A Case for Premium Lures

A Case for Premium Lures If you need that extra performance or lifelike appearance, premium lures can make a difference.


Bass fishing with expensive lures

You’ve probably noticed some of the eye-popping prices on today’s premium bass lures. If someone would have told me many years ago that we’d see bass lures selling for $20 or more, I would have bet the farm against it. But here we are using baits that sell for that or more. And if you are an avid angler, you likely own several of them because of the kind of results they are known to produce. 

   While the most expensive lures are crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwaters, some premium soft baits cost more than traditional plastics, too. Does that mean the less expensive stuff doesn’t catch fish anymore? Of course not, but when you examine the impact heavy fishing pressure has on our lakes and the number of lures these bass see on a daily basis, the features and enhancements built into some premium lures can make the difference in how many bass you catch on a given day.     

   Expensive hard baits are made with intrinsic details to give them more lifelike appearance and action. Take the Sebile Stick Shadd, for example.  It’s a top-selling hardbait despite a $15-plus price tag. Yet, if you look at how the details of this lure and how well it responds to rod movements, you understand why.     

   The same can be said about Berkley’s Gulp!, which looks like traditional plastics but is very different. The lures are made in popular shapes and look similar to basic plastics, yet they dissolve in water and leave behind a positive “scent track” that cause bass to bite and retain.             

   I’ve seen similar results while fishing for smallmouth bass. The little Gulp! Minnow fished on a drop-shot rig is about as deadly as anything I’ve ever used on stubborn or finicky fish.

   And what about largemouth bass? I’ve seen Gulp! make a favorable difference there, too, but nothing like I’ve seen when fishing in saltwater or for smallmouth bass.

   It also must be treated differently. To prevent it from drying out, the bait must be kept wet or in a special solution Berkley provides, which is why Gulp! is now marketed in tubs. With these tubs, you can use a bait and then return it to the tub without concerns of it drying out or contaminating other lures. 

   If you need a Gulp! lure toughened up for flipping or long casting, lay it on a towel or cloth and let it dry momentarily. If you want to soften it up again, simply drop it back into the tub. 

   Of course, the use of premium lures doesn’t guarantee success. Anglers must still employ wise bass-fishing principles, such as choosing the appropriate lure to match the condition, presenting it properly and fishing it where the bass are holding. But if the bass are there and just not aggressive and you need that extra performance or lifelike appearance, premium lures can make a difference. 

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