John's Journal...


How Long Do Magic Lures Last?

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Thousands of dollars are made each year by lure manufacturers who believe they have produced such a lure. Many anglers swear by baits they claim will produce bass under any weather or water conditions. Even though pro fishermen won't admit to having magic baits, they do use the words, confidence lures, to describe these baits instead of the word, magic. But what causes a lure to be magical? How do you find and use a magic lure? How long does a magic lure's spellbinding characteristics last? Can you make any lure in your tackle box magic? Let's find out this week.

For fishing-tackle manufacturers to remain in business, they must come to the marketplace with new lures every year. Each manufacturer is hoping that in his array of new products will be one magic lure that catches the eyes of anglers, consistently takes Click to enlargenumbers of bass as well as big bass and spells tremendous profits for him. A fishing-tackle company's most-magical lures are those that catch plenty of fishermen over a long time. Many of the hottest lures in America fade into obscurity after only a two or three year run. These baits haven't lost their magic but just their magicians. For example, the Pop-R made by Rebel was a very effective, plunker-type, top-water lure. But then the minnow kinds of baits and buzzbaits splashed onto the fishing scene and created such a furor, and the Pop-R all but vanished from anglers' boxes. But today some professional fishermen use their old Pop-Rs from the bottoms of their tackle boxes to fish them around aquatic vegetation that's fast inundating many of the lakes in the East. The old magic is still in the lure. The old Pop-R, which without any changes, has been rediscovered as the new Pop-R, and has become one of the hottest top-water lures on the market.

The Rat-L-Trap was one of the first rattling baits to be produced. Although it was popular Click to enlargefollowing its introduction, the Rat-L-Trap faded into the background after a couple of years as newer, more-innovative, rattling lures were introduced. However, once again the pro fisherman dug into his tackle box and discovered the Rat-L-trap could be fished around aquatic vegetation, could be utilized to prospect on points for bass and could be fished quickly down a bank to locate schools of fish that might have taken hours to find with a lure he had to fish slower. The Rat-L-Trap experienced a revival and became known as one of today's magic lures.

When I was in elementary school, my father fished the muskie Jitterbug on a steel rod with Dacron line and a baitcasting reel. But because the lure was big and heavy and not much fun to fish, it faded into obscurity. However, the late L.J. Brasher of Opelika, Alabama, and a few other trophy-bass fishermen who prowled farm ponds and lakes in south Georgia and north Florida hunting bass at night proved that the old muskie Jitterbug regularly would call trophy bass at night just as it did 50-years ago. What we've learned about magic lures is Click to enlargethat often the old baits that have made bass magic for our fathers and even our grandfathers can produce large numbers of bass today, if a new magician will but pick them up and use them.

A confidence lure in many tackle boxes that charms bass is the crankbait. But like most tricks, the magic isn't in the lure but in the magician himself. If you crash a crankbait into heavy cover where few other anglers throw it, let the lure bounce off limbs and brush and then allow the crankbait to float up as though it is injured, bass will attack so quickly, you soon will be convinced the crankbait with a bouncing/floating action is magic.


Check back each day this week for more about MAGIC LURES AND SECRET BAITS FOR BASS

Day 1: The Search for the Magical Bass Lure
Day 2: What Causes a Lure to Be Magic
Day 3: How to Find and Use a Magic Lure
Day 4: How Long Do Magic Lures Last?
Day 5: How Can You Make Any Lure in Your Tackle Box Magic?



Entry 306, Day 4