Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

If you could take only one colour of hard lure out bass fishing, what would it be? A suitably big dilemma for a stormy weekend!

Why do I do this to myself? I have been thinking about putting this blog post up for a while now, but because the whole subject of lure colours fries my brain so much I have been sort of avoiding the issue. Cabin fever reigns though, and writing about all things fishing helps me deal with not actually being out fishing myself. Anyway, so you go bass fishing one day or night and convince yourself that colour means nothing because the fish seem to jump on anything, and then you go fishing the next day and they seem to be showing distinct colour preferences. So let’s pretend that you are going to take one box of hard lures out bass fishing with you, and because we are adults here and we entertain ourselves with only grownup thoughts, let’s also pretend that within this box can be hard lures of only one single colour. Come on then, what’s the colour going to be?

I think about the little fish that bass might eat and I imagine lots of lovely hard lures that look a bit like sandeels, mackerel, sea trout, mullet, blennies etc. Like you I am sure, I have a “one or two” hard lures along those lines that have all caught me bass. But then I start thinking about what colour of hard lure actually gives me the most confidence when I clip it on, and if I was to take snapshots of my lure boxes month on month, what would be the hard lure colour that was in there the most? Apply our human logic to it and it makes little sense when lure fishing is meant to be about tricking the fish into seeing our lures as foodstuff, but  if I could take only one hard lure colour out bass fishing with me it would be cotton candy. I know, I know, to us this lure colour looks like nothing that swims in our waters, but it has caught and continues to catch me bass in all kinds of light, sea conditions and water clarity, and as such it’s the one colour that overall probably gives me the most confidence.

It’s not as if I have a cotton candy version of every single type of hard lure I own, but if I was to imagine my “perfect box of hard lures for bass” - come on, you’re telling me that you don’t play this game in winter? - then I would think along the lines of what for me are the no-brainer lures that go in first, no questions asked. I turn 43 on Sunday and I am pretty sure that my two girls (9 and 11) already believe that they are more grownup than their dad is, and if they could see into my head and the fishing fantasies that I create for myself they would be packing me off to the funny farm.

Imaginary lure box or not, I know the first two hard lures that go in first nearly every time, and whilst here on this blog post I can only take the one lure colour, in reality it matters not. First to go in my lure box is the IMA Salt Skimmer in the cotton candy colour, and then number two to find its way in there is the cotton candy IMA Komomo SF-125. I’m only telling you how it is for me and you might well wonder why on earth I am so obsessed with this lure colour, but I can only go on a relatively few years of serious lure fishing and what I reckon has worked the best for me overall.

It was that now discontinued Maria Chase BW in the holo silvery colour that first got me going with regards to this sort of not very natural looking lure colour, and then it was my first ever IMA lure that happened to be the older style Komomo SF-125 in a shiny cotton candy colour that started my relationship/obsession with this daft lure colour. I remember being amazed at catching bass along the south east coast of Ireland in bright, calm and clear conditions, and the lure that sneaked them out when it got tough like this was more often than not the almost ridiculous looking cotton candy SF-125 - bear in mind that my knowledge of soft plastics back then was essentially squat. Sure, it could of course have been an entirely different hard lure from a different lure company, but I owned only one ultra shallow diver back then - and if a lure starts catching consistently for you, you naturally gravitate towards it. Or obsess about it. Or look at it a lot and contemplate kissing it. Or you go flat out and kiss it and then keep a brand new one in its box because you love it so much and you don’t want to ruin those lovely colours. Christ alive it gets worse!

I’m not going to go any further than the Skimmer and SF-125 here because my head is wrecked enough as it is. It’s not remotely realistic and it’s not meant to be, but if I could take only the one hard lure colour it would be cotton candy - there are plenty of other colours I love and adore (and yes, sometimes kiss), but in the spirit of this blog working best when I get feedback and correspondence from you kind people, please tell me what one colour you would take in the comments section below, and why of course, which in turn will further wreck my head and empty my wallet.

And of course the Six Nations starts this weekend, but this time around I am staying as calm as I can. There have been endless false dawns since those glory days leading up to Nov 22nd 2003 (what, you mean I haven’t mentioned our World Cup win on here before?!) and whilst I am excited all over again at what a new coach might mean for English rugby, my excitement is tempered with that embarrassing excuse for a 2015 World Cup campaign still living fresh in the memory bank. Here’s to a good few weeks of rugby. Dare we hope all over again?

I am going to copy and paste a very recent BASS blog post because it’s potentially some pretty serious news, and above all it proves to me that us anglers can actually make a difference if we shrug off the shroud of apathy that seems to afflict so much of UK sea angling and do something as simple as send plenty of emails to the right people demanding that we recreational anglers get a better deal. I will come back to this just as soon as what is going on has been better digested and I can provide further information on how to get on with this round of emails. Make sure to also check the latest Angling Trust bass briefing right here. Things are happening and we so badly need to keep the pressure on.

From the BASS blog: “Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall and a keen recreational angler, has done a fantastic job in securing a three hour backbench debate on bass in the House of Commons on Thursday 11 February to discuss the motion: “This House believes that the recent EU restrictions on recreational bass fishing are unfair and fail to address the real threat to the future viability of UK bass stocks”. This is a rare and very important opportunity to influence the future of recreational bass angling by getting our arguments for a sustainable bass fishery heard in detail by key decision-makers. Please write to your MP ASAP telling them that you want them to attend the debate and that you would like them to give their strong support to our campaign for a bass fishery run to maximise the environmental, social and economic benefits for society as a whole, by giving priority to recreational bass angling”.