My wife, Marianne, who just started fishing, tagged along with me to the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart and bought some glittery pink jigs. When I asked her why she picked them, she told me – and, mind you she was absolutely serious: “They’re cute.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that you don’t pick fishing lures because they’re “cute.” Most professional bass fisherman recommend going no lower than “adorable” for the average lure selection unless you will be fishing in dingy water conditions in which case they generally recommend using “absolutely precious” baits

“Cute” simply won’t cut it in all but a few isolated conditions.

Rumor has it that Kevin Van Dam, the most successful bass fisherman on the planet, refuses to use anything other than “all that” lures. That is unless he is fishing a herring lake with a lot of top water action, at which time word has it he ups the game to “all that and a bag of potato chips” style jerk baits.

Of course, the bass fisherman with the tight wallet might have to rely on the cheaper but effective line of “marginally attractive” options. The danger is going too low quality in your lure selection. A friend of mine, Charles McManus, who shall remain nameless lest he be subject to ridicule, went even cheaper than “marginally attractive” and experimented with a tackle-box-full of “seen better days” and even a few “rode hard and hung up wet” baits. In two days of intense bass fishing, all he managed to catch was three smallish bass and two of those was blind in one eye. He since upgraded his lures to the “eh, so-so” variety and managed to land a few over two pounds.

When Spring is in the air and the flowers are in bloom, young men’s’ hearts and minds, of course, turn to fishing. This is where they are extremely susceptible to the “lure next door” look, even though baits of that nature can be a bit precocious for the average bass, especially if you are fishing open water in windy conditions.

The late night fishing crowd have hidden compartments in their tackleboxes where they keep the “bootylicious” and “va va voom” lures. Don’t look for these in your typical sporting goods store. They buy them off certain internet websites that specialize in the kind of soft plastics you don’t take home to mother. Affective though they are, it is important you never pull one out in front of members of polite society or the clergy.

Speaking of soft plastics, another friend of mine who fancies himself a bit of a philosopher said – and I quote: “A plastic worm by any other name is still a plastic tube so it doesn’t really matter what it looks like.” I have to disagree. I have tried any number of “looks don’t matter” and “has a lot of personality” type baits and have yet to do well with any of them.

Turns out, Marianne caught a bunch of bream out of our pond on her pink glittery spinners. I guess bream find them cute.

Now Marianne has taken to advising me on my lure selection. She even combs through my tackle box from time to time and critiques my lures. Believe me, it took some doing for me to explain how all those “va va vooms” got in there.