A concept alien to most anglers - LOL

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

  1. Fomen

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    I think presentation is equally important. Here's an example:

    When fishing for albacore tuna a few years back, we were about 20 miles offshore. The bite had been wide open for 1-2 weeks, thus there was a fleet of boats in the general area. All were trolling feathers of various colors and patterns. On my boat, we had 3 anglers, and we were SLAYING albacore. Unbeknownst to us, the other boats around us were not. We received a call over the VHS radio inquiring as to what we were doing to instigate our success. We told the other anglers what we were trolling..... Feather lure in "Mexican Flag" pattern. They replied they were using the same thing. We told them we were trolling the lure at the back end of the prop wash, right where the cavitation bubbles and turbulence started to dissipate. They replied they were doing the same thing. Then came the all important question....... "What is your trolling speed?"

    They were trolling at 4 knots. We were trolling at 7. To them, 7 knots seemed unreasonably fast. But again, we try to use logic to think like a fish. It just doesn't work. They kicked up their trolling speed by 3 knots, and within 30 seconds they had a fish on- ALL OF THEM!

    You said yourself that fish think like fish. I don't think it at all strange or outlandish to experiment with presentation, colors, and techniques on panfish, and conclude those same philosophies can be applies to bass. Fish think like fish, NOT like us. They don't have the ability to reason or premeditate. They don't possess self awareness or common sense. But their collective, instinctive nature can become their proverbial Achilles heel to the seasoned and patient angler. If you're willing to patiently experiment with presentation and techniques, you will eventually stumble across the magic combination. And since the fish think and act collectively from instinct, once you find the sweet spot it's ON!

    If this happens, log EVERYTHING! Log the water temp, lunar cycle, barometric pressure, cloud cover. Eventually you can start to create a log book that becomes symptomatic and patternistic. Like the medical books that medical practitioners carry around in their front pockets. It will only make you a better fisherman.

    So if you're using a lure that normally produces for you, and for some reason it's not that day- before you change to a different lure, try changing your presentation technique. Speed up the retrieve. Intensify the twitch you use to give your lure action. It's easier to do this than to swap out your rod/bait to something else. Because if the fish are more focused on the presentation than the color or the shape, it doesn't matter what you throw at them when you change it up to stimulate a bite. They are more focused on the "action" for some reason than the aesthetics.
     
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  2. spoonminnow

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    Thanks! I wish I was closer to my cousins in El Cajon - one of the most peaceful and beautiful places on earth! I'd take you up on the offer in a minute!
     
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  3. spoonminnow

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    Well said!

    One thing I forgot was fish location bites that can change from hour to hour or from morning to evening.
    I fished this one lake one day and tried my lures in an area not far from the launch because most who fish that lake always zoom off to other areas. No luck in the morning. So on my way back after catching over 80 fish, with the sun going down, I decided to give the area another try. Bass and panfish bit like no tomorrow forcing me to load the truck almost in the dark! Another dozen fish were caught.

    It happens more often than not that when a bite turns on in a certain area, either because fish moved back into the area or fish were there most of the day or woke up and became more aggressive that it may seem a change in lure and presentation was the reason. Many times I've done better in mid-morning, midday or late afternoon. But same exact thing happens when changing lures and or presentations where one design can't catch fish and another gets clobbered.

    I repeat: It's great posting on this forum and getting responses that are not put-downs like on a few others that have a few refusing to acknowledge new ideas that challenge conventional ways of thinking. Thanks guys, your input and suggestions are really appreciated! Man do I wish I retired in San Diego.
     
    #23 spoonminnow, Jan 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  4. B8DHOOK

