Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Are the bass here ?

I went out late yesterday afternoon to have my first proper go of the year for bass - just me, my sheepdog Jess and a deserted coastline. There really is nothing like travelling light and being able to move around the rocks, gullies, beaches and rips where the bass like to hang out. The general feeling around here is that the plugging season is close to getting going. The tide was on the neap side, but about two hours back I got hit hard about ten yards out. The bass did not connect properly with my lure, but in that split second my heart jumped into my mouth and it gave me real hope. But after that one hit I had nothing else. Still, I loved every single second of it - nobody around, a light onshore breeze, good clarity to the water, and a stack of awesome looking ground over which to play with my expanding lure collection !! Not that I like bass lures or anything......

Above is a photograph of the sun setting just as I was getting ready to walk back to my car. South Devon is a great part of the world to live around and on evenings like this I can't really believe that I get to call this part of the world my home.

I tried various lures out, including some incredible looking soft plastics that look so good in the water no self-respecting bass is going to refuse them. I will keep testing them out and then I will reveal what they are, where to get them and how to fish them. If you fish very shallow, weedy marks for bass, then these lures are very quickly going to find a place in your box. I am honestly amazed at how a bit of soft plastic can look so good in the water. Hell, I was tempted to dive in myself and grab it.

But the lure that I got hit on yesterday was the ever faithful Maria Chase BW in the holographic silver colour. You need to work these things fast, and make sure to regularly jerk the rod tip to make them slash and dart from side to side. You can get your Maria Chase lures from here. I did give the good looking new colour Maria Chase BW a go yesterday, but I snagged it up and lost it straight away. I knew I should not have cast it where I did. One down.....

I am currently testing out various different products to use for my bass fishing, including rods, reels, lures and lines. As I sink further and further into the world of modern bass fishing, I want my tackle to keep up with the task - the more research I do into all this, the more I know I have to learn. The secret is knowing where to look, and often that is outside of the UK. There are plenty of good bass fishing products on the market, but there are a few very special bits and pieces indeed. The rod I was using yesterday is simply stunning, there is no other word to describe it, but give me a bit more time and I will tell all.

But one product you seriously need to check out is one of the most incredible braids that I have ever used, as you can see loaded up on my reel below. For some years now I have been using what I believe are the best UK-style shore fishing hooks on the market, the Varivas Big Mouth and Big Mouth Extras. Check here to get hold of them. Not only do they just look right to my eyes, but they work seriously well.

Varivas also make a whole range of other high-tech fishing products, including lines and braids, and the one that I have fallen for in a big way is the green braid you can see below. Called Varivas Avani Sea Bass Premium SE braid, I am using the 23lb variety that comes in 150m spools. The only place I know that does this braid in the UK is here, and whilst it is not exactly cheap, what price the best ? One spool could last you for ages though. I like the colour, I love the way it feels, it lays perfectly on my reel, and it casts and fishes incredibly well. I also have another Varivas braid to try here, but for the moment this Avani Sea Bass Premium SE is going to get serious punishment from me. Take it from me, it is awesome stuff.

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