Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page.

"Bass lures".

You may have noticed that it's a while since I put a tactics page on the site. Anyway, yesterday one of my sons, Richard, gave me a rollicking for not keeping it up to date. His comment was "Have you run out of stuff to write?" Well I haven't and my excuse for the delay is the disruption caused by the recent house move and the ongoing renovations.

Nevertheless I felt that I'd better write something. Before I do, as an aside, I should say that my broadband is now up and running due entirely to my sons Dan and Marc. Thanks lads! Whoops! - spoke too soon, it's down again today, hopefully the glitch is just temporary.

Anyway it occurred to me the other day that I'm a bit slow on the uptake (my wife would say she's known that for forty-odd years). My thoughts were ranging over the lures that I'm using for bass these days and how they've changed since I started my bass fishing. Of course the old faithful Rapalas and Rebels will still catch plenty of fish but there are quite a number of modern plastic plugs and poppers that are often superior to my old favourites. One of the biggest improvements as far as I'm concerned has been the realisation that bass will take surface sliders and poppers well. Why didn't I cotton on to this years ago? That's the question.

To go back to my early fishing days - were there any clues that should have hinted on the potential of poppers? First things first, on many occasions a plug would foul the line as it was cast out and on the retrieve it would splash and skitter along the surface as we wound in (usually very quickly) to untangle it and make another cast. NEVER (in my memory) was a fouled lure attacked as it splashed across the surface - so why should I have realised the potential of surface fishing?

Well there were clear indications of the possibilities if I'd only realised it. I had noticed over the years that bass very often took the plug almost as it hit the water. Certainly within the first few turns of the reel handle the plug would be grabbed. I reckoned that one third or more of my strikes occurred in the initial few seconds of the retrieve. I thought then that the splash must be attracting fish to the vicinity of the lure and I even took to smacking my lure down on the water to try and attract fish. Also I knew that commercial tuna fishermen play hoses on the surface of the water to draw fish to the area and to induce feeding frenzies.

So there it is, obvious when you think about it, the popper makes its own little splash and spray of water every time you jerk the line. This attracts fish to the area, it resembles the commotion made by feeding bass and the lure looks more or less like a disabled fish following an attack - simple! Why didn't I realise thirty years ago? All the signs were there and just think of the fun and excitement I have missed out on in that time.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com


Bass lures!

Out with the old.

Rapalas are often taken shortly after splashdown.

In with the new.

Chug Bugs give a pretty good simulation of a surface feeding bass.