Catching shortens the learning curve
“Why are we using this color versus another,” asked Capt. Robert Enmon as he flipped a glow-chartreuse Sea Shad into the midst of a small flock of gulls rushing to pluck another unlucky shrimp off the surface.
The veteran Orange Police officer of 19 years and his two son-in laws, Justin Burleson and David Cox, did not waste a single minute of their day on the water last Saturday. That question would prove to be only the first of many as all three considered learning to be even more important than catching.
Even before Robert booked the trip several months back, we visited and he told me exactly what he wanted out of the trip. Too many clients do not take the time to do that and their money is not well spent even if they catch fish.
We did catch fish and I enjoyed the day as much as they did as it provided me the opportunity to re-examine a few of the things I take for granted. Justin and David also had their share of questions and we discussed everything from lure presentation to water clarity over the course of the day.
I could do an entire seminar and intend to do so in the near future by simply covering a portion of the questions they posed. I sat down after the trip and jotted down a number of them for future reference. If a few of these help you then you have Robert, Justin, and David to thank!
The lion’s share of my fish catching is the result of memory, duly recorded in logs, and confidence in what I am doing rather than problem solving. By that I mean certain areas, lures, colors, and techniques have been good for me over the years and I simply repeat what works best year after year. I will improvise from time to time out of necessity, but I am not very innovative.
Without a second thought, my honest answer to Robert’s initial question would have been “Because it works” based purely on past experience, but that would have been of no value to him. The more accurate and helpful answer was, “The lighter color seems to work better in water with a couple of feet of visibility.”
I am not into colors as much as I am shades of color. Depending on water clarity, I will use a darker or lighter color. I am much more concerned with the length of the soft plastic grub as I believe matching the size of the food source is extremely important.
I do not believe another company offers more colors in plastic tails than Bass Assassin and even then a number of them will work at the same time due to their shade. As an example, it is rare indeed when 10W40, Texas Roach, or Pumpkin chartreuse will not all work under the same conditions as they are all basically of the same dark hue. Confidence would be the determining factor for me.
We also discussed breathing life into the lure with the rod tip rather than utilizing a steady retrieve. With the exception of crankbaits and swim baits, you will fool far more fish by moving your lure with a light twitch of the rod and then reeling in the slack. We are trying to make it easy for the fish rather than challenge their swimming ability!
I was also surprised that Robert had the entire group armed with spinning tackle, but that is also my first choice for most of my saltwater fishing. Even more surprising was the fact that he had their reels filled with braided line. Very few folks that do not get to fish nearly as much as they would like have made the switch to braid and that is a mistake in my opinion.
I use Power Pro, but there are several good brands on the market. The more important consideration is matching line size to the task as well as the size of the reel. I have never used anything heavier than 20-pound test with a 6-pound diameter and I have never been over powered by a fish on Sabine. There is no substitute for the sensitivity delivered by a line with no stretch.
I am also convinced that there is no spinning reel on the market that handles braid better than U.S. REEL’s 230SX. It all but completely eliminates line twist, holds up well in salt water, and possesses a great drag system. The Supercaster solved the twist problem with a wider arbor than those found on conventional reels.
I do have some great sponsors, but I buy these reels just like you do and they are well worth the modest price tag. I have very few clients that have fished with mine that do not return with their own. They are the real deal!
I mentioned earlier that Capt. Enmon’s crew was more interested in learning than catching, but David proved that statement to be a slight stretch. He had a large redfish pull off right at the boat after an extended fight and it was obvious that catching may have been a tad under rated. He later pointed out that even that bit of misfortune was a learning experience, but not in those exact words!