Henry Gilbey
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Surely lure colour can’t make much difference in a raging bit of surf?

First off I make no apologies for yapping about surf fishing for bass again. It’s about as much fun as lure fishing has ever been for me for starters, and I live in a part of the UK where it’s more than feasible to go to beautiful beaches and throw lures into hectic onshore conditions. I am loving it more and more, the fish themselves tend to fight harder than comparable sized fish hooked in different situations, and of course we are now entering a time of the year down here that screams lots of surf fishing. Is it really September already?

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I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to get in a lather about lure colours when the water on a surf beach is all fizzed up and raging, and it never ceases to amaze me just how effectively bass can feed in conditions that make it difficult for us clunky human beings to simply stand up. One of the lads yesterday morning literally went to lift his metal out to cast again and a bass grabbed it off his rod tip - and there we are having to try and jump up and over some of the waves and not get knocked over by the power of the surges rolling up the beach and then dropping back down of course. Aren’t bass amazing?

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Give me something like a Savage Gear Seeker metal lure in the white or green or whatever colours and I feel very confident. Sorry to keep mentioning the Seekers by the way, because of course there are plenty of cheapish metal type lures out there that are going to catch bass in the surf. I have bought and tried a whole heap of them if that helps, but I keep coming back to the Seeker and how well it casts and swims, and how it has a slightly larger profile for its weight. Anyway, because I am a human being and I can’t see what fish see, it tends to be a some “come get me” colour like white or chartreuse or sandeel like that goes into my surf lure box. These colours work, and the “logic” behind them sits well with my head.

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Anyway, so I went rooting around here at home a while back, and I found a lone 28g Seeker in the “Black Pearl” colour you see above - which is not remotely white or bright or sandeel or whatever. And yes, I tend to write the weight of a Seeker on the lure with a Sharpie because the 23g and 28g versions are pretty similar and I want to know which one I am clipping on. I rigged this dark coloured Seeker with a couple of bigger and stronger split rings (more to come on this) and a proper sized single hook (full details on a recent blog post here), and dropped it in my lure box without much intention to clip it on I must admit.

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The other day though it was noticeable how the the blackish coloured Sandeel Pencil 125 above (sample lures, not yet on the market) nailed a bunch of bass for me in the surf, and then a load more for Steve when I gave him the lure for a bit of a play. Now to be fair there were a heap of fish around that morning and they weren’t exactly being fussy, but what that colour of lure did was to at least put the thought in my head that perhaps colours other than the previously mentioned might be worth a bit of a go…………..

Things took a little while to switch on yesterday morning, but when they did, holy cow there were a lot of bass around for a while, and I was really pleased that the forecasted conditions were firstly spot on, and secondly that I am learning all the time about what tends to constitute “good surf conditions” on different coastlines. We were fishing fairly close together and the lads who were there have fully immersed themselves in this surf fishing thing and they know how to nail fish.

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So it was interesting at one point during the session to dip into my lure box and think what the hell, let’s clip that “blackish” Seeker on and see what happens. Straight away I nailed I think it was five bass one after the other while one of the lads next to me remained fishless for that brief period with what I believe was a Kilty Catcher metal lure on. It’s hardly scientific because he had already landed a bunch of fish and after my brief (lucky?) flurry he once again started hooking fish, but it’s the way I’m wired I suppose - put plenty of fish in front of me and I will tend to start playing around with stuff because I have zero interest in numbers and I’d far rather try a few different things out to see if I can find a point of difference. Catching those fish on a “Black Pearl” Seeker obviously isn’t a game-changer, but a few recent experiences have definitely opened up my mind.

Perhaps my greatest thrill yesterday morning though was getting a thoroughly wet crotch area because for some bloody reason my tried and tested and increasingly useful for surf fishing Team Vass 700 chest waders which I reviewed recently here went and failed on me. I am going to try and get to the bottom of why they failed and I will report back, but after shipping a bit of wave down my front because I stupidly reckoned I could get away with undoing the neck strap on this rather handy Guy Cotten Efficient C130 Smock (review here), I initially thought the damp feeling around my crotch area was either the saltwater from that wave creeping down my front, or else it was me getting older and not even realising that I had gone and wet myself with all the excitement of a good surf session.

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I am glad to report though that I do actually retain proper control over my bladder, because things suddenly got very damp indeed and I thought I had better have a look. Lo and frigging behold I find what you can see above (the lure is there for scale) - out of the blue my waders decided to come apart at the seam right around the crotch area, and I spent the rest of the session fishing away and trying to cross my legs to minimise the amount of water getting in. I rang a mate on the way home who of course nearly pissed himself at my predicament, but he’s had two years of hard use now out of his Team Vass 700 chest waders so I guess I got unlucky yesterday morning?

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