Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Bitterly cold, but the bass are still feeding

It was just Graham and I fishing this morning, and we decided it was worth a go on the crab baits - we took lure rods as well, but with a biting northerly wind and increased colour to the water, both of us felt this morning was the time to put baits down for the fish. On my first cast I had a good bite, but the fish dropped it. A little later, Graham connected with a decent fish on a rod he won in a match the other day - a Greys GRX-S bass rod. Above you can see him beaching the bass. Check out those huge skies that are a serious joy for me to use in my photos - not bad for the last day of November !!

Here is the result - a cracking bass weighing 8lb 8oz, glinting perfectly in the early morning sunshine. The weather continues to be stunning, and although there was not such a hard frost this morning, a far fresher northerly certainly kept the temperature right down - note the hat and gloves again. The fishing was slower today by Ireland's standards, but how often do you see an 8lb plus bass coming in ? Still pretty awesome fishing to me.

We did try the soft plastics today, but apart from a couple of bumps we hooked nothing on them. Not completely sure why I have to admit, but there were far less fish moving around this morning. Perhaps the cold has finally got to them a bit.....or perhaps not.

Above is a nice bass of 5lb that I managed to nail on a small crab bait - a typical knock-back slack, then tap, tap, thump right over kind of bass bite that was essentially unmissable (he says !!), and it gave a good scrap in the tide.

Here you can see the sort of peeler crab baits we were using this morning - a simple 4/0 pennel rig fished off a Varivas 3-way swivel (the lead is connected via a split-ring I put on the 3-way swivel), a short 35lb fluorocarbon hooklength,and a 4oz plain lead that can roll around in the tide and find its own resting place. Still the best all round shore fishing hooks I can find are the Varivas Big Mouth Extra pattern - get them here. All nice and easy stuff, and the bass like it just fine.

Graham and I are heading back out for a few hours' cod fishing over the high water this evening, and then we have made a plan to get out on the rocks tomorrow for some more lure fishing. It might be a bit of a gamble, but we are both itching to fish a certain mark on the back tide that has produced plenty of fish in the past. We shall see....

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