Client Catches – My New ‘Needlefish’ proving itself

Client Catches – My ‘New Needlefish’ proving itself

Continuing with the short but more regular blog posts in relation to my catches and that of my clients, a recent guided session with a very accomplished bass lure angler (Gary) provided me the ideal opportunity to continue with the ‘testing’ of a lure I have personally designed, developed and had ‘hand-built by James Lanfear of Jim’s Lures here.

Incidentally, these lures will be available to purchase within the next month or so. Therefore, I intend to write a separate post very soon about precisely why I have designed them (encompassing the shape, size, sink rate and the way they move), the specific requirements that they meet, how and where to use them and, of course, where they will be available…


Having previously entrusted two other clients with their use during guided night fishing sessions over the past couple of weeks I have been extremely pleased with the results! Alongside the many catches I have made, firstly, Adrian (below) landed nine bass on one of these ‘shortened’ needlefish, and you may also recognise my client Steve (also below) from a recent ‘Client Catches’ blog post of mine here in which he landed eleven!

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These were seminal moments for this particular lure, as it’s all well and good me catching on them, but when clients who have never fished in darkness with lures before, let alone with a needlefish are landed bass on them, you know they work.


Onto Gary then, and with a only small bass to show for his efforts durng an earlier session that day I was utterly determined to put him onto a better-sized bass – a “3½ to 4lb fish is the minimum” I joked, as we drove through the deserted country lanes to our destination for the next 4 hours or so. An experienced angler, Gary has caught a number of large bass on lures in his time, including a few over 8lb I believe.

Bass lure fishIng UK
Captivating scenery and a man who knows how to catch bass – a great combination for a guide!

Once it became dark we laughed and attempted to predict what time the first bass would be landed… My guess was 2216 and his 2220 – that was how confident I was with the mark he was stood on, the state of tide and the overall sea/weather conditions. Everything was ‘just right’ it seemed, and with one of my needlefish attached at 2222 BANG! He was in!

Needlefish lures at night
This bass took the lure literally metres off the rod tip over pure sand and in only 2ft of water. The words ” you might get hit close in” were on the tip of my tongue when this one hit.

Job done

Within minutes he’d landed another and then another, but they were all under the 2lb mark. When this occurs, although it is great to be catching, you just sense that if there are any decent sized bass about that they won’t be interested in competing with the small ones for whatever they ‘think’ these needlefish are.

Marc Cowling Needlfish
Quite possibly the angriest bass both of us had ever witnessed! It just wouldn’t lie flat on the soft shingle and instead, did it’s utmost to ‘prick’ me – which it did!

When it goes quiet for 10-20 minutes then I have often found that this signals either the arrival of a shoal of larger bass, or at the very least it allows them the opportunity to strike – something that did indeed occur when the rod thumped down hard as we were chatting and a little line was dragged off the spool! I love my job!

Bass caught on needlefish
A bristling bass that has spent much of its recent life swimming and hunting over a sandy seabed given the light-coloured back – job done!

Following the capture of precisely what I’d hoped for – a bass approaching 4lb I relaxed a little and watched Gary land a further three bass. Furthermore, one of the fish he hooked put up the kind of scrap you’d expect from a bass approaching at least 5lb, as we were both totally astonished to see the culprit (a fish of half this weight) eventually bounce up the shingle! Yet another very enjoyable session with a top bloke.

My Book

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I have limited copies available of my recently released book ‘The Lure of The Bass’ that isn’t for sale anywhere else at present. Independent reviews of this publication (including one from the Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society) can be found here.

Thanks for reading.

Marc Cowling




1 Comment

  1. Hi Marc, just read the blog, thanks for the kind comments, not shore about the pic though I look like a pissed father Christmas. Great spending time with you. THANKS again Gary.


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