Rob Naysmith shares more of his angling expertise in part five of Sport Fishing – An Addiction. In this edition Rob continues explaining the function of lures as well as how they should be used for the most desirable outcome.
Fishing with Lures In last month’s edition we covered lures, their basic types and relevant uses and we’ll touch on some of it again. However, this month will cover more of how to select and use these lures effectively. This will certainly not be the definitive lesson on lure fishing as there are so many aspects and permutations that it would take this entire magazine and a whole pile more to explain. And, if I really told you everything about lure fishing there’d be nothing left for me to catch!
When do we use lures?
Lures are artificial and only resemble something edible to the fish. In most cases fish prefer natural baits but there are times when only a lure, or artificial bait, will produce a catch. If I were to rank my bait selection in gamefishing I would first pick live bait, then natural dead bait, and lastly a lure. However, fishing with the first two choices requires that you know where the gamefish are located. In order to find the gamefish you often have to search large areas and the most effective way to do this is with lures. Other instances where it’s better to make use of lures is when the gamefish are chasing after a food source such as anchovies, sardines, shrimp or squid, or migrating through an area.
Gamefish spend their entire life hunting food; they use vast amounts of energy in doing so and therefore need to continually replenish these reserves. Most gamefish are also very fast-growing which adds to their need to constantly eat. And, because of this primeval eating instinct, it’s all about knowing what they prefer, where and when.
Before selecting a lure and casting it out, one needs to know what fish are most likely to be found. Knowing the target species will give you an understanding of the types of food source most likely to be encountered, the size and where in the water column it is most prevalent. Remember, your aim is to imitate the food source as best you can. Now, a lure may not look exactly like the food but here are a few basic fundamentals to help you along the way.
No matter what they say, size is important, and biggest is not always best. The secret is to use a lure slightly bigger than the bait source. For example, I fish around a lot of anchovy and pilchard shoals and know more or less what size the little fish will be at certain times of the year. I always try to use lures that are halfan- inch to an inch larger than the bait fish; this is because of the doublecheeseburger theory, which in essence asks “if you were hungry would you prefer a standard burger or a doublecheeseburger?” Gamefish expend a lot of energy chasing food and they’d rather conserve that energy by eating a few big ones than chase a whole lot of little ones.
By the same token, anything outrageously large will just seem out of place and usually be ignored. The same goes for lures that are too small, gamefish seldom waste energy chasing something that will restore less energy than it takes to catch…