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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was chatting with Henry yesterday and mentioned that I was communicating with a friend of a friend (he's a guide across a lot of the Japanese archipelago) and he was genuinely interested in hearing about the state of the UK plugging market. So I thought I'd expand and open it up on here regarding a certain aspect of lure he mentioned.

This guy wanted to know things like our best sellers, what works best, the rods we use and what not. So I told him about UF/Mr Fish, Tide Minnows/Feed Shallows/Zonks/Xlayers/Tenryu's etc and the fact that we are someway behind our continental cousins but things are finally starting to catch up. He then asked me what lures did we use to catch the big bass? I replied a little perplexed with "ummm a lot of the time its the same lures we use to catch smaller bass!?" I then told him about Nathans fathers double and Nath's 9lber (caught on a feed shallow if I remember rightly) in January whilst most of the country was covered in snow and he was impressed but surprised that we don't take advantage of big swimbait lures to target the larger predators.

After writing back to him to find out exactly what he was referring to (the language barrier was a bit of a problem) I found out that was talking about those big (35-60g) ultra life-like, normally jointed, jelly/rubber effect paddle tail lures that when you touch them they feel like neither a hard or softbait. Kind of a hybrid between the two. The likes of Tunny/****/BJF/Alex/K&K/Vidar etc etc will know of companies who produce these lures. I also mentioned this to Henry and he has seen/heard of the these type of lures but never used them.

I gave this some thought whilst walking the dogs yesterday evening and could only think of the following reasons why we haven't taken advantage of these type of lures if they do genuinely improve our chances of catching bigger specimens. I'm not so sure they do personally, purely guess work on my part and the fact more experienced pluggers than me on here don't seem to use them.

1. The heavier set up needed to punch out a 30-60g lure?
2. The cost. Some of these can retail between £30 - £50.
3. They don't look quite as pretty and blingy as a 12-14 cm minnow?
4. We're not quite ready for them yet?
5. They don't suit our predator fishing? Ultimate lead the field in sw/fw predator angling and I could only really find a Megabass XS Limberlamber in their catalogue.
6. Generally speaking they don't need as much working as our current lures, thus decreasing our overall enjoyment when fishing? These are big "jalopy" like lures that slowly cruise around in an enticing "S" shape motion.

Pointless post or worthy of debate?
 

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Nah, good questions James!!

I think the actual answer is a bit of all of them, and they all link together to a degree.

We're still a small number or anglers overall and until our numbers grow and more influential anglers come along, the majority (including myself to a degree), are a bit like sheep following their lead. The trends are easy to spot as people improve and information spreads. Shorter, fast actioned rods for example. Nothing new perhaps, but with so few of us (from the total population) sharing information, the masses are all going down one route at the moment. Most of us only own 2 or 3 rods max, and it's likely that they're all quite similar. Our vision is quite closed compared to the French and Japanese I imagine?

We'll learn, eventually.

I LOVE swimbaits in the water. Am awaiting delivery of some soft Sebile Magic Swimmers (although nothing near as hardcore as the lures you're talking about). I've not yet caught a fish on it, but the Imakatsu Javallon Hard is one I especially love. twitched softly.... if I were a Bass!!!!! :twisted:

But they are blimmin expensive - these types of lures. A new rod to suit is more expense. I think you're right on all counts.

I can't think of ANY reaosn why a European bass wouldn't jump on a properly fished swimbait.
 

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The Javallon Hard is a beaut, as are some of the Jackall ones. I have a couple of very beefy lures, but ashamed to say I havent used them much. I bought some whopping great shads in the US though that I intend on fishing for beasts into deep water with though.
 

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Ben Field said:
I can't think of ANY reaosn why a European bass wouldn't jump on a properly fished swimbait.
I completely and totally agree :) :) :)

When you look at the size of the mouth on a 5Ib plus bass there is absolutely nothing to say that a very sizable swimbait cannot be gobbled up

I love Swimbaits and own a huge collection of them (both hard, hybrids and soft), but as of yet I haven’t got around giving them an outing for bass. This is not because I somehow don’t think they will catch (quit the opposite), but rather because I would regard them very much as a big fish weapon and not so much a lure for catching numbers of bass.
 

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It's pretty standard for us to claim that we will use a certain item of tackle to do a specific job - and that by choosing a single all-round item to do the same job is just a compromise. BUT, tackle is only one part of it obviously. Perhaps the trend towards long casting, shallow divers (less than 2m) is itself a compromise? On technique/methods?!

