Lost my first bass hooked on a single hook rigged surface lure - bloody typical!!

I couldn’t have had the whole confidence with fishing thing rammed any harder down my throat than at about 6.45am yesterday morning - nothing’s happening but there is a good looking bit of rip current forming a fair way out, and whilst my go-to surface lure is for the most part the long-casting IMA Salt Skimmer, I will often also carry one of those slightly heavier (20g) Tackle House Vulture surface lures. Catch this thing right and it’s like a frigging missile, and yesterday morning I was able to put that particular lure just over the back of the rip and then work it back and across the current……

A few chucks later and my rod tip slams straight down. No messing around with the fish slashing at the lure and me having to control the adrenaline/not fish like a twat (me? Never!!), and almost “ease” the fish onto the lure. Nope, this one just smashed the Vulture, and whilst I can’t claim it was a monster of the deep, I knew straight away it was at least a half-decent bass. Because I want to get at a certain part of the rip and because I can’t help myself, I have whacked the Vulture over some partly submerged rocks to get at it, and I have to put some decent pressure on the fish to “encourage” it around or even over the tips of the rocks.

And then the sodding thing came off. Now I accept completely that fish sometimes coming off is a part of fishing (and especially on surface lures), but bear in mind now that I am really into the idea of giving these specialist single lure hooks a go (check here) - and whilst I have caught bass before on regular minnow-type hard lures rigged with singles, I am now trying out my favourite surface lures rigged with singles. I have a few different types here to see how they might work and last in saltwater, and I happened to have put the good looking Seaspin Gamu SW 1/0 single hooks on that Vulture. I know these things work on surface lures because I saw a lad absolutely smash one with them on a Skimmer over in Kerry last summer.

Talk about a very sudden crash in confidence though!! Of course my mate Mark did not remotely take the piss about me trying singles and losing bass because of it, but that aside, there’s me gutted at a decent bass coming off, and then doubly gutted/knocked sideways because the lure the fish got off was a surface lure rigged with a couple of single hooks. I am no different to any of you reading this blog. I need confidence in my fishing, and especially when I am trying something different to what I might usually do - and as I noticed via a couple of sniping remarks on a forum, nope, I am not trying to reinvent fishing here with deciding to give single hooks on lures a proper go. I credit you lot with enough intelligence to kindly read my blog and realise that at heart it’s often no more than my learning curve in fishing (and lure fishing especially) - and if it helps any of you? Well that makes my day, but rest assured that I will continue to try and learn from the many anglers I am lucky enough to fish with and spend time around. Surely fishing is so much about humility? Fishing to me is life after all.

I keep fishing away but inside I am beating myself up. Have I made a mistake rigging up a bunch of different hard lures with single hooks? Why then when I chuck out a bright yellow Fiiish Crazy Sandeel that is of course rigged on a single hook jig head do I not worry at all that it’s only got the one hook? Are we conditioned to seeing hard lures festooned with treble hooks, and does a lack of them then lower our confidence levels? The next bass I caught may only have been slightly larger than the lure I caught it on, but I can’t tell you how happy I was yesterday morning when that basslet smashed into my cotton candy IMA Salt Skimmer that was also rigged with single hooks. I think I might have jumped for joy, albeit it was difficult to even put a bend in the rod the fish was so small. But in it came, the rear single (barbless) hook sitting neatly in the basslet’s bottom lip. Phew.

I am going to keep at this single barbless hooks on hard lures thing and see how it goes. I am finding that a couple of what I would term ultra-shallow minnows just don’t seem to swim properly at all with singles on them - the Feed Shallow especially - but for the most part, to my eyes the bibbed minnows especially look just fine to me in the water. And as I said earlier about some fish just coming off whatever lure or hooks you are using, Mark hooked an ok bass on a DUO DC-12 - which then promptly came off!! He had a couple of treble hooks on the lure (middle one removed) yet still the fish got off. Food for thought? Whatever the case, I’m giving it a go whatever the slight blip in the old confidence levels……....