Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

I have never come across a bass size surface lure that casts like these GT Ice Creams

As much as I do love messing around with different bits of fishing tackle, I can’t help but default to certain lures that continue to catch me fish. Allow me one surface lure and it’s going to be the IMA Salt Skimmer every single time - it’s incredible how well this lure casts when you think about the dimensions (110mm, 14g), and it just keeps on working for me. I like the fact that the Skimmer performs so well with the sort of lure rods I am most likely to take out bass fishing with me (somewhere in the region of say 8-30g casting weight), and I have caught bass on it in some surprisingly rough conditions. Yes, there are any number of surface lures out there that slay for bass, but I can only tell you as I see it, and the Skimmer’s my go to weapon.

When it gets that bit too much for the Skimmer though, what do I turn to then? Well of course there’s the Patchinko which is a proven bass weapon, and I am becoming more and more attached to the IMA Little Stik. I’ve also got a bit of a thing for the Tackle House Vulture and increasingly the Daiwa Morethan Scouter 110F. Hell, I’ve got a bit of a thing for a lot of lures, but nothing I have fished with so far that one would term a surface lure can touch these GT Ice Cream lures for out and out distance……….

I have some fond memories of fishing with these South African style chisel plugs as they tend to be known - a small group of us went into Angola some years ago, a few weeks after they signed the peace agreement to end thirty years of a brutal civil war in fact. Standing on a remote Angolan beach early in the morning and blasting out most chisel plugs for garrick (leerfish) is something that will stick in my head forever, and whilst those chisel plugs are a sinking solid plastic lure with what I assume is a bit of lead in the arse, when you retrieve them they come up on the surface - and to watch a garrick smash into them is something else. From memory I reckon we were casting chisel plugs around the 3oz and 4oz sizes, and I have also used them for GTs from the shore (animals, end of) - the lures have always stuck in my head as one of those “I wonder if they would work for our bass” sort of thing, but I was never aware of them being available in the sort of sizes and weights that we might use.

Well they are, and it’s a big thanks to a few kind people on Facebook who made me aware of the GT Ice Cream lures the other day when I was asking the question about long range lures that might work in heavy surf conditions. As I said in Wednesday’s blog post, I took a punt and ordered a few from here, and when they arrived yesterday morning I obviously had to go and give them a chuck to see how they might get out there. Holy frigging cow, I need more line on my reels, put it that way! It ain’t right how these things cast………..

I can’t tell whether they are going to slay for bass, and my experience with these bass size chisel plugs is the sum total of yesterday morning, but what I can tell you is that I have never, ever come across a bass size surface lure that gets out there like these things. Yes, the Patchinko is a long casting surface lure, but it’s nowhere close to these GT Ice Creams. They chew up a strong headwind and they seem to be working just fine in some very bouncy conditions. They cast at least as well as the Bass Bullet, and quite possibly a bit further again, but since the Bass Bullets aren’t made anymore it doesn’t really matter anyway. It looked to me like these GT Ice Cream lures easily left that Xorus Bad Boy behind, and it was pretty amazing how the GT Ice Creams just refused to wobble in flight and lose distance. Fast casts, slower casts, short drop, longer drop, bad casts, they just go.

Whilst I am most excited about how these GT Ice Cream lures might work in heavy surf conditions, I can’t help but wonder whether the smaller 3/4oz (21g) and 1oz (28g) versions might work for us on the regular lure rods when you really need to hit say a distant tide rip or are battling against a headwind on your bass marks. That 1oz GT Ice Cream on HTO’s new 9’6’’ weapon goes out so far that it’s almost not right, and the 1.5oz (42g) versions on a heavier class of lure rod? I don’t know how far it’s flying, but as I said, no bass size surface lure I have come across has ever got out there like this. They are sinking lures but come to the surface very quickly (it suggests here that they can be fished like jigs as well), and I am pleasantly surprised at how you don’t actually need to crank the living hell out of them to keep them up and working on the top - very briefly, and bearing in mind my extremely limited experience with these lures, it seems that the Needle Nose can be worked very much like a splashy walk the dog surface lure, the Skinny can be worked a bit but does like being wound straight in where it reminds me very much of the Bass Bullet but with a bit more splash, and the Cone can be straight retrieved from slowish to fast and splashes away plenty. Look here and here for info on them. As for rigging them, they do come with assist hooks on the rear, but again thanks to a South African bloke on my Facebook page, I have rigged them as you can see in that photo - split ring, swivel, split ring, single hook, which happens to be this one here in a size 3/0.

Please don’t shoot me down here - I am merely telling you about these lures because they really, really interest me for our bass fishing. I don’t know how deadly they might or might not prove to be. I am not sure if how I have rigged them will prove to be the best way for our bass, and what I really, really want to see is a day over in Kerry with John when the bass are on big time in some seriously fizzed up surf, the sort of conditions when they are smashing fish on the Bass Bullets because it’s the one lure they know about which will properly get them out there into the kill zone - will these GT Ice Creams do the job then? Time will tell, but wow they get out there! Have a good weekend. Please think of me with my bouncing brain syndrome which has got me up at silly o’clock all week because I can’t stop thinking about this stuff.

Still my little baby! 

Still my little baby!