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Thread: The old standby - what do you reach for?

  1. #1
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    Default The old standby - what do you reach for?

    I was thinking about this after some recent conversations and threads. I am one of those guys who tends to stick with certain lures, maybe sometimes too long, but I generally do okay. It got drilled in to me a long time ago by one of my salty old uncles who would tell me "there are no fish in the tackle box" when I got too antsy. Anyway, I thought I would list some of mine and encourage others who fish this way to do the same. I am only listing the most common targets that I have fished for successfully enough times to have a definite pattern.

    As an aside, I do switch if something absolutely isn't working and I see other things working, but I give it a legitimate try first.

    This is excluding bait, but list your favorite baits if that is your SOP...

    Black Bass - As an adult, I would guess about 75% of the good sized bass I have caught were on T-rigged plastic worms in red to purple. As a child, over 80% were caught on a Abu in line spinner, white body with black dots.

    Freshwater trout - When spin fishing, over half were caught on a small Panther Martin spinner, black body with yellow dots. When fly fishing, probably 90% or more were caught on a GRHE. I lived in CO for 8 years and that is mostly where I fished those, but I have caught trout in NC with the same stuff.

    Crappie - Probably 80% on white twisty tail grubs behind a small black lead head. One note about this is that I am excluding "by catch" bass from my earlier bass count; I have caught a lot of peanut bass and a few large ones on the grub while fishing for panfish. Another note is that I consider a small white tube bait a generic substitution. Another note - I like the red reads with black eyes also and they are pretty interchangeable, IMO.

    Saltwater trout (specks) - Nearly every single one on a glittery translucent plastic grub behind a read lead head.

    Blues - About 90% on a Hopkins or similar spoon.

    Flounder - Here's where I may be off the deep end. Several years ago I tied a bunch of streamers using strands from a rainbow colored poly duster (the kind you dust things around the house with) because I was going to the beach and wanted to try my fly gear. I caught some flounder on those. Since then, I have used them C-rigged on spin gear, sometimes with a strip of cut bait, also with success.

    Loyalty to lures is a double edged sword; I have been out fished on many occasions. I am not so stubborn that I won't switch, but I think that finding favorites has been key for me. When I go fishing, I spend the vast majority of the time actually fishing and very little time digging through the box. Somewhere, Uncle Grier is smiling.

    -Andy ​X

  2. #2
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    Most of the stuff I'd call the old standby is more sentimental than productive... Goes like "Self, yer 'bout to drag that skunk home again... Hmmm..." then I remember 20 years ago I caught a few on such'n'such so I throw it on. Then I drag the skunk home. But here goes nothing...

    Mepps Spinners - Only reason I can't stand to throw them day-to-day is just a bad mental association; My old man dragged me out a few times when I was 8 or 9 in sub-freezing temps and that's what we used. We caught fish but I was utterly miserable so instead of laying on the old man, I blamed it squarely on that silly little bait. I'll still throw one in a pinch but ONLY in a pinch.

    Maribou Jigs - I'm re-discovering these and new ways to fish them. I've seen too many guys shake the skunk with little more than a jig and a bobber, a technique I'd completely forgotten. I occasionally need to remind myself that old school dosn't mean old fool.

    And my favorite Old Standby...

    Beetlespins. Back in the day, beetlespins saved many miserable trips to the pond. They didn't always work as a day-long bait but for some reason (luck?), they'd work when nothing else did. Now I feel a little naked without a card full in the box and even had a casting rod built specifically to throw them. They'll still save the day from time to time and as a last ditch to shake the skunk, I'll usually throw one just to say I did.
    Lucky Doug, NCStateFisher, and RouseD like this.


  3. #3
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    Depending on the season and what I am targeting for the day will tell me what lures to tie on. Now you have to understand that I usually have 4 or 5 rods, maybe more, with me plus a flyrod or 2... Normally its bass or bream.

    I tie on a topwater for early morning, buzzbait or frog. Plastics of some sort, worm/senko/centipede, will be on another and rigged depending on the depth of water I'm fishing and what I want it to do. Smithwick Rattlin' Rogue will almost always be on one rod, always. Thats a great bait and have pulled in loads of bass and a couple of catfish. Spinnerbaits or what ever is in season and the pond/lake/river that I'm headed to. Crankbaits again time of year will tell me which I want for the day. A Rattle Trap or simular in hot orange for spring..

    When in doubt and having problems connecting I always have my "go to bait" which is usally a black worm with blue tail. I'll rig it Texas style and just slow down and disect the structure I'm fishing and try to get the bite on.

    Fish what you have confidence in and you will keep the bait in the water longer. Rattling and digging thru the tackle box looking for the majic lure for the day is usually a waste of time. But occasionally a blind hog will find an acorn...

    <*))))>{
    RouseD likes this.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwguffey View Post
    Most of the stuff I'd call the old standby is more sentimental than productive...
    My sentimental favorite is in my earlier list - the Abu spinner. My dad worked in the poultry industry and had access to a lot of private water. It was a very rude awakening to start fishing public waters when I got older. Probably almost anything would have worked well in most of the ponds I fished growing up, but he bought me a card of the Abus on one of our early trips and that just became my lure after that. I still have a few and they do get the occasional cast and they do catch fish. But the silly things are "worth" (bought and sold at these prices, anyway) over $30 each now so I am reluctant to cast them in any situation where losing one is more than a remote possibility.
    RouseD likes this.

