Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bass Bait

I'm always amazed at the popularity of bass fishing. Unlike trout, you can find bass just about anywhere there's water - irrigation canals & ponds, golf course waterhazards, natural & man-made lakes, rivers and streams. They're everywhere...but that doesn't mean that they're easy to catch. There are so many different ways to catch them - plastic worms, real worms, stinkbait, crankbait, buzzbait and many more. The current method for really big bass is using huge 11" swimbait lures made to look and move like farm-raised rainbow trout. I've seen video of those lures in action, and they really "swim" like the real thing. Big bass have learned to prey upon the stunned, defenseless fish after they've been scooped out of their concrete pens, transported sometimes hundreds of miles, then dumped into an unfamiliar lake. Those trout are raised and bred to be big, fat and easy for people to catch. Easy pickings for big, smart predators, too.

Most bass lures resemble some sort of natural food item like crawdads, insects or other fish. Buzzbaits, on the other hand, have very little resemblance to anything natural, at least to me. They often look more like something that an orthodontist might cram into a teenager's mouth or part of a device that collects data for the National Weather Service. The shiny wires, spinners and propellers create quite a disturbance, a "buzz" I guess, that probably just pisses off bass to the point of aggression. It sure can't be that buzzbait look like something tasty.

There's been a ton of stuff written about the artistry of fly fishing, especially fly tying. The beauty of bass lures has been long overlooked. They range from abstract-impressionism to jewel-like reproductions of natural food items. I like vintage lures. The image above is my interpretation of an old, floating bass plug, which was probably designed to imitate a wounded baitfish.

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