Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Are hard lures for our bass fishing still a lot more popular overall then soft plastics, and where might we be another few years down the line?

And please note that I don’t actually know if hard lures are overall more popular than soft lures, but I need to go on something here, and that something is me thinking about the people I know in bass fishing and what they go lure fishing with - and it strikes me that as increasingly popular as soft plastics are amongst those anglers I know and am personally aware of, hard lures still seem to the most popular type of lure that a lure angler would clip or tie on and fish for bass with……….

Why this blog post? For no other reason than I am always fascinated with where lure fishing for bass is going (notwithstanding the obvious worries that we might not have enough decent bass to go meaningfully fishing for one day) as more anglers seem to be getting into it, and as more information about lures and techniques is floated around the internet and various fishing magazines. I love how different kinds of fishing seem to resonate so strongly for different anglers, and I wonder how many anglers out there are following a similar kind of “bass fishing immersion” curve to me?

Which I guess goes somewhere like this - hard lures such as ultra-shallow divers, regular minnows and of course surface lures make so much sense to us when we are starting out with our lure fishing. We understand how they are imitating various prey species and one would be hard pressed to find bass fishing more exciting than when decent fish are smashing lures off the surface for example. Hard lures make logical sense from the off I believe - they tend to cast pretty well, some of them have lots of action when they swim (which tends to make us pretty confident), the range of colours are almost outrageous, we can find hard lures to deal with most situations we might be faced with, and of course they catch fish.

And anglers of course, me included, but hard lures I think just make a lot of logical sense, and a lot of this I believe is down to the simple fact that you can wind a lot of them straight in and via their design they are doing something that we can actually feel. Go back to when you first started getting into lure fishing and imagine if somebody told you that a lure which does essentially nothing in the water could in fact catch you a load of fish - I bet you any money you’d go for the lure that was doing something “attractive” in the water, and damn right I was in that boat for many years. Confidence is a huge thing in fishing is it not?

As much as soft plastics came on my radar fairly quickly as I was getting into bass fishing - and I put this down to seeing a couple of talented anglers smash bass on the MegaBass XLayer over in Ireland - without a doubt my trusting plastics 100% came via a combination of the Fiiish Black Minnow, the XLayer, and to some extent a senko which I started twitching around and catching bass on, mainly because this seemed the most obvious way to fish it at the time. I wonder if a lot of bass anglers kinda fumble their way into using soft plastics for the fishing, and I also wonder if a certain number of anglers are then put off because results might not be instantaneous? Or does that degree of patience, slowing down, and fishing them a little more deliberately put some people off? I can’t help but wonder as well how much the introduction of the Fiiish Black Minnow onto the market has helped so many anglers discover soft plastics - an easy to use lure that is easy to understand how it works that of course slays fish.

Whatever the case may be, I wonder if hard lures are more popular for bass fishing overall in the UK and Ireland, or is that my own understanding based upon the anglers I know and fish with? And whilst hard lures I am pretty sure are more popular at the moment, I do believe that there are more and more anglers using more and more soft plastics for their bass fishing, and by doing so - and mixing their use with hard lures - I would guess that they are finding so many different ways to effectively fish so much ground. Where might we be another few years down the line with the lures we use for bass fishing?