Spending a lot of time catching bait can severely cut into actual fishing time. That's when artificial baits come into play.
Realistically, three fake baits are all you need: one to cover the surface, one for subsurface and the other for the bottom.
For covering the surface, noisy topwater walking-the-dog style plugs are the way to go. Topwater plugs need to make a lot of noise because most fish hide on the bottom and the action draws them to the bait. Early morning, late afternoon, and cloudy days are best for these lures.
Subsurface baits are not as popular but are effective. Spoons, especially gold and silver, are tremendous fish catchers. Work the spoon just below the surface to create a lot of flash. The wobble the spoon makes gives off heavy vibrations that game fish can feel through their lateral line. These lures can be used morning to night.
For covering the bottom, no lure is better than the jig. It is also the most versatile artificial bait. It can be fished fast or slow, deep or shallow. Dress it up with a glittery skirt and away you go.
- Capt. Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at 727 510-4376 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org