Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Do you ever get so excited about something that you actually feel a bit sick?

Maybe it’s just me and you all think I’m a bit odd, but to me there is so much in life to get excited about, and the fact that in theory I am a grownup man means nothing when say something within fishing starts to get into my head in such a way that for a period of time I can think of little else. That feeling of excitement grows so much that I end up feeling a bit sick, but it’s a good thing overall I think, and the latest thing that’s got me so ridiculously overexcited is this particular lure combination you can see here - the Fiiish Black Minnow 140mm/size no.4 body rigged on the 20g/size no.4 Shallow Head.

So what you might ask? Well that’s just it. You need to see this thing. You need to hold it and touch it. And yes, it’s ok to kiss it. I know full well that I have various (good) issues with the Fiiish products already, but this particular combination is a thing of real beauty. Seriously, I kid you not. Many of us have been all over the 120mm Black Minnow body for a few years now, and I do use the 20g Shore Head that’s meant to go with that larger 140mm body a fair bit on the smaller 120mm body (see here for example) - but up until now I simply haven’t used the actual 140mm body very much. Hell, I have most likely been a bit of a tit for not having given the Shallow Heads for the various Black Minnows much time either - that is about to change though with this sublime combination you are seeing here. On it like a car bonnet.

And yes, of course there are any number of other paddletails and jig heads out there that you can use which might be cheaper, and will also catch you plenty of fish. I am not trying to tell you what to fish with here, but this is my blog, I write it, and I simply wanted to talk about something that’s got me so excited I don’t feel quite right. There’s no getting away from how lethal the Black Minnows are for bass fishing, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to go and use them yourselves. There’s a lot more choice than there ever used to be, but that is in turn what drives me even more to fishing so much with the Black Minnows. They catch me fish for starters, and if I follow the codes on the packets I end up with the right size bodies for the right sized jig heads together with the right sizes of hooks. No confusion, and this means a lot to me.

I am absolutely sure that there are a hundred different ways you could fish this particular combination, which as per above weighs in at just over the 25g mark - but I really, really like the idea of fishing it in the way that a guy I know over in Portugal was telling me about a couple of winters ago - check here. You can do this with a heavier weighted Black Minnow head, in fact you can do it very efficiently, but I just really like the idea of taking this method and fishing it that little bit slower and more deliberately via this 140mm Shallow Head combination. I am on about chucking it out over shallowish to medium depth rough ground, letting the lure sink to the bottom, getting my rod tip up, and then swimming/bumping it back either just along or slightly off the bottom. I like how the eye on the Shallow Head is in that position to help with keeping the lure’s head slightly up, and that in turn I reckon won’t result in too many snagged lures. The weedless setup helps of course. I have gone and fished this exact Black Minnow combination over a shallow, rough as hell mark we’ve got round here, and it fished exactly as I hoped it would - sure, it’s bound to snag up eventually, but it hasn’t so far.

And then I see no reason why I can’t just whack it out and wind it in like you would a hard lure, albeit these Shallow Heads I think need to be retrieved nice and slowly to keep them stable and doing their thing. The Shallow Heads don’t cast like the heavier sinking heads, but that I would think is pretty obvious. I like how this 10g Shallow Head also enables me to fish a slower sink and draw method than I could with the heavier, faster sinking weighted heads, and I kinda fancy this combination for really searching out the water column on the deeper marks I fish. I am also asking myself why on earth I haven’t given proper water time to the smaller 120mm Black Minnow rigged on its 6g Shallow Head (top lure in the photo above).

I just can’t help it. I am stroking this Black Minnow combination and thinking about all kinds of locations and situations when I have got to give it a proper workout - and it really, really excites me. To the point that yes, I do actually feel a bit sick. I woke up at 3.30am the other morning thinking about the 140mm Black Minnow in this khaki colour, and I wonder whether that is remotely normal. I am writing this and visualising this Shallow Head 140mm Black Minnow combination swimming just off the bottom, nudging into the odd bigger rock, me lifting the lure up and over, then it glides through a weed patch. I let it just touch the bottom again and I keep winding. Nice and slow, maintaining the odd nudge on the bottom. And then I get whacked. I am imagining a great big donkey of a bass inhaling my Shallow Head Black Minnow in one gulp. I can see it. I can feel it. Holy frigging cow this ain’t right is it? I am so excited I am genuinely feeling a bit sick. Is there any hope?