lure parts - is easy and results in unique designs. I'm one that believes small changes in a lure count when fish aren't super active. The advantage of fusing lure parts together is discovering that you don't have to buy any new thing advertised in catalogs, BASS magazines or on TV. Those of
    us that have tied our own jigs and have found skirt color combination and thickness can matter as much as jig weight. Fusing part does the following:
    a. making it larger or smaller in length
    b. changing tail action
    c. changing body profile and action
    d. experimenting with color combinations from two different lures

    Fish are stupid, but never insensitive or unaware of their surroundings and of any object moving in it. In fact the label Mr Sensitivity to describe bass or any other fish predator seems to fit quite well. Fish in all likelihood have no clue what lures represent but take notice and track lures either for defensive or offensive reasons. It's been proven that fish perception is fine-tuned to sense everything about a lure in a matter of seconds and track it regardless of water clarity or available light. Keeping this in mind, a lure's physical attributes can make all the difference whether a lure is struck because the little things do count and separate good lures from duds.

    Here are some alterations to think about doing yourself:
    A different grub body fused to a worm with paddle tail - neither of which did half as well before the change:
    pT5VyGP.jpg Dg8qkXA.jpg zEF2TDv.jpg yTxso3l.jpg
    Fusing a bright worm tail to a grub or worm segment:
    pmBYwog.jpg

    Fusing a prong tail to a grub body that use to be a curl tail:
    Y2kqPfl.png 4eneK5j.jpg lOxr4kX.jpg

    examples of worm length reduction and fusing parts together:
    HoglHV8.png ddNMhpT.jpg

    Some bass anglers want to only catch bass and the above are strictly multi-species suggestions because they catch any predator species, including this 5 lb. catfish:
    FB3VzRu.jpg RIYEuxq.jpg

    As for myself, I would rather end the day with this count made up of four to five fish species rather than less than two dozen bass caught:
    zIXpoKc.jpg
     
    #20 spoonminnow, Jan 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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