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Learn something new every time I fish

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senkosam View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 6:36am
Everyone who've read my posts know me as a tester of different soft plastic lure designs and colors. Just can't help myself ! The best test of any design usually includes variations and combinations of size, shape and color as well as where and how often fish strike - the more species and different waters the better. I love to catch fish on new lures - especially modifications - and constantly disprove the old ideas why fish strike them. 

Variety is the spice of fishing or I wouldn't fish. Testing lure design concepts provides the challenge and satisfaction of catching fish of different species that anyone can test for themselves. Different tail designs have proven fool proof fish catchers:
Here are the most recent:
Clear plastic lures catch fish - either all clear body or clear tails:
7.5 lb. catfish:
(note wacky rig with light jig head)

Spike tail:

Thin flat tail:

Grub bodies joined together after the curl tails were removed:

The Crappie Magnet double tail (sold in the US) catches all species:
(Note clear body the tail was attached to.)







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senkosam View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote senkosam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 7:14am
What the above proves is:
1. different lure designs work in the same water on the same day
2. different colors also work regardless of water clarity
3. all lures shown catch different species and sizes of fish
4. light jig heads (1/32 - 1/16), unpainted, are more than adequate for small or huge fish
5. all lures worked better using a light action rod and 8 lb test braid line 
6. each lure design has a unique action that fish react to
7. each lure action-by-design shown catches fish equally

 Wish I knew what this fish is that weighed over 3 pounds:

Here are a few more that have proven fish catchers:
claw design formed by taking the claw off a bass lure and attaching it to a grub body:

Beetle Spin and soft plastic designs:

Most important is the fact that anyone can make these lures and catch fish with them as long as patience is observed. I have fished with a friend for two years that finally though slowly has accepted the fact that a slow presentation always matters for any lure cast and especially for finesse-action lures. He is finally keeping up with me and together we catch 60 to over 100 fish and most of the time 4-5 fish species per outing. He's still has a superstition about selective colors and lure designs, but with time he'll come around - especially after seeing me catch many fish on different designs and colors.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ducks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 9:23am
Looks like it could be a grass carp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote senkosam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 6:08pm
Think you're right. Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horrorhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 7:31pm
Love the soft plastics on a beetle spin, have caught many different species on that set up - very versatile set up.
Martin-

you don't havta be pretty to fish
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote al49 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2019 at 2:52am
your fish definatley arent fussy when they eat those plain looking placcies :):)but i suppose its match the hatch in their enviroment ,would be interesting to put one of those  in front of our native bass 
it a lot better world if you just smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote senkosam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2019 at 10:19pm
Originally posted by al49 al49 wrote:

your fish definatley arent fussy when they eat those plain looking placcies :):)but i suppose its match the hatch in their enviroment ,would be interesting to put one of those  in front of our native bass 

Fish IMO fall into an activity/aggression range regardless the water or country. Fussy = fish  suspending, less likely to be provoked by our lures or even live bait. At the other end of the range are highly aggressive fish that go into a feeding frenzy, though feeding may or may not be the reason.

IMO fish don't have motives or reasons they attack lures. That would require a thought process such as:
that lure with hooks dangling looks like (by comparison) something I'd usually eat. That fish are dumb creatures is proven by the various unrealistic looking and acting lures we cast yet still catch fish as long as their aggression level is high enough to provoke fish them to strike.
 
Another theory I had involves fish senses. Most of us know of the eye sight fish have underwater - even in dim light. The lateral line is a fish's sonar and can detect and track object motions from a distance. Catfish can track a scent trail yards away and then close in to attack. Considering the pea size brain of a fish, nature has possibly provided a simple process that is automatic - almost reflexive if or when certain lure related characteristics are evident. 

Given a hypothetical range of 1-5, 5 being the easiest aggression level to provoke, say for example a lure passes into a level 5 fish's personal space. The lure may be moving fast (trolled or retrieved), yet the senses are hyped up, overloading the brain of increased activity with sensory information. In effect, it's a no-brainer (pardon the pun Wink) and 1 + 1 = a strike. Many lure designs and actions as well as even large lures will get hammered. Here are a few tykes that couldn't help themselves similar to a muscle reflex:

I don't believe a fish's brain is any better in the fifth year of life than the first month. It can't and doesn't learn by experience as many of us have noticed after counting the holes in a previously caught fish. You may say, 'fish are bullies and strike because they prefer to overwhelm a lure that tresspasesses'. The only correlation is that bullies are at times as dumb as fish, not taking into account the danger an object (ie person) my possess to end his life or do serious bodily damage. 

Take note the 3 sets of treble hooks hanging from a 4" Rapala retrieved with twitches and pauses. If I had half a brain (couldn't help myself Embarrassed), I might think twice before taking that whole thing in my mouth !! 

