I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.
I blame the Americans personally. I mean how can you resist trying a method called wacky worming? With a name like that it has to be some kind of highly specialised technique. Throw in a whole range of rods, jigheads and lures, launch a few videos onto the internet demonstrating this deadly new method and what have you got. Err, well basically you’ve got a rubber worm, hooked through the middle just like you used to hook the real ones when you were a kid. As an added refinement, you then jiggle it about a bit in the water so that it looks like a real one as well. Why on earth would a lure fisherman, even a died-in-the-wool, small-baits man, bother with something like that?
Well I’ll tell you why. Hardly a day goes by when a new lure isn’t launched onto the market. They launch them, we buy them, - simples, I believe they say these days. We buy them because we need to believe that somewhere out there is the answer and incredibly, after God knows how many millions of years that human beings have been trying to catch fish, we believe that it hasn’t been invented yet and that this next one might just be it. This one might be The One. Well that’s rubbish of course because only Neo can be The One.
In reality, the problem isn’t that we don’t have plenty of effective lures already. The only problem I can see is that we don’t have one that works when all the others don’t. When they just aren’t having it. You know how it is. You turn up at the water and it is the colour of a dodgy curry. On goes the first lure, but it’s already too late. It is for me anyway. One look at that water and I am beaten. Even so I go through the box. Dirty water lots of vibration, put on a spinner - makes no difference. Black baits for coloured water - makes no difference. Bright fluo baits - nope, no good.
Aha! The guy further up with the pole is nicking perch out left, right and centre on worm. He’s basically Wacky Worming and I can already see the answer scrolling through my head, like an endless series of Good Life repeats. AGM - Alan has plenty of different, wormy things on his site and a week later I am at the water’s edge, raring to go and armed with ‘worms’ in every colour under the sun between two and six inches in length, and some peculiarly shaped jigheads. I’m not sure why they are that shape but they certainly look like they are that shape for a good reason. I just don’t know what it is yet.
Sharkey and I were at the water’s edge before it even got light this time and I couldn’t wait. Alan had sent me some Creme realistic worms and these looked more like the real thing than the real thing did. I nicked the special little jighead through the middle and wiggled my little worm in the water. It looked pretty bloody realistic to me. The jighead was around 3 grams and just heavy enough to keep the sensitive rod tip in touch with the lure. I flicked the lure out and waited until the line went slack. A few tiny movements of the wrist, the rod tip stabbed down and I was playing first fish of the day after about 15 second’s fishing. I just knew it. This was it; I would now catch dozens and dozens of perch and those blank days when nothing would chase a lure were now wide open. My catch rate would go through the roof.
I flicked the fish back in the side and cast along the margins. Tap tap yes. Number 2. Oh boy - no more blanks, no more struggling. When the going gets tough, the tough go wacky worming.
How long have I been fishing? 40 years and all I have to do is catch two fish on my first two casts, to forget that when they don’t want to eat, they won’t. I packed up five hours later with about ten perch to my name, and my catch rate had dropped from one every 15 secondsto one every half hour or so. Any ideas I had harboured about upping my catch rates by using nylon hooklengths instead of wire had gone out the window as well, because three pike had taken the worm. This one was the best and it went like stink on my Spro passion ultra light rod and tiny reel.
I also know that this is going to work, because last time I was out with Old Pete, he was catching perch under his rod tip by working a small 2” curly tail about on the bottom. He would lower the lure down until it settled and then just pull gently on the line with his left hand, working the bait up and down until a perch couldn’t help itself and had a go. Sometimes he caught them, sometimes they pulled the tails off of his grubs, but then it was a good day anyway. Even I had been catching on my usual 3” shads and crankbaits. This I told him, was the perfect opportunity to try wacky worming with a big, fat, white senko-style worm. He caught on it immediately, but wasn’t impressed. The worm was bigger than the fish and he had caught better on his 2” grub, but I had spotted the potential.
Since then, I haven’t been able to buy a bite on anything, never mind my wacky worms. I guess it has all ended in tears again. I have found another really fun way to catch fish on artificial lures, but only when everything else works as well. And that is the fundamental problem with lure fishing.
So, since it is nearly Christmas, here is a short list of problems that I want the lure manufacturers to solve for me.
1) I want a lure/technique that catches me as many fish in dirty water as it does in clean water.
2) I want a lure that works when they aren’t having it.
3) I want a lure that catches me as many perch as even an average to crap angler can catch on maggots or worms.
And if you can’t come up with a lure that answers even one of those situations, then don’t bother. I already have all the lures that I need which work when the fish are giving themselves up anyway and I’m running out of money.