For many anglers the arrival of spring heralds the start of their bass fishing year. There are probably many reasons for this - we all feel better with the brighter weather, the longer days and we are probably recovered from the financial burdens of winter and the festive season too.
Matching the hatch is something that I think you hear mentioned more often over the last few years and many will know that it is a term that is very popular in the the world of fly fishing. It can be an important factor when considering how to start pursuing bass at this potentially early part of the year - considering this theory can still lead to a wide selection of lures that could potentially achieve the desired results. The results gleaned from these may vary according to the areas you fish or even your general geographic location.
The purpose of this article is to share my thoughts and some of the items we sell that may be of benefit to you and your fishing - remember though that I am a firm believer in whilst there is some science to consider, there does not have to be hard and fast rules either to guarantee success, so what works for some may not work for others and vice versa.
With the onset of the warmer weather and longer days the water in all of the UK should start to come to life as the water temperature starts to increase and many natural processes start to kick back into action.
A popular food source for many people to consider or observe is the appearance and abundance in certain areas of small sandeels. For mimicking this you cannot go far wrong with 3 different models from Fiiish - the Crazy Sandeel 120, the Crazy Paddletail 120 and the Black Eel Size 2 (110mm) are all perfectly sized for this. As a side note you will see throughout 2022 that there are several new options for body colours for all models and already we have seen the new 7g heads for the Sandeel/Paddletail and some of the new colours too. In case you are wondering why 3 models so similar, a brief synopsis of them would start with the Crazy Sandeel - the oldest of the bunch, a rounded body tapering down to its unique tail. Most people find the the best action is achieved with short and fast rips on the retrieve to get the tail doing its thing. The Crazy Paddletail has a very similar profile but this time ending in the upturned paddle allowing for a slower retrieve and looking considerably different in action at the rear of the lure. Finally the Black Eel, this has a much slimmer body than the other two leading it to feel very flexible. Again this ends with the upturned paddle tail and the other main difference with the Black Eel being its weedless presentation.
In various locations and dependant on many different conditions there will often be some really quite small bait fish/fry of various species present. For these situations some people may prefer hard lures and for me some of the stand out contenders to match this type of prey follow below.
IMA Sasuke SS/SF95 - available in sinking and floating versions and a wide range of varied colours, both models are rated to swim to a depth of 60cm. With one in your hand you can't fail to be impressed with the thought of its blatantly small size but getting down to that sort of depth
Xorus Patchinko 100 - not a lure that needs much introduction unless lure fishing for bass is new to you. The 100 size has a very slender profile. All of the Patchinko models are renowned for their good casting ability and relative ease to get them twitching across the surface in an enticing manner - remember though to pause the lure frequently to entice a strike.
IMA Chappy 80 - much smaller and lighter than the Chappy 100 and consequently quite a different lure in my opinion - this is going to make a good job of mimicking struggling little bait fish on the surface initiating some interest from our shiny quarry.
As you may be aware at High Street Tackle we stock an enormous range of Fiiish products so having already discussed the ‘Eel’ family, in line with the theme of this article it must be time to mention the Size 2 Black Minnow. At 90mm the size is perfect for imitating the spring food sources and with a wide variety of heads from 5g - 20g so many different situations/conditions can be covered.
Finally all that remains, is to mention that there are so many other soft plastics available that will do the job too - many of them just the smaller versions of models that remain popular and productive throughout the year - you can choose from things such as 4" Megabass Spindle Worms, 4.5" X Layers and Keitech Easy Shiners in sizes such as 4 and 4.5"
Do bear in mind too that stocks are always changing and ranges expanding - indeed since planning and beginning this article we can now add even smaller Easy Shiners and the smaller sizes of Megabass Hazedong Shads, should you have any queries feel free to contact us.
Hopefully you have found something interesting or useful in this information to either think about how or where you fish early in the year or maybe a lure/technique that you feel you will try for this new year and possibly start catching fish earlier than normal.