Over the years I’ve honed down the number of lures I choose to carry with me. I do own scores of different types of lures, but the ones listed below have proved time and time again to be my top fish takers.
I may carry others lures with me most of the time, but if the lures named below are not in my box or bag my overall confidence is lower than it should be and I never fish as well as I should.
No 1. PICOL‘EAU LANCON SLOW WORM
Length: 13 & 18cms
Weight: Various Lead Heads to 20grms
Action: Sink & Draw
One of the new look lures originally designed for the USA market and black bass fishing. Stunningly effective for bass from both shore and boat. The sandeel like lure is designed to be fished behind a ball weight with a metal vane in. The lure is cast out, allowed to sink, then retrieved either at medium pace or sink and draw. The vane gives the lure a wobble and dive effect that looks incredible in the water.
This lure is highly effective used from a drifting boat over reef ground letting the lure sink to the seabed, then lift the rod a couple of feet to make the lure swim upwards then drop back. Bass really whack this lure just as it sweeps upwards. Numerous colours are available but silver, black and green are exceptional fish takers.
These lures also work well for pollack on the inshore reefs and when fishing off deep water rock ledges.
No 2: DEXTER WEDGE
Weight: 28 & 40grms
Action: Deep Working Spinner
Been around a long time and is still one of the very best bass catchers. It fishes at all retrieve speeds and wobbles and darts from side to side. It imitates small bait fish such as sprat and smelt.
It casts like a bullet through head winds and is highly effective all year round, but especially so at the height of summer when shoals of small bait fish are pushed tight inshore by both bass and mackerel. Also takes pollack, mackerel, garfish and coalfish.
No 3: REDGILL SANDEEL
Length: All sizes
Action: Free Swimming Sandeel Imitator
A true classic and the first real artificial sandeel of its kind. Several sizes are available and you can choose a size to suit both the baitfish in the water and the size of the fish you expect to catch.
Effective from both the shore when casting over clean and rough ground, also casting in to estuary eddies and creek mouths towed behind a small weight attached to a 3-way swivel, but also superb when trolled freeline from the boat using just a big swivel to get the Redgill down sub surface.
Top colours are white, black, red and even luminous orange at times. Black is the best all round colour especially in low light levels at it gives a big silhouette for fish to see, but the white also works well in bright light conditions and shallow water.
No 4: BERKLEY GULP SANDEEL
Length: 4 & 5-inch
Action: Free Swimming Sandeel
Excellent for estuary fishing and when spinning off the rocks rigged in front of a 3-way swivel using a 36-inch trace and using light leads up to 2ozs. I also use this on a fly rod as you would a normal fly.
Highly effective for bass of all sizes when worked across tidal eddies and creel mouths, also over shallow to medium depth rough ground when sandeel shoals are working tight in to the breakers. These have also caught sea trout, mackerel, pollack, scad, mackerel and coalfish for me.
The colours Silver Mud and Sardine work especially well for bass in all light conditions.
No 5: CALCUTTA SWIMSHADS
Weight: 4 & 5-inch
Action: Free Swimming Fish Imitator
Armed with a lead head inside the soft plastic body these shads are heavy enough to cast extremely well in to a strong headwind but sink quickly to a good depth. The swimming action is a natural forward wobble with an enticing wriggling tail.
They work well in medium to deep water from both the shore and the boat over all types of seabed. They are especially effective around man made structures and rocky headlands, also over reef ground where bass are actively hunting small baitfish caught up in fast tidal currents.
They need no additional weight to fish correctly and are simply attached by clipping to a strong link swivel.
The best colours for bass in this range are the Pearl Ice, Blue Back and Blue Gill.
There you have it, my own personal top 5 lures. I have other lures that prove just as good some days, but the ones listed are the ones that consistently catch me fish in all conditions and situations.