Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Chewed up and spat out

Losing big fish is always a killer whatever way it happens, but for Andy yesterday it was especially cruel that a treble hook straightened out on him. The place we were fishing has produced plenty of proper size bass for Ger over the years, and if there is one thing this (awesome) local bass angler knows it's big bass. A little while before Andy hooked his train, Ger saw two bass clear as day come in on his beloved Feed Shallow and then turn away. To hear the guy put their size at 10lb and 14lb was mildly alarming, but then Andy goes and hooks a screamer not fifty yards from where Ger was fishing - and above is Andy with a smaller fish he had yesterday. Note the big smile. This bass was taken before he had his day torn to pieces !!

It's always easy to say that lost fish are monsters, but I was on a rock fairly close to Andy when he hooked it. Rod instantly hoops over and line starts pouring off a tight drag. Straight away I can see that this is one of those bass you dream about hooking, and I jumped off my rock to head over and give a hand landing it. But all too soon the fish was off, and Andy wound in to find one of his treble hooks straightened out. The lure he was fishing with was the Smith Haluca, but I guess the fish had only one hook of one treble in and trashed it good and proper. Talk about destroyed. All you can do is to feel for the guy and hope that he goes and hooks another train sometime soon. Make no mistake, that was a proper fish.

The ground we were fishing over is just sublime - extremely shallow, with lots of weed patches, gullies, holes and rock patches, and it just smells of big fish. The kind of terrain I dream about fishing over, and it has thrown up a number of decent fish for us on this trip (that's James above with a nice fish from this mark). We have been getting all kinds of weather that has been for the most part blowing out a lot of the open coast marks around here, but with the local lads so kindly helping us out we have been getting into the fish on some of the more sheltered spots. And it's a fish like the one that Andy hooked that is a part of the reason why this part of Ireland gets me going so much.

So of course we head back there today. I am punching this IMA/DUO Nabarone 125 into the wind to try and cover as much ground as possible. I know I should be using this lure a whole lot more because it absolutely flies out there, and it's got one hell of an awesome tight kind of very intense rolling action if that makes any sense. It is not easy to describe lure actions is it ?!! I am holding my rod tip up to force the Nabarone up a bit more and make it swim as shallow as possible. Now there was a distinct reason why I was using this lure, in fact it was the exact same one you can see above - but more to come on that in due course. All I do know is that I have sent out an SOS to Cian and James at Absolute Fishing in Tramore to drop me in some more when they are heading down to fish with us tomorrow. Here's why.......

I go and hook a train. The fish hits harder than any bass has ever done to me before. OK, so I have hardly been seriously at this lure fishing thing for a very long time, but no bass has ever slammed into any lure of mine like this one did. Rod goes over, fish then comes to the surface and thrashes about a bit, and then it tries to run in exactly the direction I was kind of hoping she might not. If it had gone right then perhaps the title of this blog post might read a little differently, but the bass chose to go left and run my braid straight over some nice sharp rocks. At least the braid cut nice and clean !! Fish and lure gone, hence the SOS for another one. Gutted. The guys landed a bunch more bass as the tide cleared out, but for me I was left to lick my wounds and think about what I might have done differently. Yes, I have not been a bass angler all my life, but as a part of my job I am sometimes around plenty of big fish, and I do know when a decent fish turns up. That bass I hooked was up there with Andy's. Ger straight away told me that he had seen my fish hit and then come up on the surface, and even he was a little bit impressed at the size of it. Another day, another lure, perhaps another chance one day at connecting with and then perhaps landing a bass like the one I lost today. Or the one that did Andy yesterday. There is nowhere like Ireland if you ask me, and this coastline we are slowly starting to get our heads around has just about the most insane amount of bass fishing that you could possibly imagine. Still gutted though........