Considering that the first bass only trip I did to Ireland was nearly ten years ago, this lure fishing "thing" has not been massively on my radar as long as many anglers out there who can call upon years and years of experience (ah, the good old days !!). And yes, I distinctly remember thinking about bass many years ago and wondering what on earth all the fuss was about - look at me now !! Addiction doesn't come close to how this lure fishing has crept up on me and taken such a profound hold on my fishing life.
You will realise then that I did not come up through the ranks with the famous "old" bass lures like the Rapala J-13, the Storm Jointed Thunderstick or even the Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows. Nope, my first real experience of bass fishing lures was the Maria Chase BW, indeed for a while it was one of the only lures I used and as such I found out that it could work for me in all kinds of conditions, from rough to calm and from overcast to bright - bearing in mind that my bass fishing back then was almost purely in Ireland and nowhere else.
I reckon I can trace a number of my obsessions back to this one single lure. The Maria Chase BW (stands for Brackish Water I believe, swims shallower than the SW Saltwater version) is a relatively shallow diving, floating minnow - and what kinds of hard lures would you most likely find in my lure box ? Yep, floating minnows that don't dive that deep. I have no idea why I was first drawn to the "holographic silver" colour, but perhaps it's for the reason that many of us are drawn to specific lures in the first place - because they look so nice !!
To this day I still have a thing for lures with some kind of holographic silver colouration. We all know some of the sayings about certain lures in certain conditions, but because for a while I was essentially using the Maria Chase BW in the holographic silver colour and nothing else other than perhaps the Yo-Zuri Mag Popper or even the Storm Chug Bug I suppose that by virtue of being in Ireland and fishing good spots (with huge thanks as always to those kind people who help me out so much) then I was going to catch bass on it in all conditions - which I did.
With what I know now I suppose you would class the Maria Chase BW as a fairly good casting lure. Nowhere close to some of the minnows we can get our hands on these days, but far better than something like the Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow which seems to catch any breeze like a sail. I am sure that any of you who have fished with the Maria Chase BW have immediately looked behind you after many a cast to see what you hooked on the backcast. You haven't of course, but although there is no moving weight-transfer system inside the lure, it often gives off this very pronounced "click" sound when you cast it which to me always made me think I'd clipped something on the backcast - hence looking around.
In the water I believe it's essentially a silent lure, and I can't pretend when I used to fish it so much that I was doing any more than blasting it out and cranking it back in, albeit with a few twitches here and there to make myself feel a bit more technical perhaps. Over time I worked out that I could shallow the lure up a bit by getting my rod tip up and slowing down, and without a doubt by simply cranking this killer lure in and catching plenty of bass I was on the road towards lure fishing "immersion" without even really realising it.
There was a time when you could legitimately call the Maria Chase BW a "budget" hard lure, but as with everything else in life the price has crept up over time and I see now that it's around £13.50 - which when compared to the higher-end Japanese lures is of course that bit cheaper, but I can't help but wish this absolute killer bass lure was still around the £10 mark. Unrealistic ? Probably, because times change, it's well built, lasts just fine and will continue I am sure to catch stacks of bass for many angler for many years to come.
Monday morning metal madness - Yes, I know that Rotting Christ is a daft name for a band, but I can imagine a few Greek kids many years ago trying to come up with a really offensive name for a metal band without ever dreaming that they might still be going so many years later when they were all grown up. Their album "Theogonia" is up there in my top ten metal albums of all time, indeed I dread to think how many times I have listened to it. Heavy as hell, catchy as you like, savage but melodic and at the end of the day about as good as music gets to me.