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    Good stuff you guys. I’ve been fishing SD bay quite a bit this year ( more than a working man should be allowed to ) from boat and from shore, I love that place and all the different species we can catch on any given day. Box of chocolates for sure... from boat we always get a scoop of sardine and mix it up with throwing misc plastics and Krocodile spoons. From shore, I carry two rods, one a bass rod with 10lb mono for throwing plastics, and the other is an older Fenwick spinning rod with 6lb mono for spoons. From shore My favorite plastic is a AA 4”-5” curl tail grub on 3/8 jig head. It’s my confidence bait from shore I’ve done real well with it lately around the Shelter Island area etc. I’ve been targeting, and catching a lot of halibut along with the basses etc. anyway, presentation is absolutely key, and it pretty much decides whether you’re going to catch a bass, or a halibut with the same lure being tied on. For me, the bass are caught more dropping to bottom and bumping up and down slowly letting the tail flutter as it sinks, and getting hit on the drop most times. The halibut like a very slow retrieve just barely above bottom as to just make that curly tail flutter without hitting bottom. I fished the dock areas on New Year’s Eve for 6 hours and ended up with 5 halibut, and 20-30 bass. ( two keeper halibut ). I used the same grub / head all day and tried every variation of retrieve I could think of. ( used up 13 tails in the process ). It’s a flat bottom there and no snags so I was able to mix things up and see what results came of it. I ended up biting off a tiny bit of plastic on my grubs just at the neck of the curly tail area, and that made my tail swim / flutter at a very slow retrieve and that seemed to be the ticket for the halibut. Just that tiny adjustment made the grub look like a small baitfish slowly swimming above the bottom. I pivot my hips and very slowly swing my rod to drag the grub, and you could feel the halibut tagging it before committing to the bite. Yes, on presentation matters...
     
  5. spoonminnow

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    Perfect example B&D! You adapted the lure and presentation to whatever provoked fish to bite. Even small changes can make all the difference between catching or getting skunked. Now that the weather is arctic in nature, I have all the time in the world to go to my boxes of stored plastics, pick out a few and play around with modifications I'm quite sure will provoke bites. Fine tuning lures and catching fish on them, broadens one's awareness of lure action/presentation combinations that work based on the modifications You've made. As long as they catch fish now and in the future, you've got a winner!

    The fun thing about knowing all of the above is not having to limit oneself to only a few lures you're not sure will work, but carrying a bunch of different lures you have confidence will work anytime, anywhere. Variety is the spice of fishing.

    Man I can't wait until spring!
    I'm (almost) too old to ice fish, but certainly lazy enough to not want to. :emoji_sunglasses:
     
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  6. B8DHOOK

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    I’ve never poured my own plastics, so sorry if this is a dumb question, but can you re-make new grubs etc by melting pieces of used baits and attaching them to various other models to make your own creation ? I have dozens of used grubs from just this summer alone that I’ve kept in a baggie, and I’ve got lots of various unused bass and saltwater plastics from years ago. Just wondering if you could use a candle to melt each side and plunge them together and have them actually stick well enough to use on a jig head. Or will they not hold ?
     
  7. spoonminnow

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    Yes to all your questions!!! Using the flame to fuse those part together is permanent. The only other thing I do after fusing is to hold the joint over the flame, rolling the lure to smooth the joined area and make it stronger. (Notice I wrote the word lure and not joint. LOL)
    The other thing I use is a battery powered soldering gun to smooth the plastic over the joined area. Any cracks in the joint may result in the area tearing after fish are caught.

    Mend-It soft plastic glue smells a lot like PVC cement ( which may work the same for most plastics). I've used Mend-It at times, but flame method always works and faster. I'll post some recent examples tomorrow.
     
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  8. spoonminnow

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    Here you go:
    Mr Twister Grub with modified tail:
    [​IMG]

    Started out with these two lures:
    [​IMG]

    ... and transformed them fusing pieces of other lures:
    [​IMG]

    Added Crappie Magnet grub tail to thicker grub bodies:
    [​IMG]

    Added worm tails to thick grub bodies:
    [​IMG]

    In all cases the modifications proved to catch fish far better than the originals.
     
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  9. spoonminnow

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    The fusion is a strong as for any unaltered soft plastic and depending on species caught, can be good for over two dozen fish.
     
    #29 spoonminnow, Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  10. B8DHOOK

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    Haaa ! Very good. Ideas are now spinning around in my head... we have these lures here in San Diego called “fish Traps”, not sure if you use them back east, but they’re a shad type full body with paddle tail and come in various sizes. I bought many back in the 80s and 90s and they work well bumping the bottom for misc bass and halibut. Anyway, I always wished they had a curl tail version as I’ve always liked the way curlies move in the water. I’ll have to do some Frankenstein surgery and see if I can create a hybrid.
     
