Outdoors | Which artificial lure stands above the rest?

Special to the HeraldJanuary 5, 2014 

If you could only have one lure to use, what would it be?

I proposed this question to my panel of Facebook friends, consisting heavily of fishing fanatics and captains, not knowing what to expect for responses. Everyone has his or her favorite go-to artificial lures for situational fishing. But with only one choice, would you target the largest variety of fish possible, or stay with your favorite type of fishing and focus in on a lure for that?

When targeting a large variety of fish, the most common response people give is "a lure that catches everything." It's the time of year when bait disappears (although it was still around before this last cold front), and anglers start to rely on their tackle boxes when they head out on the water, leaving their cast nets at home.

I would go with the "catch all" style of lure, and I can't think of anything better than a DOA C.A.L. 4-inch Jerk Bait in avocado/red glitter, fished on a 3/8th-ounce Bass Assassin jighead. Years ago, I was introduced to the Love's Lure Slugger tails (which I loved), and this is a close resemblance to the Slugger and much easier to find.

This combo has caught me snook to 42 inches, redfish to 40 inches, trout to 28 inches, pompano, mackerel, sheepshead, flounder, grouper and pretty much everything else that swims.

Similarly, Travis Yaeckel said he would go with the DOA C.A.L. in Gold Glitter, and Capt. Jason Stock said his go-to would be a DOA C.A.L. in Greene.

Multiple respondents had other soft plastic lures similar to the C.A.L., making soft plastics the overall winner. Exude Baby Bass, Zman Scented Shrimp, Zman Paddler, Herb Reid's Slug Go, Mirrolure Lil John and Zoom Fluke also elicited responses for the go-to lure.

The often forgotten buck tail jig was mentioned as being another lure that catches everything. As John Stevely mentions, "I'm pretty sure that is what the military gives you in a survival kit." That speaks for its ability to catch fish.

Another common response was the popular gold spoon. A gold spoon can catch fish in all conditions, worked quickly reeling straight, jigged on the bottom or a combination of both.

Doc's Goofy Jig (another personal favorite of mine) with a teaser is another one of those "catch all" style lures that is worth a mention.

And last, local company Mirrolure received mentions for a variety of lures. From top-water lures like the Top Dog, to suspending baits like the MirrOdine and the Paul Brown Devil, the company has a faithful following with its quality products that catch fish.

The biggest part to fishing with artificial lures is finding something that you have confidence in. Knowing how a lure is meant to be fished and presenting it correctly is a big part in getting it to be effective.

Oh, and last but not least, how could we forget the popular infomercial with the Banjo Minnow. "It triggers a genetic response," a friend reminded me.

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