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By Capt. Dickie Colburn
For the Record 

Old counts for something


Last updated 9/28/2021 at 12:58pm


“Out with the old and in with the new!” That time tested adage is worthy of a little closer scrutiny when applied to fishing!

Graphite rods, low profile reels, electronics that take the guess work out of locating fish and high performance boats that can handle the roughest conditions are just a few of the innovations that have made us all better fishermen. I cannot, however, say the same thing about both fresh and saltwater lures.

When I was smitten with bass fishing at a very young age, I would mow yards all day to buy a new Lucky 13, Jitterbug or Hula Popper. They all caught bass, but with exception of the few displayed in my collection of “old” lures, they no longer see the light of day.Go find a new one today!

Back in the day, manufacturers were more concerned with producing a lure that appealed to the angler as well as the fish rather than developing a lure to meet a certain need. While few and far between, crankbaits were available, but that term was never even used prior to the advent of

Rat-L-Trap. The venerable River Runt had a metal lip and you never returned home with one that you fished with more than a few casts.

As bass fishing grew in popularity, lures suddenly became more efficient. The Rogue, Long A, Big O and Bagley B were all deadly lures that covered more water and produced more fish. Just like their

predecessors, however, most of those lures have now given way to a raft of new choices. Why have we abandoned those lures?

I can assure you that I still have great confidence in the minnow style topwaters now referred to as jerk baits as well as shallow running crankbaits. They have not been relegated to collector status.

Soft plastic lures have taken an ever bigger hit over the years than the hard bodied topwaters and crankbaits.Crème seemingly owned the market with their six inch natural colored worm armed with three exposed hooks and a small propeller. So much for the thought of fishing it weedless, but it caught a ton of bass.

In truth, Texas rigging changed the entire plastic business as they could now design plastics that looked exactly like a worm, lizard or crawfish. Regardless of how well any of those lures worked, within a month you now had to decide on the addition of a straight tail, curly tail, no tail, segmented body or rings on the body in lengths from four to twelve inches.

The choices were endless, but selecting a productive color was even more challenging. No more black, grape or purple.You were still in the game when they changed colors to blackberry, strawberry or plum, but the addition of colored glitter was even more confusing.

And if that wasn’t enough, take a shot at guessing what you are getting with a package of opening night, slammin’ chicken, morning glory or bone diamond.I feel comfortable guessing what color water melon is, but do I need red, gold, blue or black flake!

Salt water anglers are by no means spared when it comes to picking up a hot color recommended by a friend.There are no more days of simply picking up a pack of pearl, white-pink tail or strawberry tails.

In the five inch Assassin alone there are 122 choices with colors ranging from Roadkill or Drunk Monkey to Butt Naked. Try picking out those colors without the aid of a color chart.

So here you are planning on simply catching a few specks or redfish while fearing that you will not show up with the magic color for the day. Do you honestly believe that at least a few of those fish won’t track down a white-pink tail grub or gold spoon?

I have my favorite colors, but I would not stay home because all I had were a few of the old standbys. Not taking advantage of improvement in electronics and fishing gear is questionable, but baling out on certain lures and colors that have worked for years is giving the fish far too much credit.

September is almost gone and your fishing license expired in August. Get it renewed and go throw some of your old stuff at the fish. It worked then and it will work today!


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