Many hard sea fishing lures have poor hook up rates so it is extra important that you make sure the hooks are in the best shape they can be. If your lures do have poor hook ups you may like to consider changing the size of the hooks to better match the type of fish you are hunting. Small hooks won’t catch larger fish and large hooks won’t catch small fish.
Other things to consider are that bent or rusty hooks also won’t catch fish. If your hooks have been bent and reshaped several times then you should replace them. If you have lures which cannot have the hooks replaced, throw them away. They are no good for long term use and you will lose the best fish you’ve hooked with it.
The colored wooden or plastic lures often suffer from chips, gouges and scratches. These can, and should be repaired because these can unbalance the action in the water and scare off the fish rather than attract them. Fill the gouges with fiberglass putty, touch up the paint work with model paint ot nail polish. Octopus type lures can have new skirts tied onto them.
Finally you need to make sure that you store your traces and leaders properly so they don’t end up tangled, kinked and useless. Use a larger diameter device such as an old hand caster or large plastic bottle. The bigger the diameter the better as you want the traces to be stored as straight as possible. If you can remove the lures from the traces then you should store them separately in a dry container. I like to put corks over the points of the hooks to protect unwary fingers. I also like to store the sea fishing lures singly in their own containers, look for things like medicine bottles or even short lengths of plastic water pipe plugged at each end. If the containers are not see-through then it helps to put labels on them.
Follow these simple steps and keep using your saltwater lures for a long, long time.
Sea fishing lures have advantages over baits because of the the handling issues, some people just don’t like the feel of bait. One of the main advantages of lures over baits is that the lures will keep a lot longer. But you do have to maintain the lures or they will rust, go blunt or break when you next use them.
Blunt hooks don’t catch fish, rusty hooks either break the line or saw out of the fish. None of these things are good for you or the fish. Maintenance is the key to successful fishing and maximizing the chances of catching and keeping those you hook.
Simple things can make your sea fishing lures last much longer. Begin by always washing your lures out with fresh water after every fishing trip. When they are dry you need to coat them with a film of oil to prevent rust. Some people like to use a light spray oil like CRC, WD-40 or similar. Others like to use an oily rag, even if it is motor engine oil, and just wipe your lures down.
I have some issues with these approaches and think that it is essential to wash your lures with detergent to get the oil off them before using them. Because of that I actually prefer to use either a vegetable oil, even a spray on, used for cooking or, my personal favorite, fish oil. I then don’t wash the lures before I use them as I think that the smell and taste of these oils will not stop the fish striking and may even improve the possibility.
Before putting your gear away you need to examine it carefully, check the lures and traces carefully for damage and deterioration.
bent, cracked or rusting hooks;
rusting, fraying or kinks in wire and cable;
abrasion or knots in mono filament and multi filament lines;
sleeves, knots and splices which are slipping or coming undone;
damage done to lure bodies by fish teeth.
Make the decision now about if you need to repair or replace before your next trip. Sharpen the hooks or even replace them. Your timely maintenance will help your saltwater lures last for and keep catching fish for years.
More in Part 2…