DD, haven't fished a Sprite since I was a teenager, either, caught many smacks from the jetties with those, as well, plus they cast farther. I hated it when the red plastic tab finally fell off.
Guys I know wading the lakes way back fished a black nickel Silver Minnow for a crab imitation for reds and black drum.
Spec rigs are still my 90-y-o dad's go-to lure for drifting the flats, with an occasional cocahoe thrown in. He takes a perverse pride in still catching fish on them when others in the boat may be throwing a newer-design lure.
One thing that makes any good baitfish imitation really effective, especially under the lights, is that the real baitfish will school on them. When a big fish slashes into the school, the real fish scatter, and your bait is there waiting for them.
I'm going to state again, the only thing I've been up to in this thread is trying to have a conversation with my friends, and provide helpful information to those following the thread - that's my nature. My words stand alone without private interpretation. It's reprehensible for someone to claim to know my thoughts and intentions better than I do.
a fishing buddy owes me a beer