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'HOT LURES' or Just 'A FLASH IN THE PAN'

By Jim Porter

Every few months (sometimes it seems like days or weeks!), a new 'hot' lure comes along. Yep, it's gonna catch all the bass in the lake. The fish see it and they just jump right in the boat.

We all see the claims in those 3:30 AM television 'Infomercials', assuming we can't sleep, or are just getting in from a night fishing trip. Most of us realize these hype shows are just that - hype. On one of them, it took 3 days to catch enough fish to make it look like they were coming over the side of the boat, one after the other. But, we sure would LIKE to believe them. We'd all like to find that fabled 'magic' lure, wouldn't we?

Some of these hyped lures seem to really take off for a while and even real fishermen start to catch fish on them. Everyone starts to wonder if all the claims might have actually been true??

Well, there may be another reason. So, let me tell you a story from the 'old days'.

Years ago, when crank plugs were just getting to be really popular, along came the Big O. It had a mystique about it because they were hand carved, very costly, and very rare. Then, suddenly, a manufacturer woke up and said, "Hey, I can make those things using plastic!"

Within a few months, the market was flooded with Big O's and all the stories started. Of course, without the Internet, the stories spread a lot slower than today. But, it was not long until all you heard was that everyone that was catching bass was using a Big O. It was THE hot bait. And, we finally concluded it was true - all the bass being caught were being caught on a Big O. So, it MUST be the greatest bait ever, we reasoned.

Then, it dawned on us. Based on all the hype and tales, coupled with the mass marketing of the plastic Big O, it was about the ONLY lure anyone was using. So, it stood to reason that all the bass being caught were coming on a Big O. Heck, it was the ONLY wet lure in the USA.

Possibly, we can conclude that any lure that suddenly gains a lot of notoriety (whether infomercial-wise or from real fish catching), is going to start being tied on a LOT of lines. That means more and more fish will be caught on them. That means the story will grow and grow, to a point. That point is usually where some new 'magic' lure comes along and it gets to be the talk of the town.

Eventually, some basic lures with basic fish-catching abilities will wind up standing the test of time. Mann's Jelly Worm, the Rebel Deep Wee R, Heddon's Zara Spook are such lures. The latest craze lure, the Yamamoto 'Senko' may become one. For sure, the application of a dense soft plastic jerk bait will always be around, whatever its name at the time.

The bottom line to this dissertation is that 'hot' lure names come and go, but their applications live on.



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