Artificial Lures Provide for Quality Fishing
If your interest in fishing is solely about catching fish, then by all means, use natural bait. But, if your interest in fishing is centered around catching “quality “fish, you need to try mastering the art of using artificial lures. There are those who use the term, sport fishing………………
Warning: Successful lure fishing does not come easy. You can cast for hours and catch very little. Once you have confidence in the art, though, the size of your fish will be a treasure to everyone around you, and yourself, of course.
Over the past 35 years, I have done the majority of my fishing with artificial lures. When it comes to wade fishing, I fish with soft plastics and top waters. Also, that includes gold spoons. However, there have been times when anglers have stood toe-to-toe with me using live bait. I take a back seat to those anglers on those days, as live bait will out-catch my artificial lures.
As a young man growing up in Galveston, my grandfather and I always used live bait. The bait back then, some 50 years ago, consisted of live shrimp, live mullet or cut bait. Dixie spoons worked wonders on those sow trout. We caught a lot of fish back then, but I really think it was because the fish were so plentiful. We were good fishermen, but there were a lot of fish to be caught. In the early 50’ and 60’, we could sell our speckled trout @ the market for 12 to 15 cents a pound.
Regardless of the species we caught, most of the fish were school size. Remember that we had no size or bag limit. We caught and kept a lot of fish in the 12” to 15” range, There were times when we caught trophy-size fish, but there wasn’t a great deal of fanfare then as compared to today. Catching big fish was commonplace. We all knew the smaller fish were better tasting, and we could always find the trophy fish with little or no effort…………………
I became a serious lure fisherman 35 years ago while starting my guide service. There were many times when I contemplated switching back to natural bait. But, competition among myself and other guides along the Gulf Coast forced me to stick it out until my confidence with the artificials was strong enough and I had begun to consistently catch those fish with the artificial. Most agree that artificial colors are made to catch fishermen, not the fish you target. There are too many manufacturing lure companies, but will tell you the ones that this writer uses. Salt Water Assassins, Mirrolure, Stanley Jigs, Norton Sand Ells, and Johnson Sprite Spoons. Gulp by Berkley, has really been a key to saltwater catching when sometimes the above does not work.
In order to be successful with lures, you have to be persistent. Fish are in the water within casting distance around you, but don’t simply make a few casts and expect success. Fish will often trail a lure without striking until they see your shadow or that of your boat in the water.
Fishing out every cast means working and imparting action in the lure through the entire retrieve. A lure at rest on the bottom or floating on the surface won’t normally land you the strike desired.
The key to successful saltwater fishing with a lure is to thoroughly work all of the water within the casting range. If you only make a dozen or so casts and then move up or down the shoreline or surf, you just might be leaving the area about the time the fish pick up the lure vibrations in the water and start homing in on that area. I have been successful while, during the course of a morning, I have moved less than a mile from my original spot, all the while catching good fish.
Fish can only move in on lures when they have picked up the vibrations of the lures moving back and forth, or when the lures catch their attention. Remember, light colors in clear waters and dark colors in off-colored water. If you have patience and are persistent, then by all means, take a serious look at fishing artificial lures. But, if you have trouble paying attention to your fishing, then stick with natural baits. If you opt for the latter, keep in mind that you’re going to miss out on a lot of trophy-size fish.
It’s your game. You make the call.
As always good luck and have fun outdoors
See y’all on Galveston Bay.
Capt. Paul Marcaccio
BOI- USCG & TP&W License