I know it’s not possible all the time when any number of factors come into play, but I’d so love it if I could fish with this slightly lighter gear all the time for bass. Lighter rods, smaller reels, lighter braids and leaders, no great big lures, and all this to me adds up to such a massive jolt of extra excitement when a bass hits - if lure fishing is a drug, then stepping down a gear has got to be as good as it gets…………..
Mark and I were on a beach at first light earlier this week, and whilst the biggest bass may have nudged 4.5lbs, that shortish session was some of the most enjoyable and memorable lure fishing I have had so far this year. A gentle surf rolling in, very little breeze to contend with, nobody else around apart from my daft sheepdog Storm who can’t work out who to be rounding up when Mark and I are fishing say fifty yards apart so she just runs between us all the time because it’s how these dogs are wired, and a few very well fed bass around that are hitting soft plastics not very far out.
There’s loads of gear out there that would have landed a few bass that morning, but holy cow it does it for me when you can step down to a lighter rod especially. I am not fishing to give the fish a chance, but there’s something about a lighter weight of rod in the hand when a bass absolutely nails something like the 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick. I know as anglers we are meant to obsess about the biggest fish, but that particular, roughly 4.5lb bass to me was about as much fun as any fish I have caught so far this year. The “jolt” when it hit my DoLive Stick not very far out was just awesome, and to get such a “clean” fight if you like when there are no sharp rocks or weed beds to worry about and all you need to do (enjoy) is play the fish out, beach it on the sand, slip the barbless single hook out, say thank you to the bass, and then take it out a little deeper and release it.
Does fishing get much better? I am not remotely into fishing that bit lighter for fishing lighter’s sake, but I would back myself to land any size bass that swims in our waters on the sort of gear I was using the other morning in the sort of place I was fishing of course. Sure, stuff goes wrong sometimes when we hook a fish, but any bass of any size simply isn’t going to empty a reel or break a quality light rod or snag you up in the sand. I don’t have a great deal of experience of those slightly lighter lure rods that can work well for some kinds of bass fishing, but if there are better rods out there for this type of fishing than the two Skyline Favorite ones I have fished with then I’d love to see them - the 862ML 8’6’’ 4-16g version is a peach (review here), but the ever so slightly more powerful 862M 8’6’’ 6-21g (review here) is just ridiculous now stunning it is to lure fish with. I saw a report on Facebook only this morning of a UK angler landing an 8.5lb bass off the top on one of these Favorite Skyline rods.
Every single hit on lighter lure rods like these makes me giggle, and whilst I am perfectly realistic about when I can and cannot use gear like this, the sheer fun factor for sure is making me look for more opportunities to bass fish like this. As ever it’s not the size of the fish we are likely to catch, rather the conditions, ground and lures that tend to dictate the sort of lure gear we need to fish with, but I suppose that my fishing more and more with soft plastics like the DoLive Sticks and senkos etc. makes it more possible to fish that bit lighter more of the time. It’s up to all of us how we approach our own fishing, but wow does that bang on the rod tip and the jolt down the arm feel that bit more electric when your soft plastic especially gets whacked on the lighter gear……………
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