Category: Fishing
Legendary Plastic Bass Baits

At the risk of making some of my manufacturing friends angry I’m going to make a short list of the best plastic bass baits available. Any attempt to do this is going to be controversial. No one agrees on lures, and certainly every successful angler has his or her favorite.

Still, there are a few baits around that I hear about time and time again when I interview winning anglers. Each of them has been copied 100 times. Nevertheless, the originals seem to have something the others lack. For reasons known only to the fish they work when others fail.

If you think I’ve got it wrong let me know.


Trick Worms


Brush Hog (both sizes)

Old Monster (big worm)



Reaction Innovations

Sweet Beaver

Think Before You Buy

One of the hidden secrets — hidden in plain sight — among good bass anglers is that they fish where the fish are, rather than worry about having the newest baits. Sound obvious? Maybe, but that’s why they catch them. And why we don’t.

Very few anglers have access to anything that isn’t sold to the general public. A few of the top professionals, men like the Elite Series pros with B.A.S.S., might have a prototype lure in the boat or maybe a couple of custom colors at their disposal. For the most part, though, they fish with the same tackle and lures that we do. They just do it better.

The reason is that they start at the beginning. They find the fish and then try to make them bite. Far too many of us work it from the other direction. We tie a “magic” lure on our line — usually one that we paid a lot of money for after reading about it in a magazine or Internet article — and then expect the fish to chase it.

One of the best bass anglers I ever met was once asked what he thought the biggest and most common mistake recreational anglers make. “They don’t think enough about the season of the year,” he replied. “I see guys fishing deep ledges in the spring and shallow shoreline cover in the heat of the summer. They worry too much about what lure to use instead of where to fish. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s backwards.”

If you want to catch fish this spring find the 10 percent of the water that 90 percent of the fish are in. Then worry about what lure or bait to use.

Short Notes

This is a fishing site so most of the articles should be about fishing. That said, however, there comes a time when we need to look beyond ourselves and count our blessings.

The river and her tributaries are beyond bad. There’s no way to even think about fishing them. What little progress was made in a few places earlier this week was wiped out by last night’s rains. And yet, it could be a heck of a lot worse.

If you doubt that — and you’re feeling sorry for yourself because you can’t go fishing in the river — look to the South, specifically Alabama and Mississippi. Much of that state has been destroyed by the tornadoes that swept through earlier this week. They were real tornadoes, too, the kind that leave little or nothing behind.

There are a whole lot of guys down there who aren’t worried because they can’t go fishing this weekend. They’re looking for their houses and, in some cases, for their families.


I was in a local Kroger store the other day and noticed they’re carrying crayfish from the Gulf Region — at very reasonable prices. I also noticed they had a pretty good selection of sauces from around the county ranging from mild to extra hot. For those of you who are fans of the little critters that’s about as good as it gets.

Impress your friends. Serve boiled crayfish this weekend with a unique sauce of some sort.

Note: Cajun sauce isn’t the same as hot sauce. Cajun is spicy; hot is hot.


Don’t forget about the farm ponds. They’re on fire. Several guys have reported nonstop action in the shallows. They’re catching bass, channel cats and bluegill. Don’t let the bad weather get you down. Talk nice to your local farmer. Most likely he’ll let you fish.

Throw topwater plugs or plastics for the bass, stinkbaits for the channel cats and worms for the bluegill. Saturday looks like the best day. Pack a sandwich or two, a bag of chips and a couple of sodas. And don’t forget to take the kids.