CONFIDENCE MORE IMPORTANT THAN COLOR
“You mean nothing in my little sack of baits is going to work,” asked Jason Bloom in an incredulous tone of voice.“I thought I hit the nail on the head.The last time I fished with you the only colors we used were stinky pink, limetreuse and red shad and I had to go to two stores to find stinky pink.” After reminding Jason that the last time he fished with me was ten years ago, I had no logical answer for what changed.The reality is that it takes only a few bad trips to bench a certain color forever if a new color is getting rave reviews.It isn’t that the new colors don’t really work well, but more a case of just not giving your old standbys another shot. As a guide I am forced to carry at least one bag of every color under the rainbow out of self-defense.Outside of no bite at all, there is nothing more frustrating than having anglers fishing a short distance away catching fish every cast on a color you don’t have! I am as guilty as the next angler for nurturing this attitude, thus the reason for the plethora of unopened bags cluttering my garage.Unfortunately, plastic tails do not appreciate in value.Some of the hard baits do provided you have the original box as well, but even at that they have to be three days older than dirt for them to be of any real value. Even more important than a certain color is confidence.If you don’t think you are going to catch a fish with a particular color….you are right.You probably won’t fish it properly and you won’t fish it long.No lure in your box will work consistently if you don’t think it will.I have great confidence in some of the newer colors like chicken on a chain, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to ever leave colors like glow-chartreuse, pumpkin-chartreuse and morning glory at the house in that cluttered garage.They have earned their spot in the boat! I am a strong believer in opting for an opaque darker color or brighter translucent color depending on water clarity, but that leaves a multitude of options as far as a specific color goes. I am far more concerned with the size of a lure than the color.If you can’t keep your lure in the strike zone it doesn’t matter what color it is! Top water lure enthusiasts are even more aware of this fact than those of us that prefer to fish tails or suspending lures.I cannot count the number of times that the fish either pecked or wouldn’t hit a full size Spook, but would crush a smaller Spook Junior.For years we relied on the smaller Chug Bug when the fish wanted a smaller lure.Why aren’t we fishing them anymore? The same concept is true when choosing between a four or five inch tail.The smaller lure will generally earn you more strikes, but catch smaller fish on the average. The same thing can be said for a paddle tail or straight tail plastic. Under any weather conditions I will always fish the lightest jig head possible The only two things that would preclude me from doing so are the need for more distance or too much strength of tide.The slower the descent, the more time the lure spends in the strike zone! None of my findings are cast in stone.You are still chunking a piece of plastic at something you can’t even see and hoping a fish will eat it.Pretty iffy odds at best.Thus the value in thinking outside the box and keeping an open mind.“Would you cancel your next fishing trip because all you had were glow-chartreuse and black-chartreuse tails?I don’t think so!” I continue to be surprised at the number of quality bass local anglers are catching within shouting distance of downtown Orange. We finish a number of our trips piddling around the river from the City Boat ramp to east pass and we have been catching not only good numbers, but good size as well. On two separate days last week we caught and released at least one bass over four pounds. We have caught them on everything from shallow running crankbaits to swim baits. We have taken most of these fish on an outgoing tide between one and four o’clock in the afternoon.