    -Andy ​X

  5. #5
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    We use to fish a couple of farm ponds and it had some big old bass. The fish were accustomed to small baits and seldom would they hit big baits. You could take a small Panther Martin or beetle spin and they would hit them.....
    bwguffey, and RouseD like this.

    Friends, Fishing, Fellowship..RED X ANGLER

  6. #6
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    Largemouth: big red t-rigged worm

    Smallmouth: white or chartruse grub with jighead

    I'll throw some other stuff just to try 'em or if these arent working, but I'm really stubborn.

    They gonna burn a honeysuckle when I die

  7. #7
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    For Bass:
    plastic worms and lizards, T and C rigged.
    #5 shad rap, shad color.
    Jig and pig.
    Then spinnerbaits, Johnson spoons

    Favorite nostalgia bass bait - Arbogast Jitterbug - don't ever throw a black one after dark (wink,wink)

    For Bream:
    Beetle Spins
    1/32 marabou jigs, esp. black/black
    Of course I love poppers and nymphs

    For Crappie:
    tube jigs
    marabou jigs
    curlytails
    beetle spins
    road runners


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoeTopia View Post
    For Bream:
    Beetle Spins
    1/32 marabou jigs, esp. black/black
    Of course I love poppers and nymphs
    I didn't put them on my list because I have used so many different things, but the option you listed last has proved deadly for me - nymphs. I grew up in the deep South, moved to CO for much of my 20s and then moved here. So I had (and still have) a lot of trout fishing gear. On my list, I had the GRHE as my #1 trout fly, so I had a bunch of them when I moved here. For the sake of those that haven't fished nymphs in moving water, you go through them like bait to fish them most effectively (dead drift, bouncing off everything, except when they don't and then you lose one). But I easily doubled my average catch rate when I made the switch, so i was willing to put up with that. But how well they do on trout pales in comparison to how bream attack them. In the Neuse below Falls dam at low water, I have hooked bream on lazy backcasts that kissed the water. I have had hook ups on every cast until I got tired of it. The main reason I would tire of it is size - nymphs are small and while fish of all sizes eat them, I mostly caught really small panfish.
    RouseD likes this.

    -Andy ​X

  9. #9

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    When the going gets tough, I can usually crank one up with my favorite crankbait or entice one with a shakeyhead.
    Take a Bass Boating!!!
    Life Jackets and Kill Switches save lives.

  10. #10
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    I dont really bass fish since Im more of a saltwater guy and since you said no bait Ill have to think for a minute lol. I like the orange and white gotcha plug for blues and spanish. Red and white Mirrolures for trout, chartreuse jighead with anything white to go on it for trout also. Im not really big into lures cause there expensive and nothing irratates me more than losing a 7-10$ lure on the first cast so I stick with bait. Brad
    NCStateFisher, and RouseD like this.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptiMystic View Post
    list your favorite baits if that is your SOP...
    Quote Originally Posted by yakattaxx83 View Post
    since you said no bait Ill have to think for a minute
    Tell us your go to baits instead, please...
    -Andy ​X

  12. #12
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    Mostly fingermullets. Alive on a C-Rig for Reds and Flounder. Mudminnows for trout under a bobber when nothing else works. Half a bluefish or stingray for sharks. Cutbait for bowfin, gar, and catfish. Anything bloody seems to wake up fish with teeth. Brad

  13. #13
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    Zoom Super Flukes and a Tube-X tube.
    Red X Angler // Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that is not fish they are after - Thoreau

  14. #14

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    Spec Trout.... 2 to 3 inch streamers, Reds ...divers, poppers .woolheads. Gills.... nymphs and wet flies get the biggest ones ,size 8 and 6 foam poppers are the most fun! LM Bass...divers and poppers . Bowfin (one of the best "game fish" ) I tie yarn worms 6 to 8 inches long , most fun. topwater!!
    ALLEN TARHEEL FLY FLINGERS " RED X ANGLER "
    " BOWFIN ANGLER "

  15. #15

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    Largemouth- white spinnerbaits, buzzers, pop r or chug bug, rat trap in early spring

    Smallies- Chartreuse spinnerbait, chartresue spinnerbait, chartresue spinnerbait, did i say chartresue spinnerbait?.

    Roanoke Bass- Mepps minnow

    Bream- beetlespin

    Crappie- chartresue grub, small tubes, roadrunners

    White Bass- chartruse grub, charttreuse pop r, blue fox spinner

    trout- #0 or #1 roostertail in grasshopper color for small trout or stockers
    for big trout- big rapala

    Bowfin- chartruse snagless sally

    Jack- spinnerbait, red and white roostertail, gold little cleo spoon

    Stripers- 4 inch sassy shad, redfin or similar
    Mack
    mookie, RouseD, and tarheel fly flinger like this.

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