There’s a curlytailed grub that’s getting tougher and tougher to find, to the point where I have to order it directly from the manufacturer’s site to ensure I have enough for the season. While it comes in standard white and yellow, two must-have colors for my spring fishing, along both sides of the twisting plastic tail of the thread-on body are three black dots. My theory is that these dots symbolize eyes underwater, and based on my research, serve as a predatory cue built into all aquatic species since the first primitive life forms developed the light-sensing receptors. While I can’t say for sure that these twister tails outperform their non-dotted contemporaries by a rate of three-to-one, I can tell you that more of my success has come on the dotted versions than the plain ones.
The same goes for jigs. A plain painted jighead with no eye dot on it doesn’t make it into my shopping cart. It has to have at least one drop of paint on each side – plain black is fine, but a dot of black within a white circle is best. Whether at the front or the back (or both ends) of a lure, presenting an eye to the discerning predators I’m seeking – walleyes, smallmouth, crappies and the like, which often require a bit more realism – is key to catching them. Even on offerings like crankbaits for trolling or large streamers on the flyrod, an eye provides an added element of realism and gives fish something to home in on. It’s the hallmark of a good lure, and one of something edible in the natural world.
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