Thursday, 9 June 2011

Savage Gear sandeels do the business!

I have to thank my fellow blogger, Robalo Techno Spinning, for putting me onto these great soft plastics.  After reading his report, particularly the bit which said that the bass were only taking soft plastics on one particular day, I thought that as I had a few in my bag I should really give them a proper go.

Of course, I continued as last week, fishing over the same ground with much the same result: nothing!  I was getting plenty of fish following the my plugs right to the kayak but no takers.  But still I persisted with the hard plastics thinking that my luck would change.  The conditions were better than last week, with a bit more cloud cover and cloudy water to match.  But all the same the bass weren't having any of what I was throwing at them.  After I had thrown baby Zonks, full size Gatarides, IMA Susukes, Feed Shallows and even the humble but generally reliable Xraps at my favourite marks for over 4 hours, I eventually gave up and stopped for a bite to eat.  Those damn fish could stay there!

But then I remembered Robalo's comments, decided I had nothing to lose, and dug deep into a forgotten corner of my tackle box to find a 160mm, 42g Savage Gear Sandeel in sandeel colour.  What really impressed me about the lure was that despite it feeling really soft with a nice wobbly action, it was actually very resistant to both casting and fish mouths.  At the end of the day, the lure showed no ill effects whatsoever of its day's work.  The photo below shows the 42g model at the top, followed by the much smaller 25g and a spare tail.  There seems to be a big jump in size between the two - I'd love Savage Gear to release a 30-35g model that would still cast well but appeal to a broader range of fish.
Not exactly subtle in the 42g model (it hits and sinks like a stone), it does at least cast well into the wind and I tried a couple of drifts over the final mark on the way back in.  As Robalo demonstrates on his videos, I tried the standard sink and draw technique.  At first I was hitting the bottom every drop, as in 10ft of water that 42g weight was sinking faster than I could reel in my slack line to start the next draw!  But gradually I got the depth right and bang - a school bass of a couple of pounds grabbed it.  I was quite surprised such a small bass would tackle what is a fairly hefty lure, but that little bass had plenty of attitude.

A couple more casts, and then I tried a steady retrieve.  Again I thought I'd hit bottom as I was pretty close in, and the takes are quite gentle on soft plastics.  But sure enough the rod bent and bucked over, this time it was a better fish and after a few minutes in she came:
This was the only fish I was to bring home, it's a bit squashed in the yak footwell, but the fish had a good girth and had been feeding well on something.  As usual I inspected its stomach contents.  Two things to note: i) no sandeel were present, despite plenty of birds in the area flying past with sandeels dangling from their beaks, ii) this fish looked like a bottom feeder, as it had remains of crab and what might have been a half digested weever fish or goby of some sort.  Despite its semi-digested state, the goby was still nearly 6 inches in length, so it must have been quite a mouthful for that bass!
That's it for the sea bass at present, back to the cod for now.  Still too early for the bass fishing to get other than just the odd fish and the cod fishing is really hitting some form at the moment with the arrival of the mackerel in the next week or so.  I'll be back for the bass in July when you can expect a lot more action!


  1. Regards, Kester.

    This lure is true that works well for bass. When the head hits in active seafloor much bass. If you keep pounding by twitching, shake it like a fish eating.

    If you use ripping up the tail shaking.

    It is an excellent soft that I use much these days combined with Sawamura 5"-6" , SAyory Shad ( ultimate fishing), Rolling shad,etc,etc.

  2. Hi Carlos - thanks for your suggestions, I gave this lure a really good session and I am impressed with it. I never had much success with soft plastics, but I will give them more time this coming year to see if I do better on them.

    I also have a packet of Megabass Spindleworm, which has yet to see the sea. Just need to work out a good jig head for them....

  3. Hello mate, I pretty sure that the digested fish is a Dragonet.

    Amazing to see how much soft plastics have come on since you wrote this blog....... although I've not seen any "Savagear Dragonets" for sale yet!

  4. Hi Chris - yes, they've come on hugely and from the kayak they are now my first choice, principally because they generally use just a single hook. After getting various loose treble hooks in my fingers from frisky bass, I now pretty much stick to soft lures. Much safer, much cheaper, just as effective (barring the odd set of conditions or time of year).

    BTW, I still rate the old SavageGear Sandeel. It's been out a few years now, and it's still catching fish despite the fad for new comers like the Black Minnow.


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