  11. spoonminnow

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    "I’ll have to do some Frankenstein surgery and see if I can create a hybrid."
    Like that!

    Suggestion: put on the table different lures of different designs. As your watching TV or contemplating the species you want to catch, let your mind wonder and all of a sudden a new combination of body / tail comes to you. The combinations are infinite and you can be assured no fish have ever experienced them.

    Action is where it's at - body and tail. Different designs move differently and look different as regards lure profile from head to tail. The ones I discovered and tested in the waters I fish, proved themselves and I think a lot had to do with profile such as:

    pT5VyGP.jpg BUSObPh.jpg

    Believe it or not, this modification has worked for 5 freshwater fish species. If I only want to target bass, I go much larger; for smaller fish, the 3" size gets attacked in water 40-85 degrees.

    Size matters when it comes to fish size IMO. Larger fish react sometimes to medium to huge size lures of the right profile and action just as larger hook sizes insure good hook sets.

    Hook placement - in other words where it exist the body - can affect lure action. Too far back (large hook) and you sacrifice some body action; too far forward (small hook) and hook sets might be a problem. But there is a range where hooks can exit as long as hook gap is good. I'm sure you've guessed this for any lure you've ever decided hook placement - but something important for Frankenstein lures.

    (BTW My name is Frank) lol
     
    #31 spoonminnow, Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  12. B8DHOOK

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    Good stuff Frank. I messed around with some broken / used plastics last night and was able to melt 3 different versions with misc pieces. It was kinda hard to get a perfect joint with the flame but I don’t think the fish will mind too much in the end. I’m going to give it another go tonight with different brand of grub. Didn’t get to fish this weekend to try out the others, but I definitely will. Jason..
     
  13. spoonminnow

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    Excellent Jason! I like anglers who follow through and try stuff that can make a big difference. But one thing I'm pretty certain of: regardless of who made them, good lure designs stand the test of time and in different waters. Suggestion: when you test a design you or some company came up with that caught fish on different days, take a picture and store it somewhere (memory stick, or on-line IE https://imgur.com/ ) This way you have a base of information for what worked and what may be modified in other ways.

    I have over 1000 shots - some showing the lure hooked to a fish's mouth or the lure by itself next to a ruler. Never trust good design-modifications to memory and believe that those designs will catch fish year after year in the same and other waters. I even belief that you could get ideas from many of my modifications that have worked well and proven certain design ideas true or false by the strikes they get.

    Please post some of yours if you don't mind. It might give me some ideas or designs I know have worked.
    Here's one that simple in design and extremely successful for different fish species :
    [​IMG]

    mod:
    4" Slider worm shortened
    the shortened tail was fused to the thick part
    Spike It worm dye was used to create a laminate look

    design concepts proven:
    Merthiolate color didn't deter the strike (laminate may offer a bit of visual contrast)

    Not all paddle tail worms are equal in action. The Slider Tail worm's paddle tapers to a point when looking at it from the side which produces a big difference in action than thicker paddle tail finesse worms

    The big difference in worm thickness from the front 1/3 and the back 2/3 was proven to catch many species eight years ago and which I decided to try again with the Slider.

    The reduction in length from 4' to 3 1/4" caught more fish in different sizes when the bite was tough.

    The idea was repeated in this body/tail combo:
    [​IMG]

    There's something about the design of a meaty front and finesse action tail section in combination that really gets bites! The curl tail grub (Bass Pro Spring Grub didn't work near as well as when I attached the thin tail that I cut from a hand poured grub and fused..
    This is just one example - You will discover more and be AMAZED!

    As far as the joint not smooth, you can always use a soldering gun for the surface, running from each section towards the fused area. Mine is battery powered and works for 50 of more lures until I charge the AA batteries.
     
    #33 spoonminnow, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  14. spoonminnow

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    Please forgive my poor memory. Many pictures illustrated the fat body/ thin tail mod. in the above replies, but you get the idea about proving / disproving ideas when it come to lure color, shape/profile, size, and most important - lure action - variables that contribute to the best designs.
     
    #34 spoonminnow, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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