Fishing with live bait absolutely catches fish. When it comes to fishing on my own, however, I prefer artificial lures. The absence of throwing a large, heavy cast net is a bonus on my enjoyment for the morning. There is a wide selection of lures to choose from for almost every species in our waters. Anyone who has ever been inside a tackle shop knows how overwhelming the choices can be. My choice always begins with a locally owned company that manufactures both hard-body plugs and soft plastic jigs. Color selection can vary from day to day or be completely situational. Typically, I stick with natural colors of browns, greens, black, white, silver or gold, and even shades of red making up most of my tackle box. One key to catching fish on an artificial lure is to work it with confidence. Learn to vary speeds of retrieves, when and how to twitch the rod tip or impart action to the lure, then stick with what achieves success. We are coming into the season when top-water plugs create the most entertaining strikes from many species . Pinching barbs down on all hooks makes releasing fish easier. I was once asked if there was one lure a man could tie on for his wife that she could catch everything all day. My response: The question wasn't phrased correctly. He should be asking, "Is there one knot he could teach his wife so she could tie on her own lure whenever she felt a change was needed?"
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at [email protected] and (727) 510-1009.