On the whole, we want the advantages of long casting plugs that have a good action and don't get snagged every cast. Most people (myself included if I want an easy day) will just clip on a long casting shallow diver and spend the whole day fishing in a similar way - rotating through the latest, fashionable plugs. It's a compromise - an all-round plug that will catch fish. And it's exactly the same to chosing an all-round rod to do a number of jobs - the rod we'd previously have written off as a compromise that won't perhaps do the greatest job on that particular day.

None of us deny that we have a LOT to learn (it's a shame that there isn't a quicker way to learn than doing it!).
 

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I think part of it like others have said is we are still on a steep learning curve. I have lure fished for bass for over thirty years but it is only in the last 7 or 8 years that I have started to take note of Japanese kit after working out there. To me the higher performance versions of what I was already using was the obvious way to go in terms of development. The rods, reels and lures are better versions of what I already owned. To start using big swimbaits is another learning curve. A new method requiring new equipment and expensive new lures with no real guarantee that there is any benefit.
The question I would like answered first is does it REALLY catch bigger fish? If it does I will investigate further. From what I have seen in freshwater bass fishing it is not the be all and end all just another method. Is there any evidence that in pike fishing for example that large jerkbaits and swimbaits catch bigger pike?
Not dismissing any of this out of hand but the big fish big bait argument doesn't always work. A very expensive mistake if shown to be true.
Despite being sceptical, I still think we have a lot to learn from the Japanese and French and I am only to willing to be proven wrong if it does work!!!!!
 

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In terms of Pike fishing Mike Ladle gave a very good talk at last year Weymouth prize giving showing his collected data regarding Big Baits- Big Pike but he was referring to live and dead baits. He explained how he was trying to adapt these methods into SW Bass fishing and his results were promising but not conclusive as it needed more time. He asked at the end of his talk if we all could give some thought to large lures- large bass in the coming seasons.

Back to big swim baits, I wonder if the Japanese are using fixed spool or multipliers for the heavier baits? I know lure fishing with multipliers seems alien to a lot so I wonder if this influences our 'heavy end' choices of rod and reel, or lack of it. Casting 2 & 3oz baits on 50lb braid must hurt after 10 mins on a FS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"Is there any evidence that in pike fishing for example that large jerkbaits and swimbaits catch bigger pike?"

Very good point, Mike. I very much doubt there is. Having said that I wonder how many doubles have been taken on 6-8cm 10-14gm plugs over 12-14gm 25-35gm plugs? Gawd knows.

The chap who guides on lake biwa actually asked me why we weren't using big swimbaits to target the bigger bass, so I assume that on occasion he does for fw bass.

If anything I guess its just another string to our bow. Will be fun and intriguing finding out if these big lazy looking swimbaits that have an action like a 20 dollar whore walking down the Vegas strip, actually do increase the size of catch.
 

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Mike Kennard said:
Is there any evidence that in pike fishing for example that large jerkbaits and swimbaits catch bigger pike?
Not that this is necessarily transferable to bass, but I’m afraid I have to say yes to that one :) :) :)

If you speak to a representative collection of the best predator lure anglers in not only the UK but all over Europe you will find that there is a clear tendency for the bigger lures to pickup the larger fish. I will have to say that this is in line with my personal experience too. Well over 75% of my 150 plus 20Ib pike has come to lures between 6 and 10 inches and that is despite the fact it took quit a few years before I succumbed to the larger lures.
 

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I would say yes to the big pike lure = big pike - match the hatch is the key phrase ...

Interesting that our bass will take whole mackeral and we dont use large swimbaits ...BUT

In the US at the moment their baitfish size is in decline and the big pigs are commonly taken on small flies and lures matching the hatch ... same thing with Lake Mead in the US when I was FW striper fishing - they wouldn't touch anything over 6cm as the baitfish were so small ...

A little birdy told me they were using Z-Claw Magnums in Jersey this summer - thats a big slider at 50gms+ ...
 

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I have played around with some of the Sebile (hard) magic Swimmers, and I have seen the soft plastic models (Sebile) being messed around with - for the life of me I can't think of one good reason why a big bass would not munch one of these things in a proper way, they look awesome in the water. There is a really clever system with the soft plastic Magic Swimmers whereby you can move attachable weights up and down the Texas style hook and get it to sink/flutter in different ways.

