|Client John Meuschke caught this fine Sarasota Bay redfish on a D.O.A. CAL Jig with gold paddle tail.|
At the end of most fishing days, I could put all the lures I used in my shirt pocket.
That probably applies to you, too.
What I do now is to carry one small Plano plastic tackle box with the lures I might use that day.
Lure fishing is quite effective. I haven’t used live bait in so long that I have no clue what the price of shrimp is? I saw a bumper sticker a few years ago that summed up live bait quite nicely.
It read: “Fishing with live shrimp is like sleeping with your sister. It was OK when you were 5 years old.”
While I have nothing against live bait or those who use it, I just don’t feel the need to do so. I catch plenty of fish, and all are taken on artificial lures.
Here are my favorites. They work for me.
D.O.A. CAL Jig: This is my No. 1 lure. It’s a great fish-producer and excellent prospecting lure. I prefer the red, 1/16-ounce head. I like D.O.A.’s paddle tails in gold and copper crush. The paddle tails are very tough and you’ll only use two or three over the course of the day.
D.O.A. Shrimp: I prefer the 3-inch size. It’s very versatile and appeals to a variety of fish. My favorite colors are night glo and gold flake. These artificials work very well when fish alone or a part of D.O.A.’s Deadly Combination. The Deadly Combo is a popping cork, leader and D.O.A. Shrimp. Leader length depends on the depth of the water. You can buy them pre-rigged or construct your own. The Deady Combo also is very easy to use. Cast it out, allow the shrimp to sink, pop the cork and repeat. When the cork goes under, reel in the slack and set the hook.
Using the shrimp alone is not for everyone. You need to work is extremely slow. I find it really effective on calm days. It’s also a great sight-fishing lure. I also like to use it when work under and around docks and other structure.
D.O.A. Jerk Worm: The 4-inch jerk worm is my go-to lure in winter when I’m targeting snook, redfish and bass on local rivers. I put the worm on a 1/16-ounc jig head. Will take a variety of fish. I use the 5-inch jerk worm on the flats when I’m look for redfish and snook. I most often put it on a 1/16-ounce jig head or rig it weedless on a slightly weighted hook.
Zara Super Spook Jr.: You don’t want to hit the flats without a topwater plug. The Spook Jr., casts easily and is simple to work. You want to “walk the dog.” I produce that action by keeping my rod tip low. I real and twitch the lure. Key to success is not setting the hook when a fish strikes. You don’t want to set the hook until you feel the weight of the fish.
MirrOlure MirrOdine: A great lure when fish are feeding on white bait. I like to use it on a light spinning rig. I cast it out and work it erratically. Has wonderful action. Last time I used it, I caught a bunch of seatrout from 20 to 23 inches.
Johnson Silver Minnow: It might be marketed as a “silver” minnow, but I like it in gold. Works great for redfish. It’s also a great prospecting lure. It’s easy to cast and work. Simply cast it out, start your retrieve just before the lure hits the water. Just reel. If there are reds in the area, you’ll find them. Will also entice snook and seatrout. I like the 1/8-ounce version in colder weather when the bait’s smaller. I go to the ¼-ounce spoon during the warmer months.
There you have it.