CULLING BUILDS CONFIDENCE
For The Record- By Capt. Dickie Colburn
Determined not to waste the entire day due to a mid-day meeting, I decided to make a conscious effort to stream line a burgeoning collection of soft plastic lures stowed away in my boat.I try to do this once a year and it usually takes place when the winter trout bite kicks off as I will be throwing only three baits, a Corky Fat Boy, Maniac Mullet or Softdine XL most of the time.
The largest of Sabine Lake’s big trout population will readily track down one of these slow moving mullet imitations on even the coldest of days. For those days when they prefer something just a little smaller, I tie on the Softdine XL.Less is better when wade fishing three hundred yards away from the boat and you need to choose your limited arsenal with confidence!
This is not to say that tails and topwaters will not have their days, but the color choices are limitless and steadily changing lures does little for your confidence level.Immediate access to every lure you own can be a deterrent when electing to stay in the boat and drift for these same fish.
So…..there I sat, surrounded by plastic boxes and small shopping bags full of lures that had never even been opened.If you fish more than half a dozen times a year, do not try to convince me that you don’t have a few unopened bags in your storage compartments as well.For the most part, these purchases were made out of self-defense or due to a hot tip and unceremoniously tossed in a compartment without even climbing in the boat.
My problem is compounded by the fact that I am forced to carry lures for three or four anglers as clients never want to hear, “I don’t have any more of those,” when the fish are hitting one color better than another.Everything is relative, but that makes my problem three or four times worse than the recreational fisherman’s.
Developing complete confidence in only three or four colors is virtually impossible when choosing a tail, not to mention the fact that every color is always available in several “must have” body styles.Thus the reason, in a four inch Assassin Sea Shad alone, I temporarily shelved twenty-three colors for the time being.
That didn’t include the pile of Assassins of different lengths and countless other brands of the same body styles left piled at my feet.By the time I was sufficiently frustrated by the task, however, I was down to a paltry six tackle boxes and no more sacks.
That effort left much more room for three extra Frogg Togg rain suits, three pairs of waders, a five pound box of jig heads of different sizes and an emergency plastic box stuffed with hard plastic mullet imitations and a few topwaters…..just in case!
Ninety percent of the time I would feel comfortable taking a stand with only three colors in the Fat Boy.My first choice would be dayglow followed by pink and gold or orange with a black back.I will get beaten time and again by other colors this winter, but it won’t be due to a lack of confidence.
I will also occasionally take a back seat to five inch tails fished on a one-eighth inch jig head by anglers that just cannot stomach fishing the Corky.It has been my experience, however, that they will invariably catch more trout, but seldom as many big fish.Having said that, my largest trout in 2016 bit a five inch Sea Shad in a color I no longer even carry.
By the time spring rolls around all of those baits now residing on my work bench in a black garbage bag will be back in the boat again.Lord forbid another hot tip with a “must have” color!
I have had a number of calls concerning the immediate availability of Bubba Blade knives since last week’s column.I think you can get them pretty quickly via Amazon, but I prefer shopping local retailers whenever possible.Jonathan Simon, owner of Simon Outfitters on MacArthur Drive said that he will have more in stock on Thursday and Outcast Tackle in Groves still had at least a dozen in stock as late as Monday morning.
Corkies and Maniac Mullets also make much appreciated stocking stuffers, but the better colors go very quickly.It is that time of the year!