Over the past 4 years there has always been a space reserved in my lure box for this humble looking soft plastic. Most of you will know that some lures come and go from season to season but there are a select few which make the grade and go everywhere with you – this has been the case with the 5″ White, Bamboo Stick from Wave Fishing.
What is it?
Basically imagine a chunkier senko, with a thicker mid and front section with a slightly more tapered tail.
They are 5 inches long, scented with a rather addictive aniseed (Molopo) scent, which just smells like bass success!
Weighing 12g before you rig them, means they cast well when weightless rigged, but I will get to that later on.
You get 7 per pack and at around £5 they are pretty good value for money.
My two favourite colours in order of preference has to be White and then Laminated Smoke Shad.
How to rig and fish them?
I think the best way to demonstrate how effective these can be is for me to go back over a few circumstances and scenarios when these lures really proved their worth.
The two stand out ways to fish the Bamboo, in my opinion, has to be with a belly weighted hook and the other is weightless (no weight added).
My biggest fish of my 2012 season fell to the might Bamboo stick in White rigged on a weighted hook, strangely it is the only bass I ever weighed as well. It tipped scales at 7.3lbs which at the time was a personal best.
My friend Johnny and I had been running around the south coast of Ireland for a few days, picking up the odd fish here and there and on the last day we decided to fish one last mark before heading back up home – just as well we did!
It was up the inside of an estuary, where a few channels converge and spill over a sandy / weedy bottom … when we arrived though the water was the colour of milky coffee … talk about knocking the confidence out of you! Anyway, it was either fish or go home and we still had some more casts left in us!
We picked our spots and began wading out … after a rather tricky wade due to the limited visibility I eventually got to my chosen point. On went the Bamboo and I made my first few casts. I was letting the current carry the lure across the patchy ground, imparting the odd twitch as it swung round. I hadn’t been fishing 10 minutes when I got three huge thumps and I struck into the fish … the fish tore off into the current – I knew instantly it wasn’t small.
What amazed me (at the time) was the ability to fish a lure in water so murky and coloured. I know now it doesn’t make much odds but at the time it was a huge confidence booster … perhaps that’s where my love for this lure comes from but either way it worked and from that moment on it continued to slay me fish season after season.
I like to fish these on the open coast with hitch hiker / screw in style weighted hooks, literally just a few grams between 2.5 to 3.8g. This allows me to fish water with a little life and keep them riding just under the surface -mostly with a painfully slow retrieve, adding the odd small twitch just to impart a little more ‘obvious’ action – They are ideal for fishing up gullies!
Companies such as VMC, Mustad, Owner etc all make these hitch hiker / screw in style weighted hooks. I have been using VMC recently but it’s really just personal choice … they all do a solid job!
This is were confidence in doing virtually nothing comes into play – at first this will style of fishing will drive most anglers mad but trust me, stick at it because when it works it will open doors for you!
Again, I like hitch hiker / screw in style hooks for this, just due to the neat hook placement.
What I enjoy most about this style of fishing is the ability to fish over ridiculous shallow, snaggy ground, which any bass angler will know is one of the bass’s favourite haunts! It is also extremely tactile and sensitive – you need to be in tune with the lure at all times.
Anyway, back to the technical stuff … you want to fish these painfully slowly, almost doing nothing and let whatever little current or wave motion these is impart action in the lure. The object of not adding weight is to let the lure ride high in the water column. Ensure you are in contact with the lure at all times but allow a tiny bit of slack so the fish can inhale the lure without feeling too much resistance.
This technique was my achillies heel for a while, with a few missed fish (my fault) and then finally it clicked into place. I remember the exact rock I was standing on – it was a cold and clear September morning. I had just helped a friend land a nice 6lb bass and after taking a few snaps I headed off to the other end of the mark to get out onto a reef which was showing as the tide dropped.
This reef is rough as rats and it is really only doable on a dropping tide as you keep pushing out with, looking for bass which have been up in the gullies, rooting around for food.
Anyway, I was fan casting around trying to cover as much water as I could when I saw my line just taking a jolt forward and without even processing what was going on I struck – fish on! It was a modest 4lb bass but boy did it hoover the lure. When I landed the fish all I could see what the fluorocarbon leader coming out from its mouth.
The weightless style has such a natural appearance and feel to the fish they often hit it with serious conviction and because there is no real weight, it is often slurped up.
Some people like to use a loop knot to add extra action and whilst I think it is a great idea I often tend to just whack all my lures on with either a simple uni or lure clip – but the various loop knots are certainly something to try.
So that was it … that little 4lb bass changed my outlook on fishing soft plastics … it gave me the confidence to strip back on the weight and also made me re-think how I approach the ‘action’ of some lures … it doesn’t always have to be wobbling or rolling to make it appealing!
Never without one!
I won’t go fishing now without one in my box … It doesn’t matter where I go bassing, one simply has to come along because if I leave without it there is always that little voice niggling in the back of my head telling me I need one. Granted other soft lures will probably work just as well but I simply can’t over look the fact that this lure has slayed me tons of bass over the years.
The only other soft bait which has come close was the mighty Illex I Shad Tail 5.8″ in TC Shirasu but sadly that has been discontinued!!!! Much to my dismay – but that is a blog post for another day.
Hopefully this will give you a little boost for something a little different to try this season, if you don’t already own some then I highly recommend you get your hands on some and give them some water time.
They might too find themselves a permanent spot in your lure box for seasons to come.