Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Noisy or silent surface lures ?

I suppose by virtue of what they do that most surface lures make some kind of disturbance on the top, but do you find a big difference between surface lures that have some kind of internal mechanism that is designed to create extra noise and ones that are meant to essentially be silent ? This session we had over in Ireland the other day when the bass went absolutely loopy on the top for a while was a huge amount of fun, but when I started thinking about what happened and why it started to give me brain drain..........

The way I see it is we can't help but apply human logic to situations and essentially try to beat the fish - or get a rare one up on nature. "Logic" tends to dictate to me that when the sea conditions are all fizzed up, the clouds are scudding in and there just seems to be a lot of noise around from breaking waves etc., then on goes a surface lure that produces a bit of extra attention-grabbing noise. My logical thought is that I am trying to produce some extra noise/disturbance to help the bass home in on my lure - like we might turn to brighter colours, more action and more noise with minnows in rougher/more coloured water for example. Now on that particular afternoon it was the IMA Salt Skimmer that killed for me, but I am sure that many other surface lures would have worked just fine - it just so happens that when there is one single surface lure in my box of tricks (as there was on this afternoon), it's the Salt Skimmer that comes along because I trust it implicitly - hence me talking about it here. I have a couple of these lures and both are the ones that have a moving ball bearing inside that makes a fair racket when you walk/splash the lure across the surface. And the bass were literally jumping on my lure in their eagerness to get caught (and released)..........

I called Nick Hart on the radio and he came straight to the rock I was fishing on, put his own Salt Skimmer on and hammered fish from his first cast. All good, all "logical", all about as fun as fishing gets. Bass going loopy off the top on the Copper Coast - what more could any angler want ? Except that after the fishing calmed down when we had to get off our island or risk getting trapped for a few hours, I then started thinking about what had just happened.

Rattle my Skimmer and it rattles, as indeed I believe it's meant to. But when I rattled Nick's Skimmer there was far less sound. Unbeknown to me he had been fishing these fizzed up, loud conditions with one of those "Silent" Salt Skimmers yet was still hammering fish. When a lure is labelled "silent" though, there is still a degree of noise coming from trebles and split rings clanging together, and that fixed weight inside can often produce a small "click" if it is not rigidly fixed in place (it is for example in the Popkey and seems to make no noise at all, but there is a tiny bit of an internal "click" with the Silent Salt Skimmer). Compared to my own regular Salt Skimmer though, Nick's one was definitely somewhat quieter - to our ears mind you. What about the fish ? So how much difference does this whole "come get me because I am making a bunch of noise" thing actually make ? If I apply human logic to it I reckon that my noisier lure should be bringing the fish in way more, but that was not the case. Like you I am sure, I tend to turn to quieter surface lures l when it's calm and quiet and then the louder ones when it's more fizzed up and noisy, but how close to being right am I ?

It's great to hear that the south coast of Ireland is still firing big time - see here for a photo of an 11lb bass that Ger Carey caught on a lure the other day. I know the fish would have been weighed, quickly photographed and then released. The guy can fish !! Reports continue to come in of some fantastic bass fishing and I am seriously thinking about sneaking over to Ireland on the last set of springs this month for one last go this year........

If you are remotely into golf or sport sometimes being the most incredible theatre, then I hope you were watching the last day of the 2012 Ryder Cup last night. Down and out and with virtually nobody giving us a chance, yet Europe manage to turn the whole event on its head and win the Ryder Cup yet again. Religion and me do not mix, but you have to believe that somewhere up there Seve was looking down and driving them on. Heroes the lot of them. One of the most amazing sporting events I have ever seen. Holy cow that is how sport should be - players pulling together in a team event when money is not in the mix. Unbelievable.