Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Do you ever twitch lures like DoLive Sticks and senkos etc. along the bottom for bass? I don’t, but I think I need to start doing so

This isn’t a blog post about specific soft plastics, but I can only really talk about the lures I use myself when I think about techniques etc., and you may not even fish with lures like these, or you might but you have a bunch of different types of soft plastic “sticks” or “twitchbaits” or whatever. It doesn’t matter what you actually use, because I am interested here in how we are fishing them for bass…………….

Okay, so as a generalisation I will usually carry some DoLive Sticks rigged weedless and weightless - occasionally one or two will be rigged on weedless hooks with a small belly weight - and I would tend to fish them along the lines of the video above, or allow them to wash around in fizzy white water on a controlled slack line etc. You can of course fish senkos a bit like this, but for whatever reason I tend to turn to (white) senkos more at night these days when I fish them with a simple straight retrieve, as per the video below - and yes, at the speed I am winding them in they are either “waking” across the top or are at best swimming just below the surface. I know lots of far more experienced than me bass anglers believe in uber-slow retrieves at night, but there has to be a case for bass being able to home in on lures just as easily at night as they can during the day.

I can of course swim various paddletails like I would a shallow-diving hard lure - something like the killer MegaBass Spindleworm rigged on a weedless hook with a belly weight, and so on. Regardless of what you might use here, what I am on about is that the way I tend to fish these types of soft plastics means they are swimming nice and shallow in the upper parts of the water column.

And for whatever reason I don’t take something like a DoLive Stick and deliberately work it along the bottom - but I keep hearing from anglers who do fish lures like these in this way, and many of them swear by its effectiveness. If I am on a reef in bouncy conditions say on the north coast of Cornwall then I will increasingly turn to something like the Fiiish Black Minnow with the hookpoint buried away - and as per my article in the new Sea Angler this month, working soft plastics like this deliberately along the bottom can be frigging deadly.

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In the situations where I would “swim” a DoLive Stick, would it be worth sometimes twitching it along the bottom instead? I remember over in Ireland a couple of years ago when a very good bass angler I know was doing really well at night by fishing his DoLive Stick deliberately along or very near to the bottom. Now I had bass by doing my usual thing with a white senko, but the different way in which he was doing things lodged in my brain.

Somebody said to me on Facebook the other day to think more about how sandeels behave - in and out of the sand on a beach for example. And then I start thinking about what is some of my favourite bass fishing - wandering a beach and looking for holes and gullies and rips and putting soft plastics often rigged weedless and weightless into those features. Conditions need to be spot on, but I absolutely love catching bass like this - the next time I am out doing this though, I am going to try allowing the lure to hit the bottom and then twitch it back to me nice and slowly and deliberately. I am going to think more like a sandeel! Joking aside though, do we spend too much time trying to think like the fish we chase instead of learning more about the food they are hunting for? That is a whole different subject about which my brain regularly fries. You all have a good weekend, and what an epic start to the cricket World Cup yesterday when Ben Stokes took one of the best catches I have ever seen. Could England really do it?

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