Now that we are into 2012 it is time to look back and review 2011. My best lure during the year was without doubt the Tackle House 128 mm Feed Shallow. I caught 63 bass on lures during the year, 36 of those were on Feed Shallows. The pearl No 14 proved to be best and produced the biggest fish although the Mullet No. 11 came a close second. Picture below is of a bass caught in early April on the No. 14 Feed Shallow:
My first lure caught bass of the year was on the No. 14 Feed Shallow, a 7.25 lb fish caught on 9th April, by far my earliest bass on a lure.
My largest lure caught bass of 2011 and a personal best (although I had an 8lb 10 oz bass on bait later in the year) was also taken on the same Feed Shallow on 30th April. It was a 79 cm fish but slim for its length with a weight of only 8.5 lbs. It had probably just spawned since a bass of the length would typically be well over 10 lbs.
My last two bass of 2011 were also caught using No. 14 Feed Shallows, both decent fish with weights of 5.25 lbs and 6.25 lbs. They were caught on the 10th and 11th December respectively. In previous years October was the latest that I had bass on lures.
I did try a large range of other hard plastic lures (Megabass X-140, X-120, Zonk Gataride, Duo Tide Minnows, IMA Popkey, Komomo and Sasuke, Zenith Z-Claw etc) but the Feed Shallow was the only one that consistently found the fish. Often I would try several different lures (I had spent a lot of money on those and was determined to get some value out of them) without a hint on a fish then put on a Feed Shallow and have a bass within the first few casts.
The surface lures which worked best for me during the year were the Xorus Patchinko and Xorus Asturie 110. Night time fishing with a Patchinko on a clear calm night in August produced the 7 lb, 71 cm bass below:
I had 22 bass on soft plastics; 10 on Slug-Gos, 8 on Xlayers and the remaining 4 on Hazedongs. I just started to use the Hazedongs in early September, and they were looking to be lethal in clear calm conditions but then we got hit by the tail end of Hurricane Katia and a series of Atlantic storms followed which ruined the lure fishing for the remainder of the year.