The Power of Confidence - No Need For Live Bait

The Power of Confidence - No Need For Live Bait

I can recall countless fishing related conversations I’ve had throughout the years. Talks of great days on the water, where the fish were at, and most importantly you’d here “What did you catch them on?”

An all too common answer of mine: plastics. An answer as such, is often followed by rather predictable reactions from two types of anglers: the believer and the non-believer. The former has seen the power of artificial lures, they’ve caught fish on artificials, and they understand how valuable of a tool artificial lures really are. The latter may have purchased a pack or two of plastics or a hardbait, or maybe they have a buddy that’s used them; but all in all they haven’t given plastics a fair shot, and often opt for a scoop of minnows or a pack of waxies.

In my personal opinion, every application and fishing situation is somewhat controlled by an angler’s confidence. Fishing with artificial lures, like plastics, is no different. If an angler has no confidence in the bait they’ve tied on, then fishing success will be diminished. On the flip side, if an angler has confidence in the bait they’ve chosen, then positive results are more likely. In all reality, its not much different than thinking negatively – as negative thoughts often result in negative outcomes. Think back to what you’ve heard your parents say and think positively. There are obviously exceptions to this train of thought because certain applications, colors, and profiles will excel during specific situations.  

Anglers have no concerns with tying on a plastic worm or craw to catch a bass, but as soon as the lakes lock up, they feel the need to fill up the minnow bucket or bait puck in order to catch fish – but it shouldn’t be that way. For me personally, plastics, or other artificial baits, dominate 90-95% of my fishing time on the water. Live bait still has its place in the fishing world, but there are countless applications in which plastics can and will be more effective.

Artificial lures have grown in dominance, especially in the ice market – and that’s for good reason.  They offer a number of advantages over live bait. First, and foremost, the use of artificial lures eliminates the need to stop and buy bait. That’s an entire step removed from your process to go fishing. Secondly, artificial lures don’t die. This may sound overly apparent, but this is rather advantageous on the ice. The concern of keeping an aerator running or about the bait bucket freezing is completely removed from your thought process. Plastics or artificials can be carried around in a pocket or tackle box without much real concern.Another advantage of artificial lures is that re-baiting isn’t necessary nearly as often. Take plastics, for example – you can often catch several fish per plastic without having to put a new one. With hardbaits, like lipless crankbaits, there’s no reason at all to worry about adding bait. Lures in this category are most often designed to be fished without live bait altogether.

Beyond the more obviously advantages, there’s a handful of less thought about benefits that come with using artificial lures. Buying a scoop of minnows simply gets you well a scoop of minnows. You don’t get any options with profile or color of the ‘bait’ you’re using.

Artificial lures come in a wide variety of options so regardless of the scenario, there’s an option that’ll work for you. Think of plastics for example – like the Eurotackle Micro Finesse line. There’s realistic options like the Bloodworm, the Anisoptera, or the Plankton which are designed to emulate living creatures that exist in our waterways. But there’s also more unrealistic options like the Crazy Critter or Eurogrub. Each option works better in different situations.

Aside from the wide range of profiles, artificial lures come in a variety of color options – including everything from natural options, like browns, blacks, and greens to more out of the ordinary choices, like pink, chartreuse, and wonderbread. Having so many options gives anglers the versatility to match the hatch or try something more off the wall.  

Artificial lures also provide anglers with a wider range of actions than their more lively cousins. A minnow, waxworm, or spike will simply act like a minnow, waxworm, or spike. Artificial options will perform differently depending on the type of action an angler imparts. For example, lures like the Z-Darter can be fished in varying ways – which will, in turn, provide different actions. A quick ripping motion will cause the lure to dart and glide, while a subtle jigging will cause the lure to hop more in place.  

Still a non-believer? On your next fishing outing, leave the live bait at home. Grab that bag of plastics you’ve been hearing so much about, and tie one on. Be determined to catch fish and have some faith in the bait you’re fishing with. Confidence is the key to success when it comes to fishing with artificial lures. All it takes is one great outing with plastics to make you a believer.

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