Henry Gilbey
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A quick update and a few photos from out here in Ireland

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Above is Carl with a cracking 8lb 6oz/75cms bass (weighed and measured and very well looked after!) that he caught over some seriously nice shallow and rough ground on a 6’’ DoLive Stick. Both Carl and Steve have bought one of these new and rather special HTO Shore Game 9’3’’ lure rods that I reviewed here a while back, and whilst I obviously think it’s one hell of a rod, it is always nice to see other anglers using the same gear and getting on with it as well as I do. 

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As I said, the fish was very well looked after, and after weighing and measuring and a quick couple of photos it swam away very strongly. Isn’t that the best sight?

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On the first of the flood yesterday morning I hooked what for a while I thought was the biggest bass I had ever connected with. This 7lb 7oz bass absolutely smashed into my Xorus Patchinko in a bit of current and it went like an absolute train. I fish with a tight drag, I trust my knots and connections, and this thing took a bit of line in the current, stayed as deep as it could, and went with that decent run of current. And yes, there was a proper bend in my rod and not some limp attempt at putting a bit of pressure on the fish. I radioed Carl and Steve to say I was into a train, and whilst I’ll take a fine bass of that size any day of the week, it transpired that the fish had hit my surface lure so damn hard that it ended up foul-hooked in the flank - and as many of you know I am sure, foul-hooked fish often go like the frigging clappers when they are hooked somewhere like the flank.

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Wow has it been calm out there, but for whatever reason our night fishing forays have not been paying off at all save for the odd fish. This morning we have woken up to an increasing SW wind and no doubt a bit of decent bounce on the sea so perhaps the open coast will start firing. There are fish around if you can find them, there are serious amounts of sandeels in the water, and as ever it’s just outstanding to be here in Ireland again.

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And aside from the actual being out on this glorious coastline chasing bass in a bunch of different ways, on this trip I have got to see the new waterproof Van Staal VR50 spinning reel for the first time. Carl managed to get hold of one from the US and it feels like an absolute beauty of a reel. I have fished with it a tiny bit and I hope to get the chance to have a session with it and report back on here, but if it is as sealed as it purports to be and with how light it is (apparently the same weight as a Daiwa Certate 3000) then this small and compact Van Staal VR50 I think has the potential to be seriously useful for how so many of us go about our saltwater lure fishing here in the UK and Ireland. 

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