I have been building up my arsenal of soft plastic lures over the last few months and I have been on the look out for lures that imitate small bait fish really accurately, arguably the best kind of lures for predatory fish like Sea Bass. I came across the Lunkerhunt website and they have a really good range of soft plastics that are aimed at Bass fishing in the US and Canada, but I was really thrilled to find their Bento swim baits range including their new 5.5″ Saltwater Bento that fit my criteria for a being a potentially great UK Sea Bass lure.
The image above shows (from top to bottom) – Saltwater Bento 5.5 inch “Maui Maui”, Saltwater Bento 5.5 inch “Mackerel”, Saltwater Bento 5.5 inch “Anchovy”, Swim Bento 4.5 inch “Parrot”
These baits looked good enough for me to eat and I simply had to get my hands on them to try them out on the Sea Bass and Pollock in our UK waters. The lures are incredibly life like, with a holographic core running the length of the body section, and a keeled “shad” style tail. These lures also have very realistic holographic eyes which I believe also helps triggers bites too. My success rate using lures with eyes is noticeably better than without.
I will be fishing these into really snaggy rough ground marks, and so I have Texas rigged them up using Varivas Gran Hooking Master weedless hooks with a 14g cone shaped worm weight. Size 5/0 or 6/0 hooks fit the 5.5″ Saltwater Bento, and size 2/0 or 3/0 hooks fit the 4.5″ Swim Bento.
These soft plastics are very soft and so they have a really nice natural action. I prefer to fish them on a slow straight retrieve from the rocks or shore, as the rips and undercurrents tend to take the lure and make it “work”, but I am also looking forward to drop shot fishing these lures from the kayak over shallow reefs this summer – I will post catch reports soon. Huge thanks to Lunkerhunt for sending me these lures to try!