What’s the best bass lure on the market?

As hot summer sun warms the bays, not all smallmouth bass have gone to deep water

This smallmouth came savagely to Tony Gunderson's sunfish spinner bait cast along reeds in shallow water on a late afternoon in June.

The dichotomous answer is enough to make one chuckle. The simple part is, “whatever works!” But that’s about as good an answer as “do the right thing!” to someone who really wants to know.

The truth of the answer is that there is no best lure. It’s the fisherman’s knowledge of bass, the species, their habitat and habits that distinguish who catches the most. It’s the angler’s understanding that brings some more big fish than others catch.

The “best” way to acquire that knowledge is by fishing with fishermen who are better than you. Watch what they do; ask questions and imitate their techniques. Then, the bass you catch will teach you what works and what does not.

Observe the nature of the environment you’re fishing, measure the water temperature, note the wind–its direction and speed. You don’t have to write these things down; I’m just suggesting that you note them because they are considerations in the factors that determine where the bass, large mouth or small mouth, are located on a given day, and why they may or may not strike.

There’s one proverbial truth that never changes. “You can’t catch fish if you don’t cast.” Here’s a second truth worth considering if you have time, “You can’t cast successfully if you’re not on the water.”

So if you must go through the failures and mistakes in order to attain the knowledge you desire, speed up the process by fishing with anglers who know what they’re doing–as often as you can.

~Dwayne Parsons on Twitter @IFishWrite