As we move swiftly into a chilly 2009, here are some thoughts on my stand out favourite bass lure of 2008. Anybody who has been following this blog will know that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to (shiny new) bass lures, but there was without doubt one single lure that stood out for me last year. Bear in mind that I am talking about a combination of what I saw caught, plus what I caught myself, for most of the time I tend to put my fishing gear down and take photos when the fish come on the feed.
So my top bass lure of 2008 has to be the Tackle House Feed Shallow, as you can see in these photos. I saw a huge amount of good bass taken on these lures last year, and I actually managed a few myself as well !! Lures like this are not easy to track down, but you can get them from Mick at Mr. Fish. No, they are not cheap, and yes, you would be well advised to replace the (rubbish) trebles with some decent ones, but the lure kills, plain and simple. But why on earth does a company like Tackle House put such awful hooks on such a good lure ?
There are of course many outstanding bass lures out there, and some need not cost a bomb. The continuously outstanding Maria Chase BW in holographic silver is going to keep on catching plenty of fish (get them here), and last year I really learnt a hell of a lot about modern bass fishing, and some of the tools we can use to improve our catch rates. Lures such as the various and outstanding Duo Tide Minnow and Terrif range, the Xorus Patchinko, of course the excellent Lucky Craft Flash Minnow, GunFish and Sammy (see here) are always in my lure box now, together with an expanding range of soft plastics such as the Slug-Go and the MegaBass XLayer. If you want to see a load of decent bass taken on various lures last year, there are loads of my photos here, here, here and here.
But it was the Tackle House Feed Shallow that I saw the most bass caught on - bear in mind of course that a lot of the guys I fished with were using it a lot of the time, but there is obviously something about it. The lure casts well and fishes just below the surface at a fairly fast rate, with a stunning "side to side kind of slightly slashing" action, and this suits a lot of the bass marks I fish very well. The silvery/reflective colours are my favourites as I remain convinced that bass switch on to these colours both in bright and dull conditions. I remember one flat calm morning we fished in Ireland when nothing was happening - the sea was like glass and the clarity was almost too good, but eventually a nice fish obviously could not resist roaring out from behind a rock and smashing into my Feed Shallow. That was the only bass of the morning.
If you have any interest in sharks and the sea, I really hope you watched the recent Natural World programme on the BBC - this was some of the most impressive great white footage that I have ever been fortunate enough to see, and the South African guy involved in the story has my utmost respect. This seriously was a hugely inspirational and stunning programme that every single person with any saltwater interest should make sure they watch. Great white sharks have always fascinated me, and they will continue to do so. If you live in the UK and missed this programme, you can watch it on the BBC iPlayer service right here. Immense in every way.
Anyway, back at work and 2009 stretches out in front of us all - here's to the best possible year in what we all know are going to be some turbulent times. But if there is one thing to get us all through whatever happens, it has to be fishing. What else can provide such a release and a rush at the same time ? What else forces us to keep learning new stuff all the time ? Here is to a successful fishing year for us all, whatever you choose to fish for, and wherever you do it.