Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Do you ever catch a bunch of bass on a new lure but sort of forget about it and then get highly overexcited when you “rediscover” it?

Or am I just a hopeless case? Call it cabin fever or perhaps owning a few too many bass lures (what, me?), but it has happened to me a few times now - for whatever lure addicted reason I take a punt on a “new to me” lure, that punt then pays off when a bunch of bass jump on the end of it, but because my head is constantly awash with looking out for stuff I then sort of forget about that particular lure until for whatever reason I “rediscover” it and get all excited about using it once again………..

It happened to me with the OSP DoLive Stick for example. I can remember hearing about a local angler catching a double figure bass on one, and at the time I had never even heard of the thing. I tracked them down, I bought some, I took the things with me to Ireland and I caught a bunch of fish on them, but this beauty of a soft plastic then fell out of favour with me for no particular reason other than I was most likely trying other stuff out. I then switched back onto the DoLive Stick in a big way when I became aware of a very good angler I know smashing a load of bass over in Kerry on it. I went digging for my original supply and now look at me - I find it hard not to bass fish with one! I own a few as well.


I am going to point you to a blog post I wrote back in May 2013 - I dropped in to see my mate Mark who was working in the Art of Fishing tackle shop in Plymouth (that shop is now closed and he is working in the Wadebridge Art of Fishing shop) and I remember seeing these “new to me” soft plastics on the shelf that I gave in and bought. I was heading over to Ireland on a fishing trip and these Fish Arrow Flash-J 5’’ lures caught me a bunch of bass, and on a few occasions I remember outfishing a couple of local anglers who I would class as far better bass anglers than I will ever be. I put it down to the lure and not my skill levels!

I know it makes no sense when you catch some fish on a new lure but that lure for whatever daft reason ends up sitting in a storage box while you sort of forget about it and stumble onto something else. Now whilst I absolutely love messing around with “new to me” lures, just because they are new doesn’t make the older stuff any less deadly. Over time I have learnt to implicitly trust the DoLive Stick in so many different situations, and along those lines I sometimes wonder why I am not using that killer Maria Chase BW in holo silver that I used to use so much - ok, the fact that this lure casts like a bit of a dog and is no longer actually made is probably why, but you get my drift.

The Fish Arrow Split SW 5'' rigged on a belly-weighted 5/0 VMC 7329DD hook

The Fish Arrow Split SW 5'' rigged on a belly-weighted 5/0 VMC 7329DD hook

So Mark, Ben and I were on our way up to the RNLI last Monday in my epic Berlingo, and because the two of them are a pair of tits who know all about my lure related issues and weaknesses, “as if by magic” they procure a new soft plastic that I have never seen - the Fish Arrow Split SW 5’’ and SW 7’’, and to be fair to those procurers of filth, they kindly gave me one of each to have a go with. And I have done. And they look rather bloody lovely in the water as you wind them back nice and slowish and they do that slalom which I think is the reason why that Fish Arrow Flash-J 5’’ worked so well. They also look nice on a quicker, “twitch and slash” sort of action as well.

So when I get home I start digging through my lure storage box (ok, multiple boxes!) and I come across a few of the original Fish Arrow Flash-J 5’’ lures that I had bought back in 2013. Memories came flooding back of exactly where I had first caught bass on these lures, indeed I can distinctly remember nearly jumping out of my skin when a bass nearly ate my rod tip it was so keen to grab the lure. And then I start wondering why on earth I have not been carrying these lures with me and I start thinking about where they might work all over again with that shallow-swimming, gentle slalom kind of action that just does it for me and obviously the bass.

And because back in 2013 I was not night fishing for bass with lures, I am wondering if these Fish Arrow lures might do some serious harm when the regular people are tucked up in bed. I really fancy the new and slightly heavier Fish Arrow Split 5’’ working as the sort of soft plastic you can twitch around rigged weedless and weightless and also be able to slalom it on a slow straight retrieve, and of course I am sure it can be fished in any number of different ways that I haven’t come across yet - I have some VMC dropshot hooks here (VMC 7342SH Spin Shot Wide Gape 5/0) that I reckon could be interesting with this lure as I work it across a shallow, reefy bottom, and so on and so on. Yep, my brain is frying big time!

And because I am an addict and I just can’t resist, I rang Mark in the Art of Fishing yesterday and ordered a new packet of Fish Arrow Flash-J 5’’ soft plastics. If the DoLive Stick is my go-to weedless soft plastic (and if you are looking for them, the killer 6’’ Wakasagi colour is back in stock here - and as usual, please, please buy these lures elsewhere if you are actually looking for some but are uncomfortable with me alerting you to the fact), I can’t get away from how that subtle, shallow, slalom kind of action seems to so do it for the bass. I do like having a few different options. The cycle continues of brain-frying early mornings as my head goes into overdrive while the rest of my family sleeps as indeed normal people do………………..

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