“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us – John Dryden”. This statement applies as much to fishing as well as it does in different segments of our lives.
Catching speckled sea trout with your favorite lure is a prime example. My favorite lure was always the double bucktail. It gave me confidence during each outing. But after a year or so the lure just didn’t produce hits or catches like I wanted. Was it me or the lure or species?
As any confident then frustrated angler, I considered changing to a different bait or possibly a new technique.
My first change the following year was to the “flavor of the month”. That time I tried MirrOlure’s – MR 17 “Electric Chicken”. Using the “Electric Chicken” hard bait helped me catch trout that year. But again and after time, it seems to fail to attract and hook fish.
And over the next several years, I changed to metal spoons, top water hard baits, jigheads with swim and finesse baits, popping corks and a variety of other new styles and types.
And as usual, they all did well for a while and then stopped or declined to a point that I needed to change.
My research showed that after a long period of time, many species begin to recognize some type of danger when seeing the same or similar style rigging on a regular basis. Fish are known to communicate and whether they warn each other of impending danger or not, they definitely change habits or preferences to various baits to survive and avoid being caught.
So what is the angler to do? Change, modify and specialize.
My change is using each of these rigs in specific situations. I always keep each of these rigs in my bag. Never discounting their past performance. Varying my retrieval rates and movements.
Modify my plastic rigging. Sometimes I cut a small slice from the tail to enhance vibration and movement. Other times, modify hook size on hard baits or shortening the length of fluorocarbon leader.
Specialize in specific conditions – dark colors for overcast or low light days. Light colors for bright days. Using specialize techniques also gives the angler an advantage.
To be a great angler, keep each of these lures in your tackle bag for maximum success.
Many fish species change habits to survive. And to be successful on a regular basis, anglers need to change too.
Until Next Time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony