I was talking to a very talented bass angler I know the other day, and he was telling me again how he just couldn’t buy a bass on the cotton candy IMA Salt Skimmer, whereas when he chucked out say his beloved Lucky Craft Gunfish the bass were all over it like a rash. And there’s me saying (again) how if I was to take only one surface lure out bass fishing with me, it’s always going to be the Salt Skimmer, and most likely the cotton candy colour. So why does this particular bass angler who has been at this kind of fishing far longer than me feel zero confidence in a lure that I feel 100% confident when I have it clipped on?
This is but one example of course. I am sure that like me you speak to other anglers who rave on about some kind of hard or soft lure that they absolutely slay on, and there’s you wondering what on earth you are doing wrong because you can’t find a starving bass to take pity on you and just chow the frigging thing when you are fishing with it. Why on earth does this happen? There is no possible way that I am doing anything remotely unique with say that Salt Skimmer when I am bass fishing with it, but it’s a surface lure that has done really well for me and I would feel kinda naked without at least one in my lure box. And I know that the lad I was talking to would feel lost without his beloved Gunfish. I have read a few times online that some anglers find bass will only slash but not commit to the Skimmer, yet there’s me having to kill a bass in Kerry the other day because it had inhaled the lure so deeply and I just couldn’t get it out.
Is it a simple case of some lures working really well in certain areas but not in others? Or is it a mixture of lure and technique that suits certain parts of the coastline better than others? If there is one kind of fishing that is so wrapped up with the whole confidence thing then it must surely be lure fishing, and as much as we can tell ourselves that most of the lures out there can and will take bass at some point, you and I both know how good it feels to be fishing with a lure that you have taken a bunch of fish on. This is a damn good reason why if I ever get amongst a bunch of smaller bass on the feed like I did the other day, pretty damn quickly I will unclip the lure that’s smashing them and put on something else that hasn’t got as much of my confidence invested in it. If they were 10lb+ bass behaving like that it could be a different story though!!
But how on earth can a guy who has caught far more and bigger bass than I will most likely ever catch be failing so miserably on a lure that I know to be an absolute killer? And conversely, I wonder if this guy thinks me and the people I know who rave about the Skimmer are all full of horse poo because it just ain’t cutting the mustard for him in the area he tends to fish. It is of course very easy to simply dismiss something that isn’t working, and it’s not as if there aren’t a bunch of other lures out there to try, but how on earth does a lure that I reckon is awesome simply not behave for somebody else? Do bass really prefer different lures in different areas?
Take the good stuff from social media and it continues to fascinate me how we share and access information these days, whilst at the same time doing my head in occasionally when I am trying something out with my fishing and wondering why on earth it isn’t working for me when I know that other anglers in a different part of the UK or Ireland are doing roughly the same thing and are slaying fish. Yet again I come back to how lure fishing has taught me so much about not dismissing something out of hand. It’s entirely up to you how you go about your own fishing of course, but wow does this lure stuff keep my mind open to different lures and techniques. White senkos at night? My head says no way, doesn’t make sense, but the proof for me was in the pudding - check here. And if you hadn’t already guessed, the old grey cells are a bouncing this morning!!