Outsider recently “caught” up to bass fishing legends Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, and Roland Martin at Bass Pro Shops’ World’s Fishing Fair in Springfield, Missouri. Not only did the four-day event celebrate the 50th anniversary of Johnny Morris’ first Bass Pro Shop, but also it raised $1.5 million to benefit conservation. During our visits with Bill, Jimmy, and Roland, we asked each Hall of Fame angler to name the one lure that’s always in their tackle boxes.
Without further ado, here’s what our expert panel had to say about their best fishing lures. Now, get outside and catch some bass.
1. Bill Dance: Black 3/8-Ounce Spinner Bait with Silver #5 Hildebrandt Colorado Blade
Bill Dance: If somebody said you’re going to be on Survivor, and you could only have one lure, what would it be? Okay. What would that one lure, one color, one size be?
It would be a 3/8-ounce spinner bait. I would take a 3/8-ounce because it’s more universal. 1/4-ounce is too light sometimes. 1/2-ounce is too heavy sometimes.
I would take the color black. Black is not a color, it’s a shade, but black holds its identity better than any other color underwater. At night, early in the morning, in murky water, and clear water, it’s more visible. That’s why I’d go black.
The next step, I would take a #5 silver Hildebrandt Colorado Blade. Why Hildebrandt? They make the best blades on the American market for spinners, balanced blade, durable blades with best reflection. Why silver? Silver reflects more than any other shade, any other color, any other finish. It reflects more. Why Colorado? A Colorado Blade vibrates more than any other blade. Willow Blade spins faster, but you got to reel it faster. You got to reel it faster for it to spin. Indiana Blade is a compromise blade between the Colorado and the Willow Blade, but the Colorado vibrates more and it can be fished free falling it, slow rolling it, gurgling it right under the surface. So for vibration, the Colorado Silver.
2. Jimmy Houston: Redman Spinner Bait
Jimmy Houston: Spinner baits. We actually brought it back out this year. Luck-E-Strike just put it back on the market. Jimmy Houston Redman Spinner Bait, which is a retro bait. Retro baits, I think, as the time goes on, will become real popular because there’s a lot of old baits that were dynamite. I know that Bill [Dance] caught a fish back when he was just a little bitty kid on a jitterbug. And jitterbugs are still being made. Not a lot of people throw them, but we brought back that Redman Spinner Bait. Can’t hardly build them fast enough. It’s a short armed spinner bait and it’s dynamite. A lot of vibration. And I’ve probably, in my Angler of the Year titles, I’ve probably caught 70 percent of the fish during those years on that Redman Spinner Bait. So I don’t love anything more than I love my wife or I love my God, but that spinner bait’s a real close third.
3. Roland Martin: Senko 5-Inch 297 Green-Pumpkin Worm
Roland Martin: You’d have to say the number-one lure in the country right now is probably a Senko five-inch, 297 Green-Pumpkin worm. It’s a foolproof lure. You can catch fish on it almost all year-round and almost all depths of water, almost every lake in the whole world. You can throw a Senko and catch a bass, and occasionally, you’ll catch a real big one.