Choosin' the Go-To Bait

by: Jim Reaneau

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More tips on choosing the bait for the day

If you only had one choice, which bait would it be?.

With every fisherman I know, going to your tackle store is like turning your wife loose
in a shoe store with the credit card. Nothing against the Ladies. We look for that
magic bait every time we watch a fishing show, read and article or visit the tackle
store. With all the new technology in colors and finishes it is hard not to try any of the
new lures.

First lets look at something. What is your favorite "go-to" bait when all else has failed
you. You have one lure in your box that you pull out when the times are the toughest.
If this lure is so great why do we have all the others in our box. I will give you my
answer and this may help you. JUST BECAUSE

Yes! There are times the fish are on the bottom feeding and you need a bottom
bumping bait. Then there are times you need a swimming bait for the suspended fish,
and the times the fish are feeding on top and a top water is great.

Now! Is your favorite lure able to cover all of the above situations? There are three
lures I would have a hard time choosing from. The Plastic worm, Jig, and Spinner bait.
All three of these baits can cover all the fishing problems.

The Plastic worm can be fished Texas rigged, Carolina rigged, Drop shot, wacky
worm, and weightless. This bait now covers all the above situations.

The Jig may not cover all the above but almost. You can swim the bait as you would a
spinner bait or hop it along the bottom. 

The spinner bait can be slow rolled out in deep water or shallow. Reeled very fast and
worked on top as a top water, and a medium retrieve to cover suspended fish. The
biggest key is working the bait to match the conditions. Many years ago I took
everything out of my boat but spinner baits. I had colored blades, silver, gold, and
every style you could find. I fished this bait for a full year. I found that a three eights
ounce spinner bait with a gold Colorado small blade and a larger silver willow leaf
blade and a black and yellow skirt would catch fish on most of the lakes I fished year
round. The presentation was the key. The black and blue jig in three eights ounce with
the same color trailer has been fished all across the USA. Here on Lake Fork this
color is widely used year round. When the grass was thick the jig was the bait to pitch
or flip into the holes. The stumps and standing timber is another key places for this

Of all the bait’s the plastic worm has had more articles written about it than any bait.

I am going to hedge a little. The Plastic worm is my choice over all the other baits.

I will tell you about it and then you choose. I have fished the Plastic worm since I was
thirteen years old. This bait was in every tackle box in the country. As this is my choice I will tell you why. The rig can consist of pegging the weight and pitching or flipping it around timber and grass. Carolina rigging which is a number one fish catching tactic. This is my go to style when all else fails. This is my rig in the spring with a three sixteenth ounce weight pegged about eight inches up the line with a lizard or French fry as bait. The wacky worm is also my spring bait when the fish are skittish from cold fronts or boat traffic. Weightless Texas style as a floating worm is another spring bait. But all of the worm styles will cover all of the seasons. The worm is probably the most versatile bait in all the baits I have mentioned. So! Which is your choice? While you decide I need to get to the tackle store they have a big “SALE “going on.

See you all on the lake.

Good Fishing 

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