Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Lure love - IMA Salt Skimmer

As with the shallow diving IMA Komomo SF-125 that I wrote about late last year (check here), if I was to keep an eye on my lure box through the year and chalk down which few hard lures never, ever left it, then the IMA Salt Skimmer surface lure would be on that list. By no means am I here to tell you that the Skimmer is the best surface lure for bass fishing that has ever come onto the UK market, rather that I absolutely bloody love it, and when I clip it on I feel supremely confident - and I am sure you have a few lures like that yourself. I distinctly remember when I first used a Skimmer (pretty sure it was June 2010), indeed it was actually the slightly lighter freshwater version that I had in my box. On it went on a windy day in Dungarvan Bay over on the south coast of Ireland, and of course it always helps one to start loving a particular lure when the thing goes and catches a bass for you almost straight away. Which it did. Love at first cast.

The Skimmer just does it for me. It amazes me how a comparatively small surface lure like this IMA Salt Skimmer (110mm, 14g) can cast so ridiculously well, to the point that it has affected how I look at other surface lures with regards to how well they cast - when compared to the Skimmer. I can’t help it. Obviously I like the way it fishes on the surface because it has hammered bass for me over the years, but is the Skimmer doing something unique as such? Not sure really, and of course there are a heap of surface lures out there that do well for our bass. There is every chance you are reading this and thinking nope, no way, my favourite surface lure is much better than the Skimmer - which it might well be. For you. If lure fishing is so much about confidence, then that is the whole point of loving a lure like this. I love it because it works so well for me.

And yes, I have heard from and spoken with a few lure anglers who simply cannot get on with the Skimmer. How do I explain this? I don’t, as in what’s the point of trying to when I can’t? I know anglers who fish with lures that I just can’t get on with for example, and it’s not as if I am here to justify the Skimmer as a surface lure. I love it, I catch bass on it, and it’s as close to perfect as I personally think a bass surface lure can get, but I am not here to tell you that you are going to love it as much as me. OK, so I’d have loved it if the new, larger Skimmer Grande  (from the USA) was simply a larger version of my beloved little Salt Skimmer (from Japan), but the simple fact is that the Skimmer Grande casts like a dog into any kind of breeze, whereas the smaller Salt Skimmer just lances through the wind like a frigging arrow. I know the Grande catches fish because a thoroughly nice bloke I know has caught some serious bass on this larger version, but my obsessional lure fishing dreams were somewhat shattered when I got to cast with the Grande. Oh well, perhaps this proves to me yet again just how awesome the original Salt Skimmer really is.

Favourite colour of the IMA Salt Skimmer? Well I most likely obsess about the Cotton Candy one the most, but that’s only because I lost a pig of a bass on one a few years back when I stupidly started to think about photography angles and lost fishing concentration as I was about to land the fish. I have still never seen a bass hit a surface lure so hard as that particular fish, but losing it was my fault entirely. To be honest though, I’ll take most colours of the Salt Skimmer and not worry much about which one I clip on, although I do tend to like a brightish belly on a surface lure. Out of choice I will go for the non-Silent Salt Skimmer as I like a little rattle on most of my surface lures, but I have stood next to a mate when it’s been right on the edge of being able to fish surface lures, and we have absolutely hammered a heap of bass. There I was, convinced that the rattle based noise coming from my Skimmer had to have been helping things, only to find out afterwards that my mate was using the Silent Salt Skimmer and had caught just as many bass as me. Confidence again I suppose?

I love messing around with different lures, and this year I will once again play with a few different surface lures I am sure - and as much as I do of course carry other surface lures in my box, I wonder if at the end of 2016 I will have found a surface lures that does it for me as much as the little IMA Salt Skimmer? And our women think that we are obsessed with fishing eh? If only they knew the half of it!! Below is my work in the new edition of Sea Angler that comes out this week, and there’s a piece on shore fishing with the Fiiish Crazy Sandeel in there that I am rather proud of.