John's Journal...

Click to enlargeThe Revival of Old Lures Continued

Larry Nixon

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 talk this week with some of the nation’s top pros to learn what old lures they’re still using and why.

Click to enlargeLarry Nixon of Bee Branch, Arkansas, one of the most well-known highly-successful bass anglers in the nation, has won four Megabucks tournaments, three of those consecutively. The first professional bass angler to win $1 million in tournament winnings, Nixon also won the 1983 Bassmaster Classic, the Bassmaster title of Angler of the Year twice and seven FLW tournaments.

“I like to fish the old Smithwick Rogue that Kevin VanDam won the Bassmaster Classic on in 2005,” Nixon says. “That’s the classic example of a professional bass fisherman using an old lure to win a major tournament. I’ve been carrying the Rogue with me since about 1980, because when I’m Click to enlargefishing on Toledo Bend, at certain times of the year, that particular bait is better than any other lure you can possibly use. I actually started fishing the Rogue back in the late 1970s as a twitch bait and a jerkbait. Since bass seldom have seen that lure in many years, it’s highly productive. That lure fits a small niche, but there’s definitely a time and a place to use it. In the Bassmaster Classic, that antique lure that Kevin VanDam still had in his tackle box proved to be the right lure to make bass bite and produce a $500,000 check for him. If you ever want to make a case for why to fish old lures, the 2005 Bassmaster Classic proves the point. Even though the Rapala is still in production, and many tackle shops still have it, few fishermen know about this deadly top-water Click to enlargebait. This lure is another one that has certain applications that makes it extremely important to bass anglers. If you remember when, why and where an old lure worked, often those old lures can be more effective than some of the newer lures on the market today. The Heddon Mud Bug is another old lure I like since I won a Bassmaster tournament on Lake Millwood with it in 1978. I still carry that old Mud Bug with me because there are very few lakes we fish with timber in them that will allow me to get a crankbait down 6- to 10-feet deep without getting it hung. But, the old Mud Bug fits that niche. Bass will eat this bait that resembles a big crawfish jumping and diving through the brush just as they have before.”

Tomorrow: More with Larry Nixon

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

Day 1: Randy Dearman
Day 2: Shaw Grigsby
Day 3: Larry Nixon
Day 4: More with Larry Nixon
Day 5: Jimmy Mason



Entry 349, Day 3