Thursday, August 29, 2013

Snook Week...... The Count Down

Lure Colors
By: Eric Gates
Last week we talked a little about picking out the right lures for the right situation.  Just to re-cap last weeks article, you are trying to choose a lure that is the right size for the forage in the area, stays in the strike zone, and most importantly one that you have confidence in.  Now we are going to get into color selection.

1)   You can’t go wrong with a natural color.  You’ve heard it over and over; match the hatch, a simple but effective way for choosing the right color. The hard part can be finding out what exactly the fish are keyed in on.  The solution, ask your local tackle shop.  If it has been a while since the last fishing trip, ask again, the forage tends to change a lot throughout the year.  Don’t forget about the food chain, if you’re watching guys catch ladyfish on glass minnows a large imitation ladyfish makes a great lure for targeting the larger species.  DDX makes a great soft plastic ladyfish imitation that can be rigged for slow or fast current situations.
2)   Low light vs. high light situations.  I have always done well in high light situations with natural colors that flash or have flake in it that reflects a lot of light.  D.O.A.’s clear holographic (382) is great for clear high bluebird skies.  I have seen many summer days when snook will hit the #382 shrimp or cal plastics out of aggravation before they will touch live bait.  On the other side of the spectrum on those pitch black nights a dark color moving slow will get the job done when it come to ambush predators like snook, trout, bass, and others.
3)   Water condition is another factor that comes into play when selecting a color.  In water with low visibility you want to use a color that will stand out, like your chartreuses or whites.  On days or nights when the water is brown and there is almost no visibility I have always done well with a large white swimbait.  Storm’s Wild Eyed Shad is a good choice, and size is important.  If it’s early in the season smaller is better.  One of the other things I have noticed over the past few years is when the water is that milky green color and there is a lot of seaweed around a lighter colored soft plastic with red flake in it will out fish other colors most of the time.  When it comes to flairhawking, don’t be afraid to throw yellow or chartreuse in clear water…it will get bit.

Every day is different and the fish’s mood can change at any time.  It’s a good idea to carry a few different size and different color lures with you and experiment.  Start small and light and work your way to larger lures until you find what the fish are in the mood for.  If you are getting a lot of bites on small lures and that stops suddenly, break out the big lures and try to catch that fish of a lifetime!
Picking Lures…
Walking into a wall of lures at a tackle store can be a bit bewildering at times.  Rows of different sizes style, and color lures can leave even the most seasoned angler scratching their head.   Luckily though, by keeping in mind three simple things; picking out fish catching lures can actually be very simple.
1.  You’ve heard it before, but it remains the most important factor in picking out a lure, “MATCH THE HATCH”.  Picking out a lure roughly the size, shape, and color (more on color soon!) of the most common forage should always be your base starting spot for picking successful lures.  It makes absolutely no sense to buy a 12” mullet swimbait when gator trout are keyed in on shrimp.   On the flip side when giant snook are blasting mullet along a seawall a DOA shrimp is not going to get a whole lot of attention.    Not sure what the prominent food source is in a specific area?  Ask the local tackle store; if a local tackle store can’t answer that question, it may be time to look for a different bait shop!
2.  Strongly consider the depth of water being fished, and/or the depth fish are feeding at, when picking out lures.  A fast sinking heavy jig is a poor choice in a few feet of water or when gamefish are striking baitfish on the surface.  The same jig though in a swift shipping channel current is a far better choice than a noisy topwater lure.  A Zara Spook will call them up, but only from a certain depth.  No lure is going to work that well if it isn’t spending most of the time in a fish’s strike zone.  Or as Eric says, “get the lure in front of the fish.”
3.  When picking out a lure, the angler must feel confident in your choice.  It is a funny thing to consider, but it may be the most important factor.  If the angler feels good with what is tied on to the end of the line, more bites will follow.  The fish can’t see confidence, but it results in more bites than anything else.   Confidence baits may not fit the above two criteria, but they are hugely important to have in the tackle box!

Here is a quick list of some of our confidence baits here at Juno Bait.  We will almost always have these lures with us, anywhere we go, and be able to fit the top two points and feel good about what we are using!
Todd’s Confidence Baits- DOA Shrimp, DOA Terror Eyz, Zara Spook Jr, 1.5oz Flair Hawk, ½ oz Gulfstream Shrimp Jig, Zoom Super Fluke and Super Fluke Jr
Eric’s Confidence Baits-   2oz  Flair Hawk, Super Spook, Yum Money Minnow, DOA Shrimp, Gambler Flap’n Shad, Bruiser Super Swimmer
Todd and Eric's Confidence Lures
Todd and Eric’s Confidence Lures

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