Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

If you could use only one lure colour for evermore, what would it be? (This post is inspired by a photo I saw of a monster shore caught Cornish bass on Monday that was nudging 88cms long!)

Can you imagine landing a bass that big from the shore?! On the BASS tape a bass nudging 88cms long is I believe around the 15lb mark, but whatever this mighty bass did actually weigh, it was a donkey, and it was successfully released as well. I know where it was caught in Cornwall and I am absolutely stunned for any number of reasons. A huge amount of credit to the angler concerned, and what freaks me out a whole lot more is that this huge bass was caught in clear water and bright sunshine, albeit there was current moving through.


Anyway, back to my original question from the title to this blog post - if you could use one lure colour for evermore, what would it be? Whilst I have had a few bass now on these new solid white coloured 6’’ long OSP DoLive Sticks, my experience with them has been at night so far - but that massive Cornish bass was caught in bright sunshine on yes, you’ve guessed it, a 6’’ long white DoLive Stick, rigged weedless and weightless. I am also aware of this particular angler landing a bunch more bass on these lures during some bright daylight conditions.

And of course it got me thinking, both about where the fish was caught which for obvious reasons I am not going to talk about, and also because as much as I like white hard and soft lures, for the most part I haven’t tended to turn to the colour white in bright conditions. I accept that my original question is a bit of hypothetical nonsense, but a bass of this size taken in those conditions on a particular colour of a particular soft plastic that I asked and asked for and then some kind soul took me seriously, looked into it, and got them made by OSP over in Japan can’t help but get me thinking. Listen carefully and I bet you can hear my brain whirring away!

Whilst my experience of night lure fishing for bass is based on only a few years of doing so, without a doubt white lures are what I turn to and trust the most. Can colour really make a difference at night? I don’t know for sure and of course I can’t prove a thing, but white senkos and needlefish especially have done consistently well for me and a bunch of anglers I know over the last few years.


I tend to like bright coloured surface lures, or at least a light coloured belly on them - but if I stop and think about it then I’d take a white surface lure over anything else if I had the choice and of course if a particular surface lure I liked was actually available in white, or with a white sort of belly. What was the colour of the new Xorus Patchinko 125 that I bought the other day? Yep, white (Blanc).


I don’t have nearly as much experience with the Savage Gear Sandeels as a lot of lure anglers I know, but the success I have had with them up on the north coast of Cornwall especially has come with the colour above which of course has a white back and a sort of silvery belly (it’s called Real Pearl). What’s the one colour of the killer Fiiish Black Minnow I have hardly ever used though but will now be reassessing my stupidity - yep, white.


What colour of hard lure do I like the most when the sea is bouncing? White if at all possible, or some variation of white and something else, and oh how I have dreamed of a white IMA Hound 125F Glide over the years. I own white versions of the DUO Tide Minnow Slim 140 and the different and rather confusingly named Slim 140 Flyer for example.


If there’s a bit of colour in the water and I can get away with fishing a soft plastic? White again. The first bass I ever caught with a senko in a fairly coloured up estuary was on one of those killer, white 5’’ Wave Fishing Bamboo Sticks that I continue to hoard to this day.

And so on. I accept completely that your choice of lure colours may well be very different to mine, and also that I use a bunch of different colours of hard and soft lures other than white, plus plenty of lures that I really like I can’t find in white anyway - this blog post is more a case of me stopping and thinking and working out that the single colour I probably like or use the most and/or have the most confidence in is white.

But I can’t recall turning to white hard or soft lures when fishing clear water in bright conditions - oh how that is going to change tough with what I know about where and how this frigging donkey of a bass from earlier this week was caught. Inspired by that donkey I wanted to see if I could put this white lure thing into practise around here and with these bright conditions we have got at the moment, so I nipped out yesterday morning for a quick session to see what might happen. As per my blog post from Monday, Mark and I did ok over the weekend on surface lures, but after half an hour of working away on top yesterday morning in some seriously bright conditions and I hadn’t had a sniff - time for a change. On goes a freshly rigged 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick in this new solid white colour and blow me down if a chunky 4lb+ bass didn’t go and absolutely smash my lure on the first cast. Will we ever come close to figuring it all out?! 

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