At some point during fishing’s long, storied history, anglers suddenly decided to start modifying the lures in their tackle box in hopes of achieving further appeal to the fish they aimed to catch. I can’t tell you when this happened, but I can tell you that it’s still happening today. Anglers love to snip, glue, paint, and bend their lures meticulously in order to get a little more out of them. Today I’ve provided you with a few simple modifications you can make to your lures to get a little more bang out of them the next time you hit the water.
One way to add a little something extra to plastic baits, such as creatures, worms, and lizards, is to dip their tails in bright colors, like chartreuse, white, or pink. This little bit of bright color can give your plastics that little extra appeal that might have otherwise been missing. To add more variety, try a few different colors among a package of plastics, or even layer the colors to create a two-tone pattern.
Another way you can spice up your plastics is to add a scent—either spray or gel—to them. Some anglers like to impregnate the scent internally, using a syringe, while others simply rub or spray a given scent on directly to the bait. You’d be surprised at how offensive the scent of humans is to fish, so adding scent to your baits can have a huge impact.
Spinnerbaits seem to offer an endless amount of modification possibilities. You can add plastic trailers, change the blades, trim the skirt, or even change the skirt altogether. I, myself, have several spinnerbaits that I call my “Frankenspinners,” and consist of various components from other spinnerbaits.
You can change the action and thus, the appeal, of topwater lures by altering their weight distribution. This can easily be done by replacing the rear treble hook of a Spook with a larger hook, which will cause the nose of the bait to rise a bit.
Crankbaits and other diving baits can be made to dive quicker and deeper by attaching a stick-on weight to their front or to the underside of their bill. This causes the bait to rest at a steeper angle in the front and alters the angle of its dive, as well.
Lastly, even with as many available color patterns as there are on the market, sometimes it’s still necessary to tweak your bait’s color here or there by adding some of your own. Sometimes a little streak of chartreuse here or an added orange belly there is exactly what your bait needs to get the job done. For those who really want to embrace their artistic side, there are actually whole hard plastic lure kits that come with white baits and paint with which you can design your own patterns. Cool, huh?
These are just a few of the many modifications that fishermen have made to their lures throughout the years. Don’t limit yourself to the ones listed above, though. Pay close attention to how your lure moves in the water, how the fish are behaving, and how the prey items in your lake truly look and act. Fortune favors the bold, so bend and twist and paint to your heart’s desire if it means more fish in the boat!