Nailing some fish on weightless plastics

It has to be about as much fun as lure fishing can be - rod, reel, soft plastic lure and a hook. No weight, no jig head, just complete feel. The wind has finally died right down out here in southern Ireland, but we have battled against a few tough days weather wise. The last thing I would have thought that was going to work so well for us was fishing soft plastic lures rigged weightless. The Jersey lads I know and respect so much are masters at nailing bass on all manner of plastics, and as is the case with fishing, information tends to travel, be filtered to better suit local conditions, and then applied - often to great effect as well..............

These Irish lads we are so lucky to know and fish with have really switched on recently to these WaveWorms 5'' Tiki-BamBoo Stick soft plastic lures - from my understanding there are any number of similar Senko-type lures, and I have done well on some of them for pollack especially (but rigged with weights), plus a few bass when fishing them on jig heads and bouncing them down the current. But these Irish lads have come across these particular Waveworms lures that are a little bit thicker and heavier and therefore cast really well, and they have been catching plenty of good fish on them. I was blown away by how much ground you can cover with these simple lures rigged weightless.

Anyway, above is a 6.5lb bass taken on a white 5'' Tiki-BamBoo Stick by James Barry. Due to the winds we have been forced to fish a fair amount within a big estuary system where the water is always on the murky side, and that bright white colour really seems to do the business on the bass when clarity is an issue. If you have plenty of current then it seems to work well just letting the lure do its own thing (I defer to the Jersey lads and their fishing on this matter), but with no or little current the guys have been doing very well simply twitching the lures back towards them. Plenty of rod tip movement and letting the lure drop back lots before twitching it again. A softly, softly, "be in no hurry" approach.

We are rigging them on a variety of 3/0 weedless hooks, and the takes are just electric. With the only weight being the lure itself it's as if any hit is a massive jolt of electricity down the rod and through your arm. This is some hugely fun fishing that is really starting to make me think about things all over again. The confidence gained from fishing like this and taking bass is just massive, and now I can't stop trying to work out a different bunch of situations in my head where this kind of approach might pay dividends from time to time.

Nick Hart was also in on the act with these plastics. One of the first things he said after fishing like this was how similar the whole approach or even ethos of it is to his more regular world of fly fishing. But then Nick is a very open-minded angler who is fast falling for this whole lure fishing for bass thing. Fishing is just fishing whatever it is in my opinion.

Above is Nick Roberts with a decent bass of around 6lbs that smashed into my white 5'' Tiki-BamBoo Stick about as hard as I can remember a bass doing so. Isn't having a blast what fishing is all about ? I love chucking hard lures for bass in all kinds of locations, but the simple fact is that the weather has dictated to us where we could fish and it was the weightless soft plastics that caught us most of the fish. I lost a cracker of a bass today that I got a good look at up close - for some reason the hook pulled as I crouched down to land it, indeed the hook and lure flew right past my nose at one hell of a pace !! A very good reason to be fishing in sunglasses for eye protection alone. I know it's always the biggest fish that are lost, but I would have put the fish at over the 8lb mark. Not a double, but a decent fish. Nearly pulled the rod out of my hand on the take as well. Another massive learning curve and I am loving the whole knowledge thing more than ever...........