Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

Can you love lures that don't have an obvious action ?

Going fishing at the end of the day is of course what fishing's all about, but it just fascinates me how much lure fishing is forcing me to learn, and in turn my interest in it is steering me towards wanting to find out as much as I can about loads of related stuff. If you had told me only a couple of years ago that I would be getting excited about soft plastics that at first glance essentially don't do that much I might have laughed at you. I think that the reason hard lures for the most part grab so many of us is that you can easily see them doing their thing. They make sense. They wiggle, walk, roll, splash, slide, flutter, sink, hover and any number of other things that we believe turn the fish on. Paddletails/shads also make a lot of sense to me because the tail vibrates when you wind them in or fish them sink and draw.

And then you come to a soft plastic lure like the senko - I believe they are also known as soft plastic stick baits, soft needlefish etc., but it's easier here just to call them senkos (and with all credit to Gary Yamamoto I believe for inventing these lures). There is no getting away from the fact though that they are a decidedly unexciting looking lure. They have no paddletail, no lip, no eyes and no standout features. Now if we take specialist night fishing for bass out of the equation here for the moment, and quite simply because I don't yet know nearly enough about it, what possible use could we have with a lure like the senko ? It doesn't do anything..........well it might not do much to our eyes, but the last time I checked we are not fish - and a lure like this obviously does something for them.

Take that tough-as-nails Hawg Wild Lure Co. (HWL) Hawg 4'' Stick Bait above - this is one of the soft plastics that my mate Del is slaying so many wrasse on over in the Isles of Scilly, and in this exact colour as well - "watermelon with black", but a kind of dark green with little black flakes to you and I. Now there are any number of different makes of senkos out there if you go looking, but I am really liking these Hawg Wild ones for the wrasse fishing especially because they are that bit tougher and seem to last better when the fish are hammering them. I know some of the Jersey lads catch lots of bass on them as well, which leads me to my next point...............

As I said, night fishing with lures like these aside, you would be amazed how well these senkos can cast, and once you rig them weedless you can really chuck them into areas you could not possibly fish a hard lure without ripping into weed or rocks all the time. You can of course trot them down estuaries on jig heads like you might with the killer MegaBass XLayer, but I also like how you can fish these senkos so effectively in estuaries, bays and also out on the rocks with a simple twitch/pause/twitch kind of retrieve. Like you might fish the Slug-Go for example. The senko that my Irish mates put me on to last year was the WaveWorm 5'' Tiki-BamBoo Stick that is a bit fatter and heavier than a more regular 5'' senko, and as such it casts very well indeed.

I have come across another senko that I reckon might do me a bit of harm on the bass - check out these 6'' Hawg Sticks above in this pearl white colour (this particular subject is for another time, but it seems to me more and more that white/pearl white/holo white etc. is arguably one of those go-to colours for more coloured water). A 6'' Hawg Stick weighs 16.5g on its own, so they cast really well when rigged weedless. I like the fact that these lures are a cheap option, and they are also giving me increased choice with how I target specific kinds of locations. Yes, I am nowhere close to knowing all about these "no action" kinds of lures can be fished, but at least I am on the way, and at the end of the day if lures like these produce fish for me then it has to be a good thing.