Bearing in mind that I am on a steep learning curve here, I am starting to understand more and more when using a sinking hard lure can be really useful - granted, there are loads of times when the shallowest swimming floating hard lure is the go to option (rough as rats shallow ground for starters), but how about fishing slightly deeper bass spots when there is a bit of a sea running ? We are now in the middle of prime time around virtually all our bass holding areas for nailing a big fish, and last week over in Ireland I fished a fair bit with various sinking lures. So far I can't find a better sinking hard lure than the Duo Tide Minnow 145S (see above, you can get them here. Not cheap, but the quality of these lures is off the chart). Bear in mind that I am talking about "sinking" lures, and not "deep diving" lures - there is a distinct difference.
I began really thinking about sinking lures back on Belle Ile over in France, when Graham and I fished with a couple of the Ultimate Fishing guys in June on this stunning island off the coast of Brittany - these guys are more prone to fishing far rougher conditions for their bass than we might with lures. We all know that most shallow marks are going to become very coloured and weeded out when the sea is snorting in, but the French lads got me thinking because they looked for deeper spots that did not become so messed up by the conditions. And one of the really effective ways to fish in conditions like these is to fish with a sinking hard lure (plus small vertical jigs etc.) - whack it out and let it sink down for a few seconds. Vary the time you let it sink, for it will then begin to swim back to a shallow diving depth when you retrieve - this is where "retrieve, twitch, retrieve, twitch" is so useful and deadly.
The deeper the lure sits, the more stable it "swims" when you retrieve it in lively conditions, and there is arguably no better lure for fishing like this than the Duo Tide Minnow 145S (check the top photo). Long casting and very stable, these things slay bass, and I for one have a load to learn about the use of sinking lures. I am talking here merely about the added stability a sinking hard lure gives you for fishing in rougher conditions, but there is so much more to it..........
OK, so this is not the biggest bass in the world, but this 6lb fish I nailed gave me arguably my biggest thrill of the recent Irish trip (along with the 7lb fish on a dead-drifted MegaBass XLayer and also a nice fish off the top in drop dead exciting water, thanks Tommy, you are a gentleman) - I got a Duo Tide Minnow 145S (sinking) lure specifically for a very particular location we were likely to fish. Nothing to do with rough conditions in fact, but I had it in mind that this lure would give me extra stability in some very fast current, when I wanted to let the lure swing around and then hold well and fish right inside the main current line (thanks Mark for getting me to think about this more and more). Shallow diving floating lures are often driven to the surface in conditions like I have been describing. When the sinking lure went and worked exactly as I hoped it would, you could see my grin a mile away !!OK, so I was grinning behind the camera, and Graham was cradling the fish for me.
We had a really interesting conversation with Yannick (Ultimate Fishing boss) one night over in Ireland as we all sat down to a quick supper - what he had to say about the work that goes into the construction of the Duo lures was a real eye-opener, and although these lures are not cheap (always makes me a bit nervous letting a perfectly good lure sink down towards the rocks !!), they are just utter class. I have total respect for the guys who are working hard to give us punters what we want - working in fishing is not just about earning money. If it was, every angler would be doing it. Working in fishing is about passion.
Business is business, but part of what makes "modern" bass fishing so interesting is that there are a number of obsessed anglers coming into the industry. Mix a sound business brain with a healthy knowledge of modern fishing techniques and it becomes really interesting. A number of people and businesses will no doubt fall by the wayside because they don't understand how to correctly mix business and fishing, (not easy, takes a lot of learning and a lot of experience. Who is to say that any of us have got the right mix ?) but the ones that learn how to mix it all up properly are going to have some really interesting times ahead. Fishing is always exciting, but it's really fizzing at the moment.
A bit of news about the "Rod X" that I took over to Ireland last week - it's a stunning bit of kit for the money, and I have just got hold of a slightly lighter version as well. This "Rod X.1" is 8' long and is rated 10-40g. I can't say what they are at the moment, but the one I took to Ireland has a lightening fast action and is fantastic to fish with when using decent sized hard lures. For the money it seems to be a hell of a lot of rod. More info in due course.........