Fish are at level 5 when in a school that becomes active whether in deep water, in shallow water pre, during or post spawn. You can cast to an area an easily catch fish after fish. A level 1 occurs when the senses and brain are suspended from most activity except to flee. The brain in a sense ignores what its senses sense and no lure nor live bait is able to provoke an attack. Level 1 fish may be in a school being followed by a level 1 predator also not in the mood to attack.

Coming back to lure features that provoke fish, you'll notice from all the photos, specific lure shapes and sizes decide a lure's action. Just as not all crankbaits catch fish, neither do all soft plastic lures in the same category - IE grub group or plastic worm group. In fact, the Gary Y Kut Tail worm shown above is as unique as the Senko in action and totally dependent on its shape-by-design. All species strike it more than most other soft plastic worms. The lure/fish photos I post are real and are proof that design matters no matter how slight.

What really pisses me off is when a certain lure is discontinued such as Rapala's Risto Rap crankbait. It's been one of my best producing crankbaits for over 25 years. I have not a clue what it is about it that is superior to 98 % of all the crankbaits I own, but it simply is, proven by the numbers of fish caught retrieved or trolled. My search is ongoing when it comes to unique lure actions and shapes that provoke fish. I will continue to share those discoveries. Stay tuned.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2019 at 11:08am
An interesting read, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Agree that when they are not feeding, working to get an aggression strike can be a handy approach. I think the key there is to work the lure in the strike zone repeatedly. Here we sometimes call Barramundi the fish of 1000 casts.

i.e. Get in the bullies face repeatedly, much greater chance of a reaction strike OuchCool 
Cheers, Tony

For the love of Fishing Lures.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lead lure Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2019 at 10:49am
Interesting read
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riffo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2019 at 6:02pm
An interesting read indeed. 
What about the set ups that don’t produce? Are you trying them again? Maybe a different time of day or even year? I would be interested to see if the results are the same.
I’ve been trying to throw some different baits each session (not that I’m getting many of them at the moment) to see if the lures I would normally scoff at, can inspire an Australian Bass to play along. I’ve had a mixed response. 
Thanks for the informative write up. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote scotch&dry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2019 at 6:11pm
quite a range of fish there , they all seem to love the soft plastic baits even though some of some don't look like they would have much f an action to me
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote senkosam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Dec 2019 at 11:33am
Originally posted by Riffo Riffo wrote:

An interesting read indeed. 
What about the set ups that don’t produce? Are you trying them again? Maybe a different time of day or even year? I would be interested to see if the results are the same.
I’ve been trying to throw some different baits each session (not that I’m getting many of them at the moment) to see if the lures I would normally scoff at, can inspire an Australian Bass to play along. I’ve had a mixed response. 
Thanks for the informative write up. 

Excellent point. I own enough lures to stock a tackle store, many of which I haven't cast in years. Some caught fish, others not often enough to keep using. But since I've discovered the importance of lures that affect the senses of fish in different ways, I've decided to start using them again in 2020 such as:
crankbaits - deep dive, shallow, mid depth with different body shapes
spinnerbaits with trailers
skirted jig with different trailers
topwater lures

I've gotten spoiled catching fish on my creations rigged on light jig heads. This year I started catching different species trolling Rapala's Risto Rap. Time to continue lure diversity.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bad juju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Dec 2019 at 12:34pm
The 3lbs fish you cannot identity I am pretty sure is a white sucker. You don’t catch them on lures very often but I have caught the odd one fly fishing with nymphs. Normally you catch them bait fishing 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote senkosam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Dec 2019 at 2:41pm
Thanks. Had a feeling it was some kind of sucker since carp mouths are straight forward.
One hell of a fight though !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote senkosam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2020 at 12:57am
"quite a range of fish there , they all seem to love the soft plastic baits even though some don't look like they would have much f an action to me"

You hit it on the head regarding lures !
Lures fall into a few categories: 
swagger (big action, large lures),
medium action (medium size lures with less action on a moderately fast retrieves) and
subtle action (smaller lures - not necessarily shorter, but maybe smaller in diameter with or without a thinner tail and always worked slowly). 

  • Fish all have sensitive lateral lines, inner ears and good vision (some have increible odor detection). 
  • All are opportunists. 
  • Curiosity and attention to surroundings are big factors in their survival. 
Lure choices that work most of the time depending on the situation/ location are unlimited as you can see in the above photos. 

Find lures and presentations that fit into the three categories that catch fish and up your chances of getting strikes.

But one thing I discovered years ago: If you expect to connect to fish over a few pounds, it's best to use hook and lure sizes that match the species fished for. Light action rods, reels and lures are more apt to lose fish in the heavy weight range. The 7.5 lb catfish shown had to be worked slowly and given line constantly via a light drag or it would have either broken the line or my light action rod. I learned that the hard way the first time I had a monster take off into deeper water.

My challenge is to catch fish on different lures; finding what those lures are is just a matter of experimentation over many outings. At least I know for sure I never have to buy lures again!


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