Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

The OSP DoLive Stick - what the hell is it about this lure that makes it so lethal for bass?

I am sure there are other soft plastics like the OSP DoLive Stick out there that cast and fish as well for our bass, but if indeed there are then I haven’t found them yet. I got back from Ireland in the early hours of Saturday morning and I’m processing the trip in my head, and whilst we would preferred a bit of swell and life to the water for our co-guiding work, we didn’t get it - which then tends to dictate a quieter, more subtle kind of approach to work on catching a few bass. Naturally we can’t tell our clients which lures they have to use, but on the other hand we are here to help them as much as possible - and suggesting what lures we think might work is part of our job………..

I could show you a box I have here at home that is full of different kinds of soft plastic jerkbait style lures that I have bought over the years in an attempt to find one that can do what the DoLive Stick does for me. I am really starting to like the (cheaper) 6’’ Deps Deathadder, and I will be fascinated to see where it ends up with me after a load more water time. I love the fact that you can sometimes get it in a solid white colour that seems to work really well in more coloured water, and yes, I regularly dream about a solid white 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick. I don’t know anybody at the Japanese lure company OSP, but if anybody out there does, please could you ask really nicely on my behalf, and tell them that I will gladly buy them all! And don’t get hung up on that sandeel like wakasagi colour only, because plenty of other DoLive Stick colours smash our bass.

Your “typical” DoLive situation - our last morning with our first group of anglers, and only one guy wanted to get up early for a bit of fishing before the epic final Lions test match which we all went to watch. Obviously. So I met Dave at 4.30am and we headed out to find the water about as calm and as clear as you could ever find. Dave can seriously fish and he went through a few lures to see if we could interest a bass or two, but no joy, and to be perfectly honest neither of us was that surprised.

We were facing an ignominious return to the Thatch Cottage, so I suggested a bit of a move and a change over to a 6’’ DoLive Stick - and it went and worked. OK, so the fish wasn’t going to break any records, but in water that calm and that clear I just felt so confident that Dave was at least doing the right thing by fishing a DoLive Stick on a simple straight retrieve where it just does this ridiculously lovely little slalom. As much as I love fishing this lure with a simple kind of twitch, twitch, pause, wind, repeat sort of action, I can see myself doing a lot more of simply winding it in because it also works really well like this. Letting the lure do its natural thing?

Damn right I obsess about the DoLive Stick, and I make no apologies for it either. Hard lures are always going to a big part of my bass fishing, and of course there are many times when you can’t effectively fish with a soft plastic rigged weedless and weightless, but I do find myself clipping a soft plastic on more and more. It is fascinating to watch a client who has never caught on a lure like this go and catch a bass, because you can literally see that flood of confidence in such a comparatively sedate (boring?) looking lure wash through their body - it’s another option at the end of the day, and if we feel confident in the options we carry in our lure boxes then surely that helps us to fish that bit better?

It might just be a simple soft plastic that I far prefer fished with no added weight on the hook, but if I go rooting through my box of soft lures that don’t cut it for me like this thing does, then that combination of shape, weight, fall rate, castability, stability, and of course action does indeed seem to be fairly unique when compared to other lures which might look a bit similar - and it’s interesting how it’s another Japanese soft plastic (and not a US style freshwater bass soft “jerkbait”) in the 6’’ Deps Deathadder that seems to be able to do what the (Japanese) 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick is doing. It is also worth bearing in mind that you will find both these lures under the freshwater bass fishing section on their respective manufacturer websites. I am very particular about what weedless hooks I use with the DoLive Stick as well, and without a doubt a hitchhiker system of rigging helps them to last longer - and then repair tears etc. with that magical Mend-It stuff. My out and out favourite hooks for the DoLive Stick are these particular Owner ones here in 5/0 and here in 6/0, and ignore the photos of the hook on the website because they are wrong. Check the photo below for how this lure/hook setup should look once rigged.

Are we the only (sea) bass fishing part of the world that has so switched on to using these kinds of (freshwater) lures for saltwater fishing? Whatever the case, I can’t go bass fishing without these lures, and rest assured that if I come across any soft plastics that start to work as well for me as the DoLive Stick - and increasingly the 6’’ Deps Deathadder - I will tell you all about it on here. Like any angler I do what I can to protect where I fish for any number of different reasons, but for the life of me I will never understand why anybody would want to keep secret what lures and techniques are catching fish for them. Surely fishing is about sharing this kind of information so that we can all keep on trying new stuff and learning as we go along, and hopefully catch a few more fish?

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