Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

What’s your out and out favourite way to catch bass on lures? The tug is increasingly the drug for me…….

If you’re catching bass on lures then to me it’s all good, but I wonder if you went around asking bass anglers what was their out and out favourite way to catch bass what the answer would be? My money’s on surface lures, and of course I understand why. We have so little visual based saltwater fishing we can do here in the UK, and there’s no getting away from how ridiculously exciting it is when a predatory fish comes up and smashes a lure on the top……………


But things have been changing for me, and if I sat myself down and thought about what method floats my boat the most these days, well it’s going to be fishing soft plastics rigged weedless and weightless. Yep, I know that it’s rare to see a bass actually nail a sub-surface lure - and like you I am sure my heart skips a beat every single time I get smashed on a surface lure - but somehow that hit on a soft plastic has crept up on me to the point that I’d take it as a method over surface lures. The tug is the drug as they say.

Does any of this matter at all? Nope, of course not, but you must remember that I write many blog posts here at silly o’clock in the morning because I’ve got my fishing related bouncing brain syndrome going on - hence this blog post! Seriously though, I just can’t get enough of that jolt you feel when a bass hits a soft plastic lures, and I wonder how many other anglers are increasingly feeling the same.

You’re not tending to rip something like a DoLive Stick how you might retrieve a hard lure like my out and out favourite shallow diving hard lure, the IMA Komomo SF-125. OK, so I do love how a hard lure kinda “hits a brick wall” when you get hit, but then I seriously love how when you’re actually working the soft plastic and then you might get absolutely nailed, or you might just get a gentle tap, tap, keep working, and then boom. I just can’t get enough of it. That jolt down your arm, that bit of self-control that’s often required, that strike, and then that line going tight to a hooked bass. Does fishing get any better?


I was out fishing with my mate Mark the other day and we had a few bass on DoLive Sticks - nothing big, up to about 3lbs, but I loved every single second of it, and as much as we all love a decent bass scrap, it’s how you almost work into that hit on a soft plastic that was making me giggle all the time. I love bumping say a Black Minnow down a run of current and getting that tap, tap, whack as well. Is it that direct contact we are feeling to the lure and then the hit from the fish which makes it so damn exciting? And how about at night when you take away our sense of sight - how much does that jolt from a fish make you jump now?!


Without a doubt it’s my increased adoption of bass fishing with soft plastics that is increasingly influencing what kinds of lure rods, spinning reels, braids and leaders I am so often using. I know I’ve got to step my gear up a bit when I am faced with a decent bit of sea and wind (Hound Glide conditions I call it), but for my everyday bass fishing if you like, I want my rod especially to feel like it’s an extension of my arm. I just feel like I’m fishing the soft plastics that bit better if everything feels connected. Does that make sense?

I sure didn’t start looking for slightly lighter lure rods because of my hard lure collection, put it that way. Nope, it’s soft plastics that are causing me to so love fishing with a lighter lure rod like the sublime Favorite Skyline SKY-862M 8’6’’ 6-21g (review here), and the new rod my mate Mark has just got and which I am trying to pretend doesn’t exist because I am not sure how much longer I can hold out before buying one for myself, the gorgeous Tailwalk Hi-Tide TZ S90ML (9’, 7-24g) - hell, it’s as if this rod was specifically designed to fish the DoLive Stick. After so manfully resisting the Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG spinning reel for three whole days, I am not sure how much more of Mark fishing with that particular Tailwalk rod I can take!

Anyway, you all have a good weekend, hope your bass fishing isn’t over for the year, and let’s hope that England step things up about 150% when they take on Australia tomorrow. Always good to get a win, but that was some fairly turgid rugby against Argentina last weekend. Roll on the Ashes as well. It’s a mighty fine time of year!

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