Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Might be barking up the wrong tree here, but I’m looking out for smaller lures that can work like needlefish or senkos for specific situations

As we near the end of the year and I think about my fishing this year and the fishing I have been around, one thing that really stands out for me is the whole night lure fishing thing, and more specifically, chucking those senkos out, winding them straight in and catching bass and absolutely loving fishing like this. But there’s an aspect to it that has been niggling me for a while and I wonder if there’s a way round it………….

I am thinking of those times when there are obviously a few bass around and you get a mixture of hits that hook themselves, and then a bunch of hits and bumps that seem to be bass which are nudging/not committing fully to the senko - and I can’t help wondering if there’s a way that I could hook into more of these bumps and turn them into hooked fish rather than an expletive renting the night sky asunder! Don’t get me wrong, I love how these hits and bumps at night are so heightened because you’ve taken away the whole visual element, but if I was to look at sometimes changing to smaller lures, could I catch a few more bass?

Thanks to Keith White there’s been loads of info on here recently about needlefish (look over on the right of this page, under Blog Categories, click on Guest Blog Post), and I can’t wait to properly start putting some of this stuff into practise next year, but for me and where I have been mainly fishing at night, it’s been a 5’’ and sometimes 6’’ long (white) senko, straight-retrieved exactly as per the short video below. Put a 5/0 or 6/0 weedless hook in a senko that size and it seems to be a good combination, but what are the bass doing when they are hitting your lure at night but not really committing? If I am in the same sort of situation next year, do I accept that bass are going to hit and not connect some of the time, or do I try and do something about it? How about a smaller lure?

OK, so it’s easy to go and find some smaller senkos and see if they might work, but I do like how the 5’’ Bamboo Stick especially casts, and dropping down to smaller and lighter soft plastics fished weedless/weightless aren’t going to get me out there like the bigger ones. Does this matter? Not always, but now give me a bit of a headwind and it’s going to play on my mind. I could try a stinger hook somewhere towards the back of the bigger senko, but I don’t really want to do that. Have I got any other options?

Well it might seem a bit of a roundabout way to go about this, but I’m now looking at a few hard lures I’ve got that in my mind “swim” a bit like a senko or indeed a needlefish, and I’m wondering if I should be giving these lures a proper go at night. I haven’t used the little IMA Calm 110 that much for example, but on a few occasions this year I have clipped it on in the daytime and caught a bass first cast, indeed this happened to me just the other day when there was a bit too much surge and crosswind on to properly hold a DoLive Stick in the rip I needed to get to - so I put the IMA Calm 110 on, wound it at a slowish sort of speed so it’s kinda wiggling a little bit at the arse-end literally just under the surface, and I catch a bass. A lure that will be getting far more water time from me in 2017……...

I am sure there are any number of hard lures out there a bit like this, but I keep looking at this little IMA Calm 110 and thinking mini senko. Is that me developing as a lure angler, or is it just my head messing with me?! It might only weigh around 10g I think it is, but this little Calm 110 flies, and I just wonder if it might do a bit of a job for me at night in specific situations? And then I start thinking about some of the lipless minnow style hard lures and how they seem pretty similar to some of the needlefish lures that you might find in the US, albeit generally smaller. Bass fishing ain’t over yet down here, but I am already looking forward to 2017 and trying plenty more stuff out. Sure, some things might not work, but you’ll never know until you try, and isn’t that a big part of fishing?