Curiosity. It's in us all. When we see something abnormal, we don't run away, we simply want a closer look.
Seriously, this happens all the time. Like when you see a creepy bug and take another step closer to get a better look even when you know its nasty. Or perhaps you're in a store and see someone rather strange looking so you race around the corner to turn around and head back to get another look! That one is my favorite! In the outdoor world it happens all the time as well. When a dog is uncertain of something it slowly creeps towards it and begins to smell it to death. A doe standing on the edge of a field watching a combine go by, and by, and by, like she's watching a tennis match.
Fish are no different. Early season shallow water bluegills are the best. When you find a pod of these fish you could throw a huge muskie plug on them and just about all of them will rush to see what in the world that thing is! This is why using abnormal looking baits can give you an advantage. Yep, they are ugly, but that's the whole point. You can trigger a normally unresponsive fish into responding through its natural curiosity. A lot of the waters I frequent are heavily fished. These fish have seen it all. Jigs, worms, frogs, anything with blades, you name it. Bring something by them they have never seen and you might just be in business. Even if your waters are lightly fished, creature baits still have the same effect for different and similar reasons. If your bait isn't consistent with the available feed the water offers the fish they become curiously intrigued by this new looking morsel.
So many times you see guys throwing the same old thing in the same old spot. Don't get me wrong, that has its place, but at times something a little strange is in order. It may sound strange itself, but casting some of these creature baits that are on the market today can be a blast just for what it is. I had taken a friend out in search of some big old bucketmouths and tied him on a big old nasty creature bait. You can't really fish these things wrong so it was perfect, just another great thing about them. Needless to say, we pounded! He still talks about it to this very day. He has officially changed the name of the bait he used to the Green Monster! How awesome is that? I smile every time I rig one of these Green Monsters. They are truly fun to fish.
This may be cliche, and you may hear me say it often, but sometimes you need to think outside of the box. Creativity is a key aspect to staying on your A game. Most of all, have fun with it. Try things that may make you laugh and you'll probably be surprised at the results. Keying in on your preys weaknesses makes you a better predator.
Curiosity is irresistible to us all.