Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

How colour choosy can fish really be?

I couldn’t resist nipping out for a quick go on the wrasse last week, mainly because the weather was absolutely stunning and I wanted to see if a “new”, incredibly bassy looking spot we have found a way down to via a couple of ropes might also be a rather nice and tucked well out of the way wrasse spot when the conditions are not exactly conducive to bass fishing. I like trying different places and I also like fishing spots where the chances of seeing other anglers is at best remote, and like many parts of the UK and indeed Ireland, luckily it is still the case that if you are prepared to walk and scramble and get off the well beaten tracks then it’s pretty easy to do.

Anyway, it was hardly the most epic fishing session ever known, but it truly was one of those times when just being out and about was more than enough, and a lot of my fishing tends to also be a good dog walk for Storm as well. What on earth she makes of me as I make my way down some pretty loose cliffs with the aid of a rope while she runs up and down without seeming to notice that we are actually on a slope I will never know, but I do know that I will never have another kind of dog. Nope, sheepdogs and their amazing zest for life are where it’s at for me with our four-legged friends. Anyway, apologies, I digress.

Lovely bit of ground, about an hour into a flooding tide, and whilst the place screams bass when there’s a bit of bounce on, that flat calm and warm afternoon it screamed wrasse - albeit any fish were resolutely staying the hell away from the soft plastics I was chucking at them. I’ve got a bit of a thing for that Graphiteleader Tiro 832M-MR 7-28g as a wrassing rod, but this lighter and more “precise” MegaBass Racing Condition World Edition RCS-802ML 8’ Max 28g, lightening frigging fast (freshwater bass rod I believe) rod is an absolute peach for wrasse fishing with plastics, and I can’t help but wonder how a couple of the lighter rods in this range (here) might do for closer quarters, smaller lures bass fishing - sight fishing for example?

Sorry, lure colours is what I was meant to be talking about - went through my regular selection of soft plastics that I might chuck out for wrasse and to be honest pretty much expect to catch. OK, so it was a “new” wrasse spot for me, but it’s perfect ground, the tide’s flooding and I was surprised not to be getting even a hint of a sniff. Greens, browns, blues, you name it, I tried it, indeed if I don’t get a wrasse bite on the Z-Man Punch CrawZ in the California Craw colour especially then my confidence levels do drop a bit. I’m starting to think that perhaps it’s just one of those days when the fish aren’t feeding, or else of course I have simply taken the wrong punt………..

In my bag of plastics I find a packet of Snowbee Stinger lures in a simple black colour - why the hell not? Wrasse sometimes show a liking for black coloured plastics, so I rig one up on my 10g Texas rig and chuck it out there. I bet you can guess what happens next - yep, a wrasse of about 3lbs on the first cast with the black lure. I only ended up with a couple of fish, but it really struck me how I could have walked away fishless if I had not tried a black coloured soft plastic lure. I have usually got at least one Fiiish Black Minnow with me because it seems to be another of those “if there are any wrasse around they’ll chow that one for sure” sort of lures, but I couldn’t find any in my bag to use that one as another yardstick.

Sure, the fact that I suddenly went and caught a couple of wrasse when previously it seemed to be barren could be down to other factors such as the state of tide etc., but in reality I was standing in the same spot and covering the same sort of ground at essentially the same time when I chose to finally try the black coloured soft plastic. I also accept that there are many times when wrasse will hammer almost any colour or type of soft plastic, but I can’t help but think about how some fish suddenly switched on when I started using a black lure colour, and then whether that state of fish seeming to have lockjaw to not having lockjaw can and does apply with bass fishing? Do you happen to carry different colours of the same type of lure when you go out bass fishing, and how many times have you not been catching, changed colour, and then caught? Or have you had it happen when a mate is using a certain colour of lure and is catching fish, and you are not using that colour and blanking? More food for thought if you ask me. More stuff to mess with my already lure messed head!