Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

It just takes the one fish

I tend to look at stuff and then start trying to imagine how it might work. I love fishing shallow rough ground for bass and I also like having various different options when I do so. I am kinda happy fishing senkos on a slow, straight retrieve and I like the subtle variety that say those 5'' Flash J lures give me in that they gently slalom nice and shallow on a slow retrieve.A I have smashed fish on both methods and I don't remotely doubt things when I am fishing with them. Sure, I might not catch on those lures on a given day, but I have caught before so I know that I will catch again if that makes sense. I am also starting to get into these MegaBass DOT Crawlers and I have a good feeling about the 5.8'' ones especially.

The moment I saw these new Gary Yamamoto 5.5'' Swim Senko lures and I started to do my imagining how they might work for me thing. I read on the Yamamoto website how they fish really well with a belly-weighted weedless hook, but I had a bit of a play and started to think that actually they looked pretty damn nice rigged weightless (without any added weight, hook only) on one of those ridiculously easy to use 5/0 or 6/0 Owner Twistlock 5167 hooks. As with the lures above, a steady, slow retrieve gets them swimming very nicely indeed, and that tail just looks awesome. They also cast pretty - not epic, but plenty far enough.

But I needed to catch a bass on one. I took some with me to Ireland in October yet we just never got the conditions to fish them how I was imagining they were going to work for me, and it's been pretty rough around here recently which for the most part has forced me to look for slightly deeper, cleaner water. I would imagine that there are any number of different ways that you could fish one of these 5.5'' Yamamoto Swim Senkos, but I wanted to see if they might work how I was envisaging them - albeit I needed the location and the conditions. I needed to catch a fish on one to get that jolt of confidence to convince me that they were worth persevering with. I want to find that shallow swimming paddletail type of soft plastic that does not need a jig head to get it working properly. Options, that is what I am after.

I went out fishing in the middle of last week and things just looked right from the off. I could have used any number of lures in my boxes, but I just felt that this was the time to get the Swim Senko out and give it a decent go. I want the lure to work, I love how they look, but you know as well as I do how easy it is to consign various lures to the box of doom if they don't start producing the goods. I've got the thing rigged exactly as you can see in the photos here, a 5.5'' Swim Senko on a 6/0 Owner Twistlock 5167-171 hook and I'm fishing it over some relatively shallow, bouldery ground. Nice and slow, rod tip up slightly.

And then a bass went and just smashed into the lure. I would love to regale you with tales of some crocodile of a fish, but it might have just nudged the 3lb mark, although for its size it was remarkably fizzed up and full of energy. Nope, I couldn't give a stuff about the relatively modest size of this particular bass. That one single fish just about made my week. Why ? Because it jumped on that Swim Senko as I was fishing it in exactly way that I had imagined it might work for me, and that to me is just hugely satisfying. That one single fish happened to jump on the Swim Senko, and crumbs wasn't it a great big jolt of confidence.

I now have a few different options for that slow, steady retrieve over shallow ground. I said earlier that all of the lures I carry to fish like this could I am sure be fished very differently and most likely far better than I am able to fish them, but I am kinda happy with my options, and I am supremely confident that when I fish any of them, I am not wasting my time. Just that one fish has confirmed to me that this new 5.5'' Swim Senko can catch bass and that's all I need really. I've got my "bumping plastics on the bottom" covered with Black Minnows and XLayers and I've got my slow swimming, shallow ground needs covered with the stuff I have mentioned - and you might well be doing things and using lures that are completely different to me. Give me some time and no doubt some other soft plastics will enter my world for these specific jobs, but for now I am brimming with confidence that my chosen stuff works just fine for me. What more do you need ? One fish...............

Monday Morning Metal Madness - My wife and I were sitting around the table with our girls the other day and I was telling them about the days we used to buy LPs. "What are records Dad ?" With tears of emotion close to tumbling down my cheeks, I told them that I could still remember buying the gatefold LP of one of the finest metal albums of all time, "Blood Fire Death" by Bathory. I nearly welled up as I recounted how the album opened up to show three mysterious blokes stood in some mysterious misty woods holding great big swords (RIP Quorthon). This was one of the albums that took me through school - I had taped it to a cassette ("What's a tape Dad ?") and would listen to it relentlessly on my Walkman ("Dad, what's......"). The youth of today eh ?

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