By John R. Pulliam
In bass fishing, every angler has their "ace in the hole". It's that one lure that you know you can pick up, cast out, and will catch fish on it, time after time. Anglers always question other anglers as to what lures or techniques are producing on a prospective body of water. Although they may listen to what is being said, more times than not, the angler who asks questions will have their ace lure tied on.
So how do you find that one ace lure that will always produce for you? The only answer is that you must take the time to fish each lure and technique until you feel comfortable with it, or until you catch fish on it. It takes anglers several years to find that one lure or technique that they can turn to when the first aren't biting, and be able to catch fish.
More times than not, an angler has a specific setup for that particular lure or technique. They become so tuned to how a fish feels when it is eating the bait with that rod and reel that if you hand the same angler a different setup with the exact same lure, they will be out of their game.
Although it takes a great amount of time to figure out which lure/technique is right for you, there are ways to beat the system. If you have been fishing for a long time, use colors of lures that have produced well for you in the past, especially when trying out new techniques. If you have just started fishing, a general rule of thumb is that if it looks good to you, it will look good to fish.
Another way of avoiding a timely process of deleting lures from your repertoire is to analyze the forage base in the body of water you plan to fish. If the main forage is shad, then use lures that are white, blue, silver, and so on. If the main forage is bluegill/sunfish, then use colors with reds, oranges, chartreuse, and other bright colors.
Also, don't be afraid to make subtle changes to your lures. At times, bass will notice those little changes and will react to them.
Gaining confidence in a lure is something that can not be shorted, but it does not have to take forever in order to gain confidence in something particular. It will take experience in different conditions and situations in order to find out your own ace lure. But once you find it, you will always know where to turn when the chips are down and will be able to put bass in the boat.
I hope that this will give you more confidence when choosing your "ace in the hole" and will give you the confidence in trying out new techniques. Until next time, tight lines and be safe.