I hate my box of evil lures. Hidden away in a dark corner or a storage compartment somewhere on my boat lives a box of bottom shelf lures, lures that are rarely swum and cursed at every sighting.
There are many lures that I love and fish with confidence, however, a lapse in concentration on occasion sees me buy a lure that looks good in theory but I've been warned against by those in the know - a lure that fails to catch fish while others are. The old "three strikes and you’re out" rule applies; if my old faithful lures are catching fish, a newcomer is given three trips to hit pay dirt before it’s relegated to bottom shelf status and early retirement.
I have these 4 inch amber coloured shrimp “soft” plastic lures that are my current nemesis. I use the term "soft" loosely because they are as stiff as a board. They look unnatural and lifeless in the water – every time I’ve tied one on it plummets lifelessly to the bottom, along with my confidence. Rigged on a jig head and placed in the water it looks plain silly, like an obese prawn which even overzealous little flatties turn their nose up to.
One afternoon whilst battling hopelessness, I threw the amber shrimp into a school of tailor – I didn’t even want to touch the thing and was hoping for a swarm of tailor or leatherjackets to pick it off my jig head – it came back unscathed and earned its rightful spot in the box of evil. No amount of scent or goop could trick those fish; they knew a dud when they saw it, and shortly after so did I.
Redemption can occasionally occur on a red hot day when action's aplenty. On such days I’m in a happy and generous mood, offering clemency to condemned lures that decide to perform. Unfortunately, however, most of them continue to fail, causing the term of their confinement to grow.
The easiest way to spot a dud is to look in clearance bins at tackle shops – lures that work sell, those that don’t are often ignored by the masses until shop owners pull out the red marker in a bid to cut their losses and clear some shelf space.
Bargain bins can offer great bargains on lures that actually work, however, I seem to buckle under bargain bin pressure and often regretted forking out two bucks on a minnow that spins so much in the water I feel dizzy watching. I couldn’t care less about the two bucks down the toilet, it’s the constant reminder of failure after spending hours trying to tune the bloody things so they don’t beat me, that causes the most pain.
A simple solution would be to toss the duds out and move on – that’s what a normal, rational person would probably do. Fact of the matter is evil lures pose a challenge; there must be some circumstance where a bibbed minnow shaped like a prawn dressed with half a skirt only erratically swims will catch a fish??
I don’t know if I really want to catch a fish on a twilight zone lure, but on days when the fishing is hot or more importantly, on really slow days when a little amusement and left field approach is needed, the box of evil can liven things up.
I guess the main reason for amassing dud lures is that I’m on a constant search for hidden gems that out fish tried and tested lures. To do so you have to kiss a few frogs along the way I suppose ….
Do you have any ghastly, evil lures that just don’t catch a thing?