Bass Fishing Tips – Building Confidence in a Lure can be a Double Edged Sword
By Marc Rogers
Often times it is said you need to build confidence in a particular lure. The only way to do this is by using a lure regularly. There are both advantages and disadvantages to regular use of a lure when gaining said confidence.
Regular use of a lure allows you to become proficient with the lure. You will gain knowledge about the lure capabilities and learn how to use it during different conditions. Many years ago, the first lure I learned to use proficiently was a plastic worm. Specifically, a Texas rigged plastic worm, and it took me a couple of years to learn plastic worms were not productive under all the conditions I faced while on the water. While a Texas rigged worm is quite versatile and productive, I was using them most of the time while on the water. When using different offerings, I was not as attentive with a plastic worm due to the confidence I had developed in the worm. This lack of attention reduced my ability to develop confidence in other lures.
There are times when a pattern can be found to take advantage of using a favorite lure. When fishing on large bodies of water, you can locate areas where your favorite offerings are productive. However, doing so will reduce your chances of having a successful day on the water. You will spend a lot of time searching for areas where your one-dimensional technique will work well.
Confidence baits will keep you focused on the details of the under water world below. These favorite lures will get you excited about catching fish during the day ahead of you and are a great starting point for your day on the water. Keying on the same lure every time out, however, will discourage your ability to become a versatile angler. I discovered this when my go-to lure was a plastic worm and I was getting beat by anglers fishing crankbaits. To break this cycle, during several successive fishing outings, I removed all of my tackle from my boat except crankbaits. Armed with just three rod and reels designed for presenting crankbaits forced me to improve my crankbait skills or go home.
Intentionally subjecting myself to this situation was difficult at first but provided a great lesson on how to become a more versatile angler. Having limited lure choices forced me to pay closer attention to catching fish with crankbaits. I am still not an expert with these lures, but I have gained the confidence needed when crankbaits provide the most productive patterns. Had I not had the discipline to take drastic measures to break the habits of only utilizing plastic worms, I would have remained a one-dimensional angler.
This situation also provided me with a lesson on fishing plastic worms using only the Texas rig. I realized my use of plastic worms reduced my ability to be versatile with them as well. Plastic worms are themselves a versatile lure. They can be presented at any depth in the water column, dragged slowly along the bottom using no added weight, flipped and pitched into heavy cover and used as an alternative to traditional topwater presentation. I discovered my plastic worm use was also one-dimensional.
Beginners are most susceptible to being caught up in using just one lure for most or all conditions. If you are a beginner, the situation generally plays out the following way. You have had little success catching fish with artificial lures. You are invited to fish with another angler, he/she convinces you to try a certain lure, and you have a successful day on the water. This single outing creates enough confidence for you in that particular lure, and you use it every time you fish from that day forward. You will still catch a few fish on less productive days using it and if you do not catch anything, you decide the fish were not biting on that day.
While the scenario is difficult to avoid, you should avoid it at all costs. Many professional anglers become known for their favorite lure. When conditions are perfect for their favorite, they many times win or place high in the standings on tournament days. However, do not allow yourself to believe their favorite is the only lure they are proficient using. A professional angler did not reach the ranks of the best anglers by not being versatile. They are good with most lure categories and excel when conditions allow their favorite offerings to be the most beneficial to use.
There is nothing wrong with finding your favorite lure and using it when conditions are right. However, if you limit your offerings because you are comfortable with a particular offering, you are limiting your ability as an angler. Versatility is still the key to experiencing many successful days on the water.