The Minnow Bucket
Don’t you just love walking into the tackle store and seeing endless displays of lures reflecting every imaginable color of the rainbow! I do, but wait a minute, just who is the fish in this little story? I only have so much money; I can’t afford to buy lures of all those colors! If all those colors really work, then any color should do right?
I admit I have been fool enough to have purchased many lures of many colors. I also must admit that I have never needed all those colors. However, I have also found that fish often prefer one color over another and sometimes just a subtle difference in color will make a big difference in my success.
In one of my first B.A.S.S. tournaments, I was fishing side by side with another pro for the day and we were both using white spinnerbaits. He was at the front of the boat and I was in the rear. I was catching many more fish than he was even though he was getting first crack at them. The difference seemed to be that my white spinnerbait had a hint of pink in it. The funny thing is that a piece of red plastic worm had found its way into the spinnerbait slot of my tackle bag and had slightly stained the white skirt of my spinnerbait pink. My partner searched his entire boat looking for a similar colored spinnerbait and all I had was this one. I would have been happy to lend him one of mine if I only had another.
So, what can we do? We can’t bring all the different colors with us every time we go fishing even if we did have all the money needed to buy them. Well, I like to start by always having a few basic colors with me, then adding some subtle variations of them if I have extra room. If I have plenty of time or if I know I’m on a good spot and the action slows down, I will then give those variations a try.
For soft plastic lures I always bring watermelon, pumpkinseed, and blue fleck. For spinnerbaits I always have white and chartreuse. I always pair a white spinner-bait with a chartreuse trailer and the other way around. For crankbaits I always bring Shad and Perch color patterns as well as bright chartreuse.
We don’t really need the entire rainbow of colors. Start with the basics (as in the photo) and use the other colors when you have extra time, room, money, and the muscles to carry them with you.