Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Allow me to tell you how not to fish

Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and admit to a dose of bad angling, and let’s just say that so far on this Irish trip I am guilty as charged with losing a couple of decent bass via my own wretched fault. Gutted? You bet, and whilst it’s always the biggest fish that are lost (obviously!!), read on and let me regale you with a couple of examples of categorically how not to go about your own angling……….

On our first day the conditions started to come together for a session out on the Copper Coast, and whilst it wasn’t exactly easy to fish it where chose to go, it just smelt of a decent bass. You either seem to catch them on the first of the push, or else you then have to wait a while to get a bit of water on another part of the mark. We caught nothing on that first bit of the flood tide and I knew the guys were itching to move somewhere else, but I find it hard to leave that place when it’s bouncing. Everything about the water conditions said white senko to me, and I fished it with one of those VMC weedless hooks that has a belly weight on there to help hold me in that turbulence.

I didn’t quite realise how good a bass it was until it had run left and around the back of a rock and that tail flipped out of the water at me as if it was saying “F@££ you” for even trying!! I am not saying it was a monster of the deep, but I’d have loved to have landed it, but if I think about those couple of seconds, I know deep down that I didn’t react quickly enough to the size of the fish and what it was trying to do. The mark is incredibly rocky and the bass took line from me as it went left - did it try to get behind the rock or was it just the way the hooked fish wanted to go? Whatever the case, by the time I managed to wade out to that particular rock, the fish had got itself off the weedless hook and I was left to lick my wounds and berate myself for not having reacted fast enough. Gutted.

A day later and we’re fishing a very different spot - very shallow, rocky, and flat calm. I have never seen big numbers of bass off this spot, but it can chuck up decent fish if the conditions are spot on, and once again I had a white senko on with a belly-weighted weedless VMC hook to help me control the lure in the crosswind. We had caught a few fish near Tramore in a run of current earlier in the day, and I like to think I check the few metres of braid behind my leader pretty often, but of course I hadn’t. I go and hook a bass that starts to take a bit of line off me and then my braid very suddenly just snaps. Gutted, again!! I wind in and find that those last few feet of braid are all frayed up from earlier in the day and I hadn’t checked. My fault entirely and another decent bass gets one up on me.

What can you do but accept when you’re fishing like a tit and promise yourself that the next time you ain’t going to make the same mistakes. We did then have a pretty epic session in a strong run of current not far from Tramore yesterday morning. I absolutely love bass fishing like this - bumping lures like the XLayer along the sandy/gravel bottom in a strong run of current (I am sure those rattles in the tail of the lure do it for bass in a current), with waves crashing around you and a bunch of very fizzed up fish coming in. I didn’t even get to take one single photo with the lashing rain and salt water bouncing all over the place, but it was a few hours to remember. There’s fish around, we are getting almost all kinds of weather, and we are having an absolute blast.