Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Last year's winners and this year's hopefuls

Well, better late than never.  I did promise I'd do a review of what worked for me last year, and as this is that time of year when lure fishermen start to browse wistfully through catalogues of shiny bits of plastic, I thought I'd list some perhaps surprising winners from last year.

Perhaps the most surprising revelation, and a dirt cheap lure into the bargain, is the Savage Gear Sandeel.  I have never done great on the smaller size, but for me the 42g is king from the kayak.  I had several good fish last year on the natural sandeel colour:
It can be fished on a continuous retrieve, or bumping along the bottom in a sink-and-draw style.  It saved me a blank on more than one occasion and took this nice early bass:
You can see how they really try and swallow the lure deep.  This year I'm branching out into some new colours, but I might as well use it to move onto another great lure.  This time, an old favourite:
The Daiwa Saltiga Minnow comes in two lengths: 120 and 140.  They're both excellent lures for the money, the Saltiga 120 can be had for just £12 delivered from monstertackle.  I had an absolutely storming afternoon, when it seemed every bass in the sea was after that minnow.  Great lure, with just two extra strong hooks which makes unhooking much quicker and reduces damage to the fish from stray trebles, an increasing problem I'm finding with many high end Japanese lures that use three fine wire trebles on all their lures over 100mm.

After this, we get to my old favourites that keep on going year after year, mostly because when you get desperate in the search for fish, you have confidence in their fish catching abilities so they keep getting used instead of the newer, flashier plugs!  The first, and still one of the cheapest, toughest plugs around, a plug that was practically made for kayak fishing:
The Rapala X-Rap SRX10 in blue mackerel.  This is by far and away my most successful colour, tried all the others but this one is tops for me in Yorkshire waters.  We do on occasion get hordes of tiny mackerel on certain stretches of the coast, and I reckon this is the bite-size morsel that no bass can resist!  Second on the all time list has to be the Megabass Zonk 120:
French pearl does for me.  Yes, I wish the silly hinged lip didn't keep breaking off, and I don't like all those trebles, and on more than one occasion I've seen this zonk spook fish.  But all these failings aside, this lure still catches too often to leave it out of my box.  Last year I also had a lot of (smaller?) fish on the baby zonk 77:
Lovely looking lure, but I'll probably stick to the 120 versions in future.  Finally, from Duo I got chance to try a couple of tide minnows that both worked nicely:
Both of these caught, possibly with the paler version being the better of the two in some of the murkier conditions we had to suffer in the first half of the season last year:
But I didn't get the lures until late in the year and wasn't able to test one of my theories that dark lures work better in hot sunny conditions, if any lure works at all!

What about for the coming season?  I'm very keen on trying out two more Duo lures:
The Terrif series comes in two lengths, both look good and reminiscent of other near top water lures, such as the Feedshallow or Komomo II, neither of which I had much success on last year.  But I'll be doing a full test of these near top water lures in the coming season, so watch this space!

Tight lines to those fishing.


  1. Hola Kester.
    Buen grupo de señuelos,espero que este mi primer año con el kayak,poder probar muchos de esos señuelos,esl unico que seguro que tendre que adquirir sera el Lanzón Gear Savage.
    Un Abrazo.

  2. Good luck with your kayak this year Juanrra, I'm sure it'll triple your catches. As you'll find out, the only problem with kayak fishing is the wind...

    Last year seemed to be the windiest ever! :-(

    Hopefully this year we'll get out more often. I'm going to be casting my own jig heads this year to use from the kayak for cod and pollack. I'll post an article on it the next month or so.

    Take care.


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