Lure Running Depth
Assuming you have appealed to each of the fish's sense and are offering up the perfect lure, depth becomes the number one most important lure attribute.
Fish are cold blooded so they are very sensitive to changes in the water temperature and each species has it's preferred thermal range. The use of a temperature probe can greatly aid especially in large lakes where temperature variances are large in the summer and early fall or in other watersheds where there are active currents churning water from the deep.
As Einstein would say, speed is relative. For lures like jigs and jerk baits, speed maters less as they require rod movement for their action and are virtually independent of speed. For lures like worms, or those that are dependant on speed, know your fish well. A worm at one speed may work very well for all species in a given watershed, but at higher speeds species of bass will not touch the worm.
As a general rule, in warm water, increase the speed in which you fish, but as the water heats up further to where the fish become lethargic, cut down your speed. IN fast moving waterways, match the speed of the water.
Action is all about how the lure moves or dances through the water in a way that appeals to the fish. Different lures react differently under the same conditions: crank baits are engineered to move at a specific speed while jigs and jerk baits must be jerked to create action.
Regardless of the lure, some rod-induced action can help you land the lunker. However, check with locals to understand what works best as it varies from watershed to watershed.
The young do not always behave as they should and will often go after food bigger than they can digest. However, this varies from species to species with each one having different food preferences and habits.
Moreover, fish are similar to people in that they are attracted to larger portions. In general, fish will go after the largest pure or bait that they can eat.
For many fish, like bass, flashy lures work well on bright sunny days, but prefer dull coloured lures without any shine when the skies are overcast. While each species is different, high contrast as a general rule works better than low contrast or dull lures.
Fish, like most species, know very well what their food looks like and stays away from anything that appears different. Understanding a fish's habitat, and what it likes is important. Fish like smallmouth bass are so distributed across North America that there are often micro differences between one fishing hole to another. A lure in one lake may not work well for the same bass in another. Be sure that the lure matches the local watering hole in terms of colour and it's shape. Proportional differences can through the fish right off.
Colour correlates directly to, and is governed by, depth. Red has a short wavelength, which means that it after a few feet under water, it appears grey while other colours like blue maintain their colour much deeper.
Let's look at colour a different way. The density of colour affects the intensity of the colour, in essence, how light or dark a colour appears, which would explain why red is so popular as depths where it appears grey.
Now let's go a little further down the rapid hole. Selecting the right colour depends a lot on the time of day. Before18h00 and after 8h00 until dusk, blue, green, white and silver work well while black works best after dark.
After 08h00, yellow, orange, fluorescent red and then red in that order up to noon and then in reverse order towards dusk. We recommend a cheat-sheet be kept in your tackle box.
Lure finish is the least important attribute for lure selection. As we wrote earlier, so much more than lure finish need to be correct before we can focus on this minor attribute. Get everything else right and you likely won't need to worry about the finish.
There is a lot of debate over which works best and which scares the fish off. One thing is certain: lures that replicate the finish of a fish's prey will work best. Where anglers get into trouble is trying to get that extra advantage by adding bright dots, lines or colours. At BassFishing-Gurus.com, we recommend with the conservative approach and sticking with traditional prey patterns and finishes.
Lure Photo Contrast
Light-emitting lure have been around for a long time. Not a lot is known about which species take to these lures, but what is known is exciting. For one, not every fish takes to light emitting lures, but the ones that do, do so best at night and it makes for an exciting way to spend a moonlit evening.
Salmon and bass are known to take to night angling with salmon trolling flies and plastic worms for bass.