One of Everything


From time to time, questions come to the Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales® desk about lure selection. One came up that was fairly limiting, but recently, a real dandy popped up. This person wanted me to make a selection of “only one” lure type, style and color for bass, and tell why it was selected. In other words, one plastic worm, one jig and one spinnerbait, etc. So, instead of providing such a detailed answer to only one person, this article is for anyone who may be interested.

There were quite a few types listed, but I’ve selected what would be the best categories to cover for general purposes: spinnerbait, crankbait, plastic worm, tube, jig, jig trailer, topwater and special selections of my own. I lean toward smaller, finesse lures, which will definitely show. The reasoning for this is more bites from active, and non-active, finicky fish.


A Smokey Joe Mini-Trap, which is Dan Galusha’s selection for crankbaits, caught this 7-pound largemouth.

This is an easy one—a Stanley 1/8-ounce Baby Wedge in White/Chartreuse. It casts well, can be easily bounced over cover and fished over weeds with less hang-ups. The color is a combination of two other very productive colors. The Baby Wedge is no longer produced, but there are a few others that I’ve heard are close: Strike King is one, but I have not used it, and Stanley Jigs, who may revive the old design and restart production.

The difficult thing is there are so many different types in countdown, lipless and billed styles. In order to select one, I had to stop and think about all of the uses and what would make a good search bait at the same time as using it for everything else. In that case, my favorite search lure was selected, the Rat-L-Trap. The size is a Mini-Trap, which is the 1/4-ounce version, with the Smokey Joe color. Color selection was difficult because I have a few that are very productive, but since the Smokey Joe is like a shad coloring, it would work best for matching baitfish.

Plastic worm
Plastic worms are a huge challenge because of all the colors, designs and sizes available. Plus, I use a lot of the 4-inch size. However, my selection would be a 6-inch Havoc Juice Worm in Black/Blue Fleck. This is a ribbon tail-style worm, which has great action on the fall and swim. If needed, it can be shortened to a 4-inch size by cutting off some of the body. The color was selected because it is a good all-around color for the slower, bottom- and cover-bouncing presentations. I guess you could say it is a “confidence color,” which is always a big part of fishing.

Again, a lot of selections are available, but with this, I’ll once again go with the middle-of-the-road size of 3 1/2 inches in a Power Tube, and Texas rigged with a 3/16-ounce bullet-style sinker and 3/0 XGap XPoint hook. For color, it would be the Green Pumpkin, which I feel is a good all-around color to cover a variety of forage, such as crawfish. This rig can be fished through about any sort of cover and has a different action from a tube rigged on a jig head. It also makes a good lure for flipping/pitching into tight cover.

Probably, one of my most difficult for size to select is the jig; there are so many reasons why different sizes are needed. Since I have to select only one, it would be the 1/8-ounce, Blitz Finesse Jig in Black/Blue. Why it was selected is the same reasoning as the smaller spinnerbait, plus I can use my “finger jigging” technique when using a swim retrieve. For the reasoning on the color selection, it’s the same as the thinking behind the plastic worm’s color.

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Jig trailer
There would be no contest if Mann’s Auger Frog were still produced. I still have a few in my back stock, so they are my personal selection. But to cover something for everyone, I’ll go with a Havoc Pit Boss Jr. in their Electric Blue. This will enhance the blue coloring in the jig and contrast the black, while adding reflective sparkling. It also provides some great leg-kicking action, which also flares the skirt.

Topwater is one of those items where the action, as a general rule, has to be placed on the lure by the angler. You want it to splash some water, but also be able to go over all sorts of structure, especially weeds. So, the selection would be the Blitz Phrog in the Frog pattern. I feel color isn’t all that important on topwater, other than something light or dark for light conditions. This is a great topwater frog lure that will land rightside up over 90 percent of the time and stay afloat. It can be twitched, jerked or swum.

Special selections
Now it is time for three of my own special selections, which didn’t have a spot in the question asked:

First is a lure that has been a standby for anglers for many years—the Road Runner. For this, since the topic was for bass, I would select the Casey’s Runner Head with a 3-inch Emerald Shiner Power Minnow as the body. The color, size and action are perfect for where fish are feeding on baitfish, including big crappies.

Second is a lure more known for walleyes, but is great for bass. It is a blade bait. My pick on a blade is a Blitz 1/2 ounce in Table Rock Shad. The reasoning on size is that it casts great, has a good fall rate and wiggle and matches the size of most baitfish. Color selection is mainly a confidence thing, so since I’ve caught so many fish on this color and big fish at times when nothing else would work, the Table Rock Shad is the selection.

The third special selection is not a lure, but an attractant, which is used on fairly much everything mentioned, especially the slower presentation, when skirted and with soft plastic lures. While my favorite has always been Kick’n Bass Anise Shad, I’ll have to go with Kick’n Bass’ new Java as my “only one” pick, which has been a fantastic producer in many conditions.

I’m sure everyone has his or her idea of a “only-one-of-everything” selection, but if not, stop and think about it. Not only could it be fun to kick around with friends, but it can also make you more successful to simply ask yourself: Why do I use this lure?