Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Rattle or no rattle in white senkos for night fishing? Wednesday morning’s “experiment” fries my frigging brain.....

My first cast was at 5am, and on my second cast I hooked, landed, and released a bass. It was still dark, I was on my own, conditions were pretty much spot on, and I was using a white Wave Fishing 5’’ Bamboo Stick (senko) rigged on one of those “never seem to rust up” Lunker City Texposer 5/0 weedless hooks. There’s no belly weight on the hook and I am retrieving the soft plastic at a fair pace. The only sort of modification I had made is that I have put a rattle into the white senko that I caught the first bass on……….

So I take this particular lure off after that first bass and clip another 5’’ Bamboo Stick on, only this time it hasn’t got a rattle in it - fresh out of the packet if you like. Bear in mind that all I am doing is whacking the lure out and winding it back in, at a speed which I can assure you the thing is essentially waking across the surface. No twitching, no working it in any way, just a simple straight retrieve. Now I’ve obviously got my hopes up after landing a bass on my second cast, and I had timed my arrival to coincide with what seems to be prime time for this particular location.

Ten minutes or so of fishing away with the “non-rattle in it” white senko and I haven’t had a sniff, so I change back to the other white senko that has a rattle in it. A couple of casts later and a bass jumps on the end which I land and release. OK, so this is starting to mess with my head a bit. I keep on fishing with that “rattle in it senko” and in due course land another bass, so I change over again and go back to fishing with the “non-rattle in it” senko - and don’t get another sniff of a fish. Now my brain’s really starting to hurt………………

What does this prove? Not a damn thing of course, because there any number of variables that one could bring into the mix to try and prove or disprove whether sticking a little glass rattle in a boring looking bit of white soft plastic makes any different to the catch rates - but I can’t get away from landing three bass on a white senko that had a rattle in it, yet not getting a sniff on a white senko that was rattleless (is that a real word?). When I turn to a white senko for fishing in more coloured, bouncy water during daylight hours I will tend to use one that has a rattle inserted into it because I feel more confident that a bass can locate it, but when fishing a senko like that I will tend to work it a bit - twitch, pause etc., so of course the rattle’s chucking out a bit of sound.

But surely a white senko with a rattle in it that’s not being worked in any way save a straight retrieve ain’t exactly committing noise pollution? Or is it? Is there a little bit of sound coming from the rattle on a straight retrieve, or at least enough to pull the bass in? Does that bit of sound really do something, or was it a simple case of the three bass just happening to be around when I happened to be fishing the white senko with a rattle in it - and then not being around when I happened to be fishing the rattleless senko? See what I mean? Fries my frigging brain! On the one hand I will forever rejoice in the fact that we will never come close to knowing it all, but on the other hand it would sure make my brain hurt less to know for sure whether putting little glass rattles in a white senko for night fishing really does make a difference or not. It’s no great hassle putting them into a senko, and it obviously works or at least doesn’t put bass off, but I bet there are any number of you reading this who fish these kinds of lures with no rattles and hammer bass. Fishing eh? Talk about a lifelong obsession! Have a good weekend and may your brain hurt a lot less than mine………….

Below is my work in the new issue of Sea Angler that’s about to hit the shelves, and it’s interesting to see that my main feature in there is yes, you’ve guessed it, about fishing for bass at night on senkos.