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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to fishing and I'm trying to get a solid lock on large mouth fishing in both rivers and lakes. I've looked all around online and on youtube and there are a million solutions to a million questions that go in the opposite direction than my own. My curiosity is, what are some solid, proven lures that are effective on the river and some that are effective at a lake.

I've read everywhere that bass like to be picky, and there are certain lures for certain times of day. You have to fish colors based on the bait fish, and so on and so on. I hope to pick all that up with time, but just starting out to avoid all the technicalities, what can I use, generally any day of the year, all day?

I have my own array that I've kinda plucked out of the shelves. I have a dark spinner bait with willow blades, two light spinner baits. I've got a few swim baits, a chatter bait, a buzzbait and of course an array of plastic worms, everything from dark to light.

But any idiot with some money can fill his tackle box with a bunch of lures, I want to be the guy that knows how and when to use them. So any pointers would be nice, any solid lures that you would enjoy using are also helpful.
 

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Welcome to the site. I will give you a list of my favorites. For soft plastics, Zoom's Ultravibe speedcraw, Ole Monster worm, Mag finesse worm, and Trick worm are excellent. Yamamoto Senko, and cut tail worms. For crank baits I like Bomber fat free shads, for jerk baits in cooler weather I like the Smithwick Rattlin Rogue, or Lucky Craft Pointers. Spinner baits you can't go wrong with Strike King baits.
 

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I will go along with Jerry on the zoom plastics and add a baby brushhog. I LOVE my senkos and fish those a lot. The bomber fat free shads and the FF guppy are some of my favs as well as bandit cranks. I fish a spinnerbait year round and have caught my 3 biggest fish on a spinnerbait. For a newbie my best advice is put in time on the water and build confidence in some lures.
 

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Confidence is everything. But starting out can be stressful with some many colors. For the basics I would aim to get no more than 3 colors of a specific lure or class of lure, i.e. have a dark spinner, a light spinner, and a natural spinner (chart/white, black, and maybe some kind of shad pattern), for plastics, same thing, june bug, pumpkin or watermelon, and something flourescent like bubblegum. Don't worry too much about flake colors or any of that yet. Also for basic plastics: trick worms, speed craws, lizards, flukes. Those 4 will cover most situations you encounter. Also the benefit of sticking to my method for color selections is you won't be overloaded with choices but your choices will cover most common situations. Once you get comfortable and find ones you like that catch fish, then you can start tweaking.

Also check out Gene Jensen's youtube channel, called "Flukemaster" he's got some incredibly informative, easy to understand videos that have really helped my fishing in a lot of ways.
 

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On spinners my I suggest double Colorado gold blades in muddy water, gold willow in front & silver Colorado in stained water, and double willow blades in clear water. Also a Pop-R by Rebel just for the thrill of top water. At night a black jitterbug is a must. It is what I use just to know if there are any fish in the pond I am trying for the first time. After that it is just cheating using it. Number two would be the black buzz bait you already have. Drill two holes into each blade to leave a bubble trail and add a #5 trailer hook.
 

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Starting out, keep it simple, you dont need one of everything from every lure manufacturer out there and color choices can be easily simplified. I have a boat load of tackle but truth is, anywhere I go, I usually throw pretty much the same stuff and catch fish.

Plastics- Every manufacturer makes basically the same stuff, choose one brand and stick with it and get a variety of styles... lizards, straight tail worms, senkos, creature baits. There are 50000 different colors, most just a slight variation of another, green pumkin and watermelon are my go to colors and they catch fish everywhere I fish, black, black and blue and pumkin should cover you in most situations.

Crankbaits- Again, a gazillion colors but they boil down to 3 basic patterns... chartruse, shad, and craw. Different plugs dive to different depths, again choose one brand and get an assortment that will cover all the depth ranges you will fish.

Topwater- Get a walking bait like a Zara Spook, popper, and frog. Color isnt real important, they see it moving and react.

Spinnerbaits- White, white/ chartruse and sexy shad. Gold blades for dirty water, silver for clear water
 

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Manage your expectations. Don't expect too much and plan on being single. Even the pro's have bad days, and sometimes rookies have good days, keep it all in perspective. As mentioned, there are 4 million choices and one guy says this works and an article says that works, but when you try it you get nothing, it takes time. My advice would be to start looking for bite patterns and keeping a log. For instance, last lake I fished I found them biting in the laid down timber near rocks and I was able to find that situation several more times and pulled fish off almost all of them, BUT, other guys found a hump and caught more fish off that.

Again, expect your learning to be a marathon, not a sprint. And a wise friend once told me that any color is ok as long as it's green pumpkin
 

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Agree with all the previous posts. Bass fishing can drive even old timers like me crazy, what with this "new" bait coming out almost daily. Buy some of the basics like Jerry and Neil said, and go fish. Nothing will tell you what to use like putting in the time. Now with that being said, I will tell you that I have been bass fishing for over 40 years and some days, the fish will make me feel and look like a beginner. It's all part of learning. Stick with the basics, and put your time in and hopefully catch a few fish on the way. Good luck to you.
 

