For the Love of Lures

Courtesy of Vance McCollough

Some lures are too pretty to fish with

“If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”  

-Zane Grey


I knew it was all wrong. But the clackity-clack racket of the buzzbait was mesmerizing so I continued to throw it, knowing I wouldn’t get a strike.

Is it wrong to love a lure just because it’s fun to play with?

I think not. And I believe many of you out there join me in fishing your favorites, occasionally even when conditions dictate a different approach. I mean, unless you’re in a tournament, the whole point of recreational fishing is to have fun. Right?

Bass fishermen love lures. I have dozens that are basically artwork – I won’t even fish with them. Some are special because of who gave them to me, a spinnerbait from Kevin Van Dam, cut right off his line, a swimjig Fred Roumbanisused in the Bassmaster Classic, a crankbait I lifted out of my dad’s tackle box as a boy.

Some are special because I did use them. Well. A football jig with which I caught a heavy limit behind Denny Brauer. And he congratulated me for it. A big, beautiful worm and a homely flipping tube hang together on my wall, reminders of the giant bass they helped me catch.

Some are just cool to look at. I have swimbaits so big that I don’t even have appropriate tackle to toss them. But man, they look awesome!

Then there are the toys. The lures I’ll cast under any condition because they are fun to fish and even more fun when they do produce a strike. Most are topwaters or swimbaits. Many make noise. Poppers and Whopper Ploppers are tops. There are times when bass just want that high pitch squeal from a buzzbait. They’re going to have to tell me so because I am starting out with the blade bent down so it hits the head and sounds like tin cans dragged behind a car. Hey, it’s my trip, a slice of my time and I’ll fish it as I dang well please.

So there I was, cranking the handle on my baitcaster, meditating on keeping that rod tip in the right position, lost in the rhythmic din of that magical buzzer, not needing the validation that came anyway when a 3-pound bass arrested the intruder in a froth of white. A momentary pause, I struck back, each of us shocked to see the other across the tight line.

I mean, yeah, fishing lures are cool. Especially when they lure fish.