Original Caption: The successful fisherman must have plenty of lures, with a wide variety of actions, in many colors and sizes. Jason Lucas, Bass Lures - and Rubbish, July 1945 issue Sports Afield.

Today in Lucas The Series 5 we continue our look at Jason Lucas’ first articles published in Sports Afield on the subject of bass fishing.  This article, Bass Lures – and Rubbish, had me all excited to learn what Lucas considered good baits and “rubbish baits.”

I knew going into this article that Lucas wouldn’t talk about specific companies or the specific baits they made.  In other words, he wouldn’t say a Shannon Twin Spin, Heddon Mouse, or Sinking River Runt Spook.  But he would mention a genre of lures based on time of year, depth of fish, or type of cover or structure being fished.

The mention of a jig spin, sinking plug, or topwater plug would give an idea of what he was talking about without “selling out” as he would say.  Maybe he’d even go into some of the better color patterns of the day.

As I started the article, he mentions exactly what I described above.  He stated, and I paraphrase here, that you get 50 of the best anglers in a room and they may only agree on half a dozen of the best lures sold.

He then goes on to say that it was the principles affecting their choice that they would all agree on.  This, I would say, still holds today.

So, Lucas tells the reader that he is only going to stick to these principles, which would then give the reader the ability to choose his own lures.

After the introduction Lucas then goes into color theory and his experience with it.  This is a very compelling section of the article and shows how long anglers have been struggling with the color issue in bass fishing.  Are fish color blind, or can they see different colors and even different shades of the same color.  Lucas seems to believe yes to both, and with some proof from experience.

But, at the same time, he also delves into lure action and that no two lures, even of the same make and model, have the same action.  Action can be more important than lure color and visa-versa.

After discussing color and action, Lucas goes into lure size as the next consideration.  By 1945, lure companies were no longer making baits that pushed the 1-ounce mark and had come out with smaller versions anywhere from 1/4- to 1/2-ounce in size.  It was these smaller offerings that Lucas suggested the reader use mostly.

His thoughts on smaller lure sizes were that bass are more susceptible to engaging a smaller lure than a larger one.  Plus, the bass can get the smaller bait in their mouth easier, leading to more hookups.

One thing that Lucas says that I highly disagree with, is that bass are near sighted and don’t rely heavily on sight feeding at long range.  His thoughts might have something to do with where he fished and the clarity of the water.  Anyone who has fished Lake Mead or Lake Erie with its drinking-water clarity knows that you can draw fish to the surface from 30-foot depths.

Another thing that Lucas touched on was lure retrieve speed.  He preferred a slow to medium retrieve saying most lures were designed for these speeds.  Maybe so back in those days.

He was very against a fast retrieve.  He mentions anglers use a fast retrieve to get lures deeper, which is partly true, and instead of doing this, they should switch lures to one that will go deeper without the fast retrieve.  I agree with that to a point.

Baits like a spinnerbait and vibration bait are at times the ticket burned back to the boat.  Vibration baits may not have been around in 1945 but versions of the spinnerbait were and I would argue that Lucas missed out on a lot of good fishing if he didn’t burn the Shannon Twin Spin at times.

At this point Lucas goes into bait fishing and its abomination to the sport fishing fraternity.  He holds no punches on his thoughts of how unsporting it is and how he would rather fish with a net fishermen than a bait angler.  This part of the article is full of the Jason Lucas we will come to know post 1945.

The final page of the article discusses concepts for fishing lures in deep water (20 feet) and plug selection.  Finally, I thought, Lucas was going to divulge some of his better genres of baits.

Unfortunately, Lucas only said to stick with the major manufacturers and not the cheap knockoffs.  He said the cheap knockoffs didn’t have the care put into their designs that the original makers held to and because of that, their actions were sub-par.

Overall, I was disappointed in this article.  Reading it with a novice in mind, I got nothing out of it that would help supply my tackle box with an arsenal of baits for different conditions, depths, time of year, or type of lake.  Yeah, I learned a bit about color, less about action, and a little about retrieve speed.  But, without guidance to a specific genre of bait, I am still at square zero.  Read the article yourself and tell me if you think the same.

The full article can be read below.  And, if you missed any of the prior parts, please click on the following links.  Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4.

Jason Lucas July 1945 issue of Sports Afield Page 1.
Jason Lucas July 1945 issue of Sports Afield Page 2.
Jason Lucas July 1945 issue of Sports Afield Page 3.
Jason Lucas July 1945 issue of Sports Afield Page 4.
Jason Lucas July 1945 issue of Sports Afield Page 5.
Jason Lucas July 1945 issue of Sports Afield Page 6.
Jason Lucas July 1945 issue of Sports Afield Page 7.