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Red X Angler
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Agree, agree, agree........a lot of what we read and hear is hype to sell lures. Follow the basic rules and find a few go-to baits and you will catch fish....usually! Stained water, darker baits. Clear water, chartreuse. Windy conditions...spinner baits around points...again chartreuse and white or combo thereof are great, you can stick a twisty tailed grub on the back which helps with slower drops if you are slow rolling that rascal. Top water, early and late in the day or at night (dark color at night). The one newer bait that I also throw fairly often is the Storm Swimbait....anything will hit those. Those are my basic go-to lures and rules. They've worked for me for many, many years and bet they will for many more.
 

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Welcome to the site. I will give you a list of my favorites. For soft plastics, Zoom's Ultravibe speedcraw, Ole Monster worm, Mag finesse worm, and Trick worm are excellent. Yamamoto Senko, and cut tail worms. For crank baits I like Bomber fat free shads, for jerk baits in cooler weather I like the Smithwick Rattlin Rogue, or Lucky Craft Pointers. Spinner baits you can't go wrong with Strike King baits.
Jerry, I can't believe you gave up your secret "UVSC"!
 

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All have given lots of info...there is a basic arsenal and Neil outlined it very well. For me, I would ad the super fluke. It has proven time and again for me in all weather types. It is one of the best dying shad/bream imitators I have found.

The other thing I would say is just go. Spend time on the water. Use one bait at a time and learn what it does. Get confidence in that bait and what you can do with that bait and then move to the next...whether you catch fish or not. Learn the baits, because in truth, every bait sold in a tackle shop will catch fish.

The manufacturers wouldn't spend all the time testing and the money in advertising if they weren't sure it would catch fish so know that they will catch fish.

The thing that makes them work for each individual is the time and confidence a person has in knowing what that bait does and learning when it works best.

And ask...
 

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It's really hard not to over-think bass fishing. In reality bass aren't picky at all. They will eat anything that looks alive and edible that they can fit in their mouth. If you just want to catch some bass here is a formula that will work in local streams or lakes at any time of the year except maybe winter.

Rod spooled with 30 lb braid
Learn to tie a double uni knot and attach a 4-6 foot piece of 15 lb mono (P-line is awesome) to your braid.
3/16 ounce bullet weight
3/0 EWG worm hook
Zoom UV Speed Craws, Baby Brush Hogs, and 7" Ribbon Tail worms in the only color that matters - Green Pumpkin.
I always like to tip the ends of the worm/craw/hog with some chart. dye which comes in a handy pen.
Learn to work over laydowns, bushes, and any other visible cover with this rig. Fish slow and work the cover completely. There are always bass on wood (not every tree) but the combination of wood and these plastics will get bites.

Once you start catching some fish, you will feel much more comfortable on the water because you will have a technique in your pocket that you KNOW will catch fish. This gives you the freedom to spend 1/2 a day fishing something new. I strongly suggest to learn a new lure that you spend several hours with it even if you aren't catching anything. If you catch something you just added to your arsenal, if not go back to your T-rig plastic and have some success so you don't get discouraged. The worst thing you can do is go out and try to fish all the lures you have in a day when you have no confidence in any of them because you will fail and be frustrated.

I would also add my endorsement of the Flukemaster videos and Neil's advice to pick a brand and stick with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
h2ohh, and all the rest of you, I am extremely grateful for all the information. This site is fantastic and once I get a better foothold with fishing and I can at least catch a fish every outing or even something close to that I'll make sure to pass the information on to newer guys as ya'll have.

Bleedingblue, I will for sure give that a try. You tie the mono to the braid and attach your rig to the mono? Could I ask what the purpose of that is?
 

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I think it serves 3 purposes

1.) Its a shock leader to allow a bit of give since braid doesn't stretch. This can keep from ripping a hook out on too strong a set.
2.) Braid is strong but not super abrasion resistant. Mono will take more abuse without breaking. This is handy when trying to pull a fish out of a tree.
3.) It provides reduced visibility. Green or clear mono is much harder to see under water than dark colored braid.

Honestly, you could just tie directly to the braid and still catch fish but I think this way has some advantages. Some folks swear by Flurocarbon but I don't like it because it is very easy to damage with improper knot tying and it costs much more.
 

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Red X Angler
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And to add to what our resident UK fan says....Google the double uni knot and learn to tie it. Braid is very slick and will separate from the leader with the wrong knot.
 

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Red X Angler
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And to add to what our esteemed Dr. says... If tying direct with braid run the line thru the eye of the lure twice before tying your knot.
Palomar knot works well for lure\hook connections. Easy one to learn too. That goes for braid direct or leader to lure. I use the fluorocarbon leader but I can't say its better than mono.
 
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