Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

A classic error

How on earth could I do this ? One afternoon last year over in south east Ireland and Andy and I are plugging away - conditions look perfect, but not much is happening. Tick, tick, buzz, buzz, whirr, open up my lure box and decide that now is the time to try a shiny new (to me) MegaBass lure that I had picked up at the CLA Game Fair. On it goes, out it flies, and about five or six bass later I guess you could say that I had made the right call. Pure fluke though, no problem in admitting to it !! The lure just looked nice, and I had to give it a go..........'cos it was new and shiny and suited my eye.

What made Andy and I really take notice was that he was fishing very close to me and was not picking up fish at that particular time using different lures - I can't pretend that I was doing anything "technical" with the lure either. Blast it out and straight retrieve it with the odd snap of the wrist to make it dart a bit. But the bass just decided to jump all over it, including one really nice fish that came off as I was unhooking it in the water. This is nothing to do with "I'm such a great angler" - anybody who knows me knows that I am not into that kind of stuff. It's about me making a classic mistake........

My error was to then essentially "forget" all about this lure - why I simply don't know. I guess that other shiny new lures came along and sidetracked it, but the other day we were trying somewhat unsuccessfully for some bass. Not a touch. Ideal conditions as well. I had put the "forgotten" lure purely because I had been photographing it and then began thinking about how daft I might have been. On it goes. Two small pollack straight away, when nothing else had brought a sniff of interest. The lure works again. I have made my mind up - this lure is never going to out of my lure box. Not making that mistake again.....

The lure I am talking about is the MegaBass X-120SW (check here) - I am not aware of this outstanding Japanese company making a bad lure, indeed the ones that I know about all seem to kill in their many different ways. Plus I have a huge amount more to learn about their stuff. But this little rocket that is the X-120SW is a killer minnow. I don't tend to make the same mistake twice. Fish it almost any way you want. Straight retrieve, twitch, pause, slash it from side to side, let it float really nice and slowly back to the surface etc. - it goes down say 50 cms on a straight retrieve, but once again it's really worth getting your rod tip up (see here), slowing down the retrieve, and now watch the action of the lure become even more awesome. The X-120SW comes up really shallow and that rolling head-twitch kind of action intensifies massively.There are lots of very good minnows/jerkbaits out there, but there just seems to be something a little different about the action of this MegaBass X-120SW. Granted, it might just be me "wanting" to see something more in it because it happened to work when other lures were not, but it ain't leaving my box............!!

Photo courtesy Simon Lewis

How about that for a bass ? Simon Lewis smashed this 9lb plus fish somewhere in Wales last weekend - as to where, I have no idea and I am not asking. Simon's smile says it all to me - this is what fishing is all about. Blue skies, light gear, a stunning bass, and what's more this fantastic creature was safely returned. Yes, the fish, not Simon !! I have the utmost respect for an angler who both catches a fish of this calibre and then returns it unharmed. I met Simon and his son Luke (young bass fanatic, watch out for this guy, he has proper talent) at the recent B.A.S.S. AGM.

What really makes my day about Simon catching this fish is that he told me nailed it on a lure that he had bought after reading about it here on this blog. How about that for a result ? I talk about things that interest me and the stuff that I use for my fishing, but I never know for sure whether people do actually take a blind bit of notice !! Sure, the blog is getting read by lots of people (thanks to all of you), but the fact that a really good angler like Simon actually gets a lure he saw talked about here (we obviously share similar problems with all things nice and shiny !!), clips it on, and smashes a fish like this on it. Honestly, it makes my day to hear about this. Thanks Simon, outstanding fish. You can read more about this fish and more on Simon's catch report that is upon the Lure Forum, see here. Outstanding forum for lure anglers by the way, well worth signing up. The lure by the way was an IMA Sasuke - a lure that has not left my lure box since my first cast with it last year............

How's about this for big blue skies ? I was out on Siblyback reservoir near to Liskeard in Cornwall yesterday, photographing a feature for Trout Fisherman magazine. Tough fishing with the warm, still conditions, but the place looked fantastic. Ended up walking all the way round which Jess loved, but I made her go for a couple of swims as it was so hot - sheepdogs might almost be too clever for their own good at times, but somebody please explain why my dog always grows her thick winter coat in summer !!