John's Journal...

Click to enlargeThe Revival of Old Lures

Zell Rowland

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bass wise-up to lures the more frequently they see them. When anglers buy old lures and fish them, they quickly discover that the old lures are catching as many, if not more, bass than they did when they were new. The reason is that these older lures are ones that the bass haven’t seen before. Anglers fishing these old lures have new confidence in the old ones that win big-money tournaments. We’ll talk this week with some of the nation’s top pros to learn what old lures they’re still using and why.

Click to enlargeZell Rowland of Montgomery, Texas, who has fished bass tournaments since the age of 13, has won over $1 million in tournament bass fishing, including five Bassmaster events. For more than 20 years, he’s fished the Pop-R and knows that lure never will go out of style.

“I started fishing the Rebel Pop-R right after anglers started winning tournaments using it. Other chugger baits, may look like the Pop-R, but they won’t sound like it because of the shape of the Pop-R’s body and the concave shape of its mouth. The Pop-R spits and sounds like a shad flipping the surface of the water. I’ve come out with a new bait for Excalibur that only Click to enlargespits and doesn’t chug, but I still carry the Pop-R with me and use it often. I’ve even got an old Heddon Zara Spook that has three treble hooks instead of two. I fish with the older baits because often they catch more bass than the new ones. Many of the old lures have three hooks instead of two hooks, like the old Smithwick Rogue. You don’t have to be bright to understand that three hooks will catch more bass than two hooks will. I also have some of the old Bomber Mud Bugs. Old lures were made out of different materials – often lead – from the new lures that are often made with tungsten. The old lures produce a different sound than the new lures do. Some companies, like PRADCO, are even Click to enlargereturning to the original plastic formulations that were used on some of the original old baits to make the lures sound and act like the old baits. Some of the old baits that were around before I was born and just after I was born still will be producing bass for fishermen long after I’m gone. We’re even seeing fishermen going to the Internet and buying old baits off eBay but not as collector’s items. They’re buying those old baits to fish with them. I’ve seen some fishermen pay as much as $40 for an old lure, take it out fishing on the weekend and watch that old bait catch bass.”

Tomorrow: Greg Hackney

Check back each day this week for more about "The Revival of Old Lures"

Day 1: Paul Elias
Day 2: Zell Rowland
Day 3: Greg Hackney
Day 4: Tim Horton
Day 5: More with Tim Horton



Entry 348, Day 2