The day was so dark and overcast, and water looked like some horrible form of drinking chocolate close in, that my first thought was to put on a big noisy plug and to use a very slow retrieve, much as you would when fishing at night. On went a Megabass Zonk Gataride (Hi Pitch) in French Pearl and sure enough, 3 fish in 3 drifts. The Zonk Gataride has always been a good catcher but it has notoriously weak diving vane. That third fish just wouldn't open its mouth, so I lifted it by getting hold of the top of the plug using my hand instead my lip gripper. You can guess what happened next, the fish gave a powerful wriggle and snap! Off came the thin clear plastic diving vane of the Gataride in my hand. Grrr!! Another £20 of useless plastic - I really don't know how they can manufacture such a fragile plug with getting more customer complaints.
Luckily, I had my new Tide Minnow Slim 120 in colour KO2, which is very similar in colour to Megabass's French Pearl. Although I've seen bass shy away from this colour when the water is crystal clear earlier in the season, I love this colour when there is a slight milky tinge to the water and even more so at this time of year when the bass are turning more aggressive.
Despite the difficult conditions, and the water looking more like pea soup than having a slight milky tinge, my third cast resulted in a nice little bass:
|Some spirited resistance...|
|but finally led to the side nice and quiet.|
In fact that was pretty much it for the next 4 hours. I paddled from place to place trying every imaginable plug but I couldn't locate another fish anywhere. Then the wind picked up and it became unsafe to stay out on the kayak, so I headed home.
First impressions on Duo's Tide Minnow Slim 120
While it's hard to draw conclusions from a single outing, particularly given the poor fishing conditions at sea, what I can say is that these plugs cast like bullets and have a great action. For example, although lighter than the Megabass Zonk by 8g, the Tide Minnow Slim easily out cast it on my short kayak rod of 6ft 6". On a longer, more powerful rod the Zonk might do better, but on the shorter rods typical for kayaks with limited casting power, the Tide Minnow Slim 120 goes an incredible distance given its weight of 13g. Of course, there are the longer, heavier versions if you need more distance (but distance is one thing the kayaks are good at!).
Now the colour test. My original plan was to look at the fish catching performance of these two plugs with respect to their colours. One dark, the other light. However, appearances can be deceptive. Although the plugs look dark and light from the side view, underneath (which is where many bass attack from), it's less certain what the bass will see, as version J222 is actually translucent when held up to the light:
|Which is darker plug?|
Hopefully over the next fortnight the weather and sea conditions will improve and allow me to do a proper comparison of the Tide Minnow Slim 120 with what I think is its nearest competitor; the very keenly priced Daiwa Saltiga Minnow, which is nearly identical in both size and shape to the TMS 120.
Until then, tight lines!