Fishermen know an old saying that goes something like this: "I spent most of my money on fishing tackle. The rest I wasted."
Fishermen spend a lot of money on tackle, particularly on fishing lures.
The next time you're talking to a fisherman, ask how many tackle boxes he has accumulated over the years. Two, three, four or more doesn't sound like many, but each has the capacity to hold dozens and dozens of lures. Every time he added a lure to the collection, the angler believed it would catch fish.
Why does everyone need so many lures, when most fish primarily eat smallish fish, insects and worms?
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To some, fishing with natural baits isn't as challenging as trying to entice them into swallowing an artificial lure. That's why tackle shops carry thousands in variety of colors, sizes and shapes.
How does one know which lure is best? Again, there is no simple answer.
Here are some of the many unscientific reasons (excuses) anglers use when buying lures:
This lure looks more lifelike than a real minnow.
It was so shiny, I had to buy it.
Any lure with a name like "Blue Eyed Yellow Belly Boy Howdy" has to catch fish.
I saw it advertised on TV.
The tackle shop had lots of them.
It looks just like a frog swimming in the water.
Someone told me it's the only lure fish will bite.
It has a built-in rattle.
I can cast this one a mile.
It's a favorite on the tournament trail, responsible for millions in prize money.
Pink is the only color that fish hit this time of year.
It was handcrafted by an old American Indian fishing guide.
It's a soft plastic version of an old wooden lure I used when I was a kid.
Someone said it's the best lure for fishing off boat docks.
It catches only big ones.
They were on sale and everyone was buying them.
When I saw it, I had to buy it, because it looks just like a baby trout.
My friend catches fish on this one every time he goes fishing, so I bought three.
When asked which is better, live or artificial baits, a bait shop owner replied, "It's easier to feed 'em than it is to trick 'em, so use minnows."
Inexpensive stocking stuffers
Hand and foot warmer packs, 99 cents.
Nail clippers, used to snip fishing line, 99 cents.
Pocket knife, $9.99 or more.
Tape to measure the length and girth of a fish, $1.99 or more.
Nail polish (all colors) to change the color of fishing lures. 99 cents or more.
Spotted bass are biting along riprap shorelines and around deep brush. White perch are suspending along the edges of creek channels in water to 30 feet deep. Catfishing is good in sloughs and back-coves.
Striped bass fishing is slow. Crappie fishing is good to very good in Mountain Creek around bridges and sunken brush.
The lake level is 4.1 feet below full pond. The water surface temperature is in the 50s.