I have very little experience of swimbaits, but it did not seem that hard to impart some incredible movements to them. It's a matter of confidence to stick one on and fish with it properly. I have no doubt that big swim baits will chuck up big bass.

Plenty to learn, and that is a huge part of the fun for me.
 

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Swimbaits and subsurface walk baits are part of the way forward in Bass lure
fishing.

However, to make them work effectively, you need to work to altogether different
cadences than fished by most guys working walk baits over the surface.

In the US, top pro's will protect baits that 'hunt' with what many would
see as overkill. Taking their top baits to bed with them ? you bet.

I'm not going to go into hunting baits, but swimbaits often glide out
and glide back whilst swimming on both the pitch and yaw planes.
It is also subtle and they can send out lower frequency pressure waves
that big fish might associate with the 1 meal a day scenario.

Big Bass often eat Mullet, Wrasse, Pouting and of course, Mackerel
etc..not just sandeels, pilchard and smelt.
 

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This was the basis for my question last night to Vidar about using pike gear. Bigger lures do catch bigger bass in my limited experience. I have gone up to a rod that will do bigger SPs and I am keen on trying a multiplier outfit too. Hopefully I'll be able to post some results this year.
 

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Hmmm,
Swimbait=Bigger bass.
If you could find bass feeding on larger baits (like Mackerel), and you had the right size/colour/shape swimbait. Then I am sure it will catch bass. But will they catch bigger bass purely because they are a swimbait as opposed to say a similar sized plug-I am not so sure.
Worth remembering that in Japan, a 150mm plug is concidered HUGE by most bass fishermen, I know hybrid (soft hard baits) swim baits are in vogue in Japan right now. But they tend to be in the 120-140mm 15-22g size bracket.
For some situations though a swim bait could be a better bet than a plug, Bass feeding in slack water seem to respond to subsurface stickbaits than plugs for me. I am sure the gliding action better resembles the action of prey like small mullet. Worth remembering that Japanese bass will prey heavily on mullet . But do ours?? I am sure they will given half a chance, but do they seek them out??
I would love to know which swimbaits the guide was refering to???

I would bet this is one of the lures he would reconmend. Massive interest in this lure in Japan, especially amoungst the "Lunker Hunter" crowd.
http://www.ashiya.co.jp/cgi-bin/product ... category=1
 

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I seen a guy at a trade show donkeys years ago showing one of these;

http://www.sharnbrooktackle.com/acatalo ... lchart.jpg

It was without doubt the most life like big lure I had ever seen. Now this was like 7 years ago or more, but I will never forget how gob smacked I was when I saw it. When the mackerel are being hit by bass this lure without a doubt would catch a bass of any size. Same I didnt like the hook set up though, but the segmented hard rubber, straight lip design was awesome.

The first year I got into my plugging I caught my fair share of bass up to about 3lb on lures like the J13, Sliver, Magnum etc. On my second season I thought, big lure, big bass, so I purchased one of those huge Slivers, the really big 12" one. First trip out I had a 6lb 8oz and a 3lb 12oz. Food for thought.
 

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I have been looking at some of the american models after seeing some of the Bluegill/Crappie imitation swimbaits. My thinking is that it resembles pretty closely the small Wrasse that are so prolific around rough ground. The Bass would come across these Wrasse a lot, and they must feed on them, I remember reading in Hooked on Bass how Wrasse was used as deadbait with success. A nice big deep lure lke one of these below, trundled slowly as you dare over the rough stuff might just tempt a beast that cannot be arsed with darting round after sandeel etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
MrFish, I know it isn't exaclty sexy looking but I quite like the ones you just posted, apart from the hook set up. I liked the ribbed rubber (for want of a better phrase) effect. I bet it has a lovely action right through to the tail. Why don't lures like that catch on?

I also liked the first one Mark just posted as well.

Tunny, I've no idea mate. I could, actually should, have asked him.

One lure he did tell me about is the one designed by his close friend (chap who caught the world record fw bass last year - Manabu Kurita) and when he told me about its name I immediately thought about Henry because of what he's said on his tv programmes. It's a massive wooden swimbait called "The Mother!!!"

http://www.roman-made.jp/products/mother/index.html
 

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guy's,

That is a stunning thread, great start and load of content through out. Best I have read so far ;)
 

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I really like the look of some of the Tru-Tungsten stuff. From big swimbaits to small swimbaits, to the weighted soft plastics and just about everything else.....

http://www.tru-tungsten.com/
 
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