Downing – Sept 16 – Palmetto – Catching a Fish or Angler




It is often said that, “lures catch the angler, not the fish.” However, that is becoming less and less true with the advances in artificial baits. More and more companies are manufacturing anything from soft plastics to top-water lures. Many anglers, in both saltwater and freshwater, are transitioning from live or frozen baits to plastics and artificial lures.

Artificial lures, along with the action from the angler, have the ability to create physical actions that can mimic live bait and lure a fish, sometimes even if the fish is not looking for food. There are many types of artificial lures for both freshwater and saltwater including soft plastics, top-water lures, spinner baits, poppers, spoons and hundreds more. Artificials give anglers more options to secure successful catches.

Some lures vibrate or make noises that can be detected by the fish, while others may mimic the actions of fleeing or endangered baitfish. One advantage for many anglers is that artificial baits can typically be bought in higher quantities and can be stored and used on multiple fishing trips. Anglers will find that artificial lures, both soft and hard, can easily be tied onto line or leader and cast over and over again, whereas constantly casting live bait can damage or kill the bait, resulting in less action from the targeted fish. Being able to continuously cast one lure without re-baiting or changing bait helps anglers cover more water in smaller amounts of time and allows for more fish to be caught.

Soft plastics have risen in the fishing industry for many reasons. Both freshwater and saltwater plastics come in many colors, as well as different shapes and sizes. One benefit of fishing with a soft plastic is that it can be rigged in many different ways depending on the targeted fish, the body of water, and surroundings in the fishing area. When fishing saltwater for a red drum, for example, someone could use a Zman trout eye jig head with a Golden Boy Streakz curly tail. The jig head gives just enough weight to submerge the lure, and the angler then gives a slight jigging action while slowly reeling in to make the lure look like a swimming bait fish. A soft plastic for freshwater can be rigged with a Mustad 2/0 worm hook where the point of the hook can be buried into the body of the lure causing less snags on dense weeds, stumps, logs or any other underwater obstructions. The hook will still penetrate the body of the lure allowing the angler to set the hook without getting caught on anything unwanted.

Another advantage for soft plastics, in both freshwater and saltwater, is scents. There are many types of scents that can be used by anglers to give their plastics a little extra touch of something fishy. Gulp! scents and Pro-Cure scents are two great attractants to use. Typically, putting your plastic into the scent and letting it sit will allow the lure to soak up the smell giving the fish a little added treat to the swimming action of your lures.

Hard baits are also rising up in the fishing world. From Heddon spooks to Rapala skitterwalks, many anglers will use these top-water and submersible hard baits to lure fish in both freshwater and saltwater. The action of a hard bait on topwater gives the fish the impression of a hurt fish floating on top, making them believe they have an easy meal.

While there are many artificial lures on the market today geared to catch the angler, always remember if it catches you, it can catch a fish. Tricking fish into taking your fake bait is always a little more exciting than depending on live bait to do the trick.

Come by and see us at Palmetto State Armory in Mt. Pleasant (and coming soon to Summerville), and we can help fill your tackle boxes with artificial lures and answer any questions you may have about the different types of lures to trick a fish.

Courtney Downing

Palmetto State Armory

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