My apologies for the lack of blog posts for a week or so, but I was over in the US at a fishing tackle show in Providence, Rhode Island. Wow, talk about a striped bass information overload! Absolutely fascinating, and it reinforces my desire to spend more time chasing these magnificent fish all over the north east of the US. It’s fair to say that over here in the UK we hear about Montauk and Cape Cod the most when it comes to shore fishing for stripers, but go and look at a map of the USA - find the vast Chesapeake Bay and then trace your finger up into south east Canada, and that is essentially the area where these migratory fish are caught at various times of the year, and this doesn’t include fishing for them in freshwater or over on the west coast. Yep, there are multiple lifetimes of fishing right there. We had a dumping of snow and the weather got properly raw after a couple of pretty mild days when we first arrived, but it seems that we got out of there at just the right time!
Anyway, needlefish lures are a huge thing over in the US for striped bass fishing, and I can’t help but think about these uber-simple lures more and more for our own bass. Obviously it’s a big thanks to Keith for his guest blog posts he has kindly done, but also it’s this white senko at night thing got my brain bouncing - I am at less than day one with how little I know about fishing with these lures for our bass, and I have no problem admitting that, but it interests me how if simply straight retrieving a senko at night (as per the video below) catches so many bass, then surely a hard version as such of a senko is going to work as well? OK, so I know it does because I’ve caught bass doing it, but there’s a problem when you go looking for smaller needlefish lures………...
And that’s because the majority of the needlefish the US striper guys use are pretty damn big, and whilst I am not saying that our bass won’t hit big lures, the simple fact is that I am not that keen on fishing with much bigger and heavier lures for my “regular” lure fishing - I don’t want to be forced into fishing with more powerful rods to cope with the heavier lures when conditions don’t demand it, and as such I have been looking around for needlefish that are the sort of size and weight of the lures I would normally go bass fishing with. You also need to understand that the shore based striped bass scene over in the US is a fairly specialist market - a bit like our lure fishing for bass over here I suppose - and most of their needlefish lures are made in the US by small companies or indeed individuals, and often sold directly through local tackle shops. But I did find a few internet shopping based options at the show if any of you are interested.
One way of avoiding ordering lures from the US is to keep an eye on Mr. Fish’s website over in Jersey, because they import some of the Super Strike needlefish like the one above, and it’s the 28g ones here that I am most interested in. I have a couple of the white ones. It was interesting talking to a few striper guys who live on Long Island and do the bulk of their fishing around there, for they were absolutely raving about Super Strike lures. Again, it’s a small company and apparently there is often a shortage of lures, but keep an eye on the Mr. Fish website or I guess something like Ebay.
I found the 27g needlefish above on The Roberts Lures stand at the show - it’s a plastic lure (i.e. not wood as many of them are), made on Martha’s Vineyard, and I changed the heavier duty trebles over to slightly lighter ones. I can’t find these “Needle Nose” on their somewhat basic website, but I spoke to the people there and they said to contact them here if you wanted to ask about shipping some to the UK. These Needle Nose needlefish come in various sizes from 3/4oz and up (my 27g one is their 1oz size) and they were not expensive at all at the show.
I then found the wooden needlefish type lures above on The Lonely Angler stand, and again, they said to contact them and ask about shipping to the UK. I have changed the hooks again, from their single to a treble, and I will see how they fish over time. Both lures are their 1oz sizes and you can see the ones I bought on their website here. These wooden needlefish lures were not expensive at the show, but I guess that shipping some to the UK from the US could cost a bit. Anyway, I thought I would put this information out there and hope it might be useful for a few of you. And yes, plenty of other colours were available, but I went for white obviously because a simple white senko has been working so well for us at night.
There are a few options to buy these sort of lures here in the UK by going down the handmade route. More to come on this, but if you are interested then you need to connect with Hendrik Strydom or Jim’s Lures on Facebook - neither of them have a website but both guys are good at messaging etc. on Facebook. I know that Jim’s Lures does handmade, off the shelf needlefish whereas Hendrik does very much handmade but bespoke lures, and they are something else.