Here we are now getting towards the end of August . Its been a great summer. A zillion Tons of Whitebait and Mackerel are drifting back and forth on the tides. Its great to see so much life in the water but it can cause problems at times, theres so much food around that the Bass are just feeding in short intense bursts then laying up in between . It can be hard to tempt a 15 year old fish to eat some plasterzole when it has a bounty full supply of real food all around it . A great bass angler and friend who I suspect would rather not be named told me that the larger Fiiish Minnows have a profound effect on larger Bass . Not being the brightest pin it took about 6 weeks for this important information to sink in . First cast of a 160 mm /30 g Fiish Minnow produced this huge Bass . What more can I say !!
WhatI love about the 160/30 g Combo is the way it flutters in the tide .These days I prefer to fish a big bait up above the fish rather than fish a smaller bait down amongst the shoal. The bulky 160 body almost offsets the lead jig head adding buoyancy . This means the lure sinks slower than say a 25 g /120 body or my traditional go to Fiiish Minnow the 140 m / 40 g combo. By dropping the bulk to weight ratio we can fish the lures slower MUCH SLOWER ! This slow larger approach seems to be the catalyst for great things . It also means we are snagging far fewer lures these days . So the added expense of the 160 Minnows is counter balanced by the reduced fatalities. Also by fishing big lures we pick up far fewer ” crap fish” . I hate ripping my baits on baby wrasse and Juvenile Pollock . The 160 bodies are lasting far longer than the 120 bodies without a shadow of a doubt .
”BIG BASS DONT LIKE BOATS”
If my boat is drifting at 1.5 knots (wind and tide together ) I will make a very long cast across and up tide and slowly retrieve the lure . Fluttering the bait mid water . Obviously there are times when a short cast may be required depending on the structure around us and whereI think the fish may be laying . Once that lure (Or Fly ) is close to the boat I ditch it and re cast . Every day I say the same things over and over , one phrase I use to get the message across is ” If you want to catch a stupid fish then feel free to jig the lure under the boat in 30 foot of water ” There are always exceptions but generally all we catch under the boat in water shallower that 45 foot is school bass and Pollock , Wrasse , Cod , Actually quite a lot of fish come to think of it but 9 times out of 10 when we hook a big bass it will be quite a distance away from the boat , at least 50 feet , be that vertical or horizontal distance . When I watch the commercial guys live baiting they always put a big distance between their floats and their boats . Same logic obviously.
Wind against tide – Time for some serious ”Fluttering ”
I love fishing these lures wind against tide. Obviously the strength of wind and tide will define the angle of attack , so to speak . In this senario I will fish the lures down tide of the boat ,casting across the tide. Swinging the lure across the river in the same manner as a Salmon fisherman would do when standing in the river . This means we get to show the Bass the tail of the lure first , they can sneak forward on the tide and grab the lure from behind. The wind against tide situation makes for some serious Fluttering of baits , its a lovely way to fish these lures . Once I have figured the correct weight to body ratio combined with length of line I can basically just hold the rod and let the lure and fish do there rest of the work . This fish below fell for a fluttering 160 Orange /30 g Combo a week or so ago, rod action almost zero . Great scrapper in strong tide !
There is no doubt in my mind that fishing these Paddletails well at depth in wind and tide is an art for that takes time on the water and painful lure loses to master. Fishing surface lures or small baits in shallow water is far easier. There are days when this ”heavy duty finesse ” and sense of where you lure is in the water column and what the fish will reply too , is the difference between success and failure . There are however days when it matters not . The Bass are hungry and almost anything goes .Drop em down boys ,were loaded !!