Client Catches – Black Magic…?

Client Catches – Black Magic…?

You may recall me mentioning in a blog post back in June (here) that intended to continue using black lures (most notably the black senkos or the needlefish that I’d designed) at dusk, and indeed, during the early stages of darkness – with two separate considerations prompting me to commence these experiments.

Firstly and somewhat bizarrely perhaps, whilst fishing in serene conditions, and having caught bass on surface lures throughout the evening, I have noticed a distinct downturn in interest from the fish to these lures during the twilight period. And secondly, a very accomplished pike lure angler informed me that a black lure was the only colour worth using during the evening twilight.

One thing is for sure, considering the fact that the timescale when a black senko has been in the water has been comparatively short (I’m talking the final 10 minutes of dusk before it becomes dark and then maybe a further 5 minutes into full darkness) they have accounted for a some significant attacks, near misses and, of course, bass actually landed – there’s definitely something to it!

Shimano Vanquish 19
A modest bass for me from back in July that took the black Wave Worm. The fish hit the lure immediately into the retrieve after allowing it to descend through the water column for five seconds.

Lady lure angler

A client of mine, Becky (who yes, just so happens to be a lady) joined me alongside two other clients for one of my recent 3 Day Packages recently. And although lots of bass were caught from a real assortment of locations, and whilst utilising a multitude of lures in varying sea and weather conditions, both day and night, it was Becky’s wonderful bass (smashing her PB) that really fired the imagination.

Although a very talented and well-travelled angler who has landed some monster fish in the Far East and her local carp lakes, I don’t think Becky will mind me saying that she required a little fine-tuning in regards to casting and working the lures – which is precisely why she’d contacted me in the first place, as she is new to the bass lure fishing phenomena. She also knew that me asking her to attach the black and subtle blue-speckled ‘worm’ (here) was a continuation of my ‘trials’ as the two anglers either side of her were retrieving a needlefish and white senko respectively when her bass struck.


The way that the events unravelled could be compared to someone who has taken on the challenge of running a marathon for charity, in the sense that you have to dedicate yourself to the training in order to gradually place the building blocks in place to be able to accomplish such a feat. In essence, you can’t run until you can walk, and it was during the sessions prior to this magical one that Becky gradually managed to perfect her overall bass lure fishing technique with a wide variety of lure types.

To witness her whipping the 13g weightless, weedless lure out a good 40m out into the area where I reckoned the bass would be patrolling on her APIA Flow Hunt 810ML (here) was poetry in motion. That, alongside the concentration and effort that was placed into every retrieve was both pleasing and gratifying from the perspective that I felt proud of what she’d achieved thus far – even though up until this point she’d only caught a couple of small bass on hard minnows.

Bass caught on IMA I Born
One of Becky’s bass landed during an earlier session that took an IMA iBorn 98F hard diving minnow (here) .

On the drop

In addition to fishing with what some may consider to be an odd colour of lure (when it is practically dark) something else significant occurred… A facet that I quite literally ‘drum’ into my clients (in the nicest possible way of course!) when using a senko, or any weightless soft plastic, is to gain immediate contact as soon as it hits the water and to then almost ‘tether’ the lure as it sinks by maintaining what I would a ‘soft contact’ – essentially a slight bow in the line.

The logic behind this basic technique is that so many bass have been caught, in daylight, but more particularly in darkness when the lure is gently gliding downwards, in a horizontally manner, from above. Seemingly, they rush in to interrogate whatever has made what I can only presume is an intriguing splash (attracting them) rather than one that sends them fleeing (repelling them) and it is during this short window of opportunity that they strike before thinking…

Black Wave Worm senkos and bass
Well and truly nailed! Get yourself some black and blue-speckled Wave Worms and give it a go!

“Fish on!!!! Fish on!!!!” I heard her scream! And with that I heard the drag buzz as I stopped retying one of the other clients’ leader knot and rushed to grab my landing net. “It took it on the drop Marc, just like you said it might!” All the APIA lure rods that I’ve encountered are powerful and built like tanks (although they are a little on the heavy side for my liking), but when one is bending as much as the Flow Hunt Becky was using you know that something substantial is attached to it!

“Keep the pressure on,” I said, but I needn’t have worried as Becky was in complete control even though I could tell this fish meant a lot to her. “It’s a good one”, I shouted as I stood thigh-deep ready to net it. BUMP (on the rim of the net) and then SPLASH (as the bass tried to throw the hook), but on the next attempt I managed to sweep her up – what a cracker!

Bass on black senko
Becky came a long way, both in the distance she’d travelled and through her guided bass lure fishing sessions with me to catch this marvellous bass. Congratulations  – you’ve graduated with honours!

The culmination of applying everything she’d learnt, her previous experiences of battling much larger, but equally as fulfilling fish, and the slice of luck that I think she truly deserved (she’d lost what I think was a monster during another session) all assisted her to catch and lovingly release her ‘perfect’ bass. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, that little black worm, fished in twilight conditions has some magical qualities to it!

Thanks for reading.

Marc Cowling



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