Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Do you believe in keeping it quiet how you catch your fish?

If there is one thing that catching bass on these white senkos at night via a simple and pretty rapid retrieve has thrown up for me, it’s the whole divulging fishing techniques and information thing - or not. Now it’s a given of course that all of us here do as much as we can to protect and hide where we go fishing - for whatever reasons I grant you, but I guess top of the list if the simple fact that we don’t live in very big countries and our fish populations are under severe pressures already, and we would prefer to fish without a heap of other anglers around and have the best possible chance at landing a few fish. But that’s not the point here………

Monday night, 10.30pm, 70cm bass for Mark, white senko on a straight retrieve

Monday night, 10.30pm, 70cm bass for Mark, white senko on a straight retrieve

Do you believe in keeping it quiet the actual how you catch your fish? I choose not to of course, but I wonder with anglers who do choose to keep techniques quiet - what are their reasons for doing so? I must respect the fact that some anglers do, indeed it matters not at the end of the day if an angler wants to talk about how they catch their fish or not, but it interests me why somebody would choose not to divulge fishing techniques. Whereas the internet has given many of us a “voice” as such, you’re always going to have a percentage of anglers who quite happily do their own thing, keep themselves to themselves, and simply fly under the radar. Not for me though.

The flipside for me these days is how easy and rewarding it is to share information - and note the word “share” here. When the internet works well, I love how easy it is to put information out there, start dialogues, and at the end of the day often end up learning a whole heap more than you knew in the first place - with the end result being the same goals as always - to catch more and bigger fish oneself, to learn more and become a better angler, to try and help other anglers out and in turn be helped out oneself by doing so, and to try in some small and most likely insignificant way to inspire more people into loving their fishing and in turn passing information on themselves. Does that make any sense?

I think I understand keeping how one catches fish a secret, or at least quiet, but I guess I’m not wired that way. I was asked recently for example why I would choose to talk about catching fish on white senkos in the dark, and my reply had to be “but why not?” I find it massively exciting how fishing is always developing, and being part of something like lure fishing that evolves like this is in my mind such a wonderful opportunity to share information, learn from other anglers, and then keep on putting that information out there in a continual cycle if you like. I was shown how to fish these white senkos at night and I am feeling more and more confident with them, and if talking about using those daftly simple straight bits of soft plastic can ever help just a few more anglers catch a few more fish, then I think that’s just brilliant. OK, so if the guy who first introduced me to using the white senkos as night like he does asked me categorically not to divulge what he’s doing then of course I would have respected his wishes, but this guy happens to believe what I do - why not yap about it? What harm could there possibly be in talking about how we catch fish?

I guess that some of you here do in fact like to keep your techniques quiet, and I must respect that. You might be right and I may well be wrong (and the other way round), but I’ll give you an example of freely divulging information which resulted in so many of us now enjoying catching these fish on lures like we now do, and perhaps even take for granted like it’s been going on for many years. Smashing wrasse on soft plastics - now as much as we all used to catch the odd wrasse “by mistake” on a livebait or lures (and perhaps a different bunch of anglers were actually doing so but choosing to keep it quiet), it was a few lads in Jersey who “decoded” if you like the fact that wrasse are in fact a species of fish that are more than happy to chow lures if you fish them in a certain way. Now these forward thinking and talented anglers could of course have chosen to keep their revelations quiet and gone on bashing wrasse on lures and we’d have been none the wiser. Would other people have stumbled upon soft plastics being so deadly for wrasse if you really target them? Quite possibly in time, but the simple and unselfish fact is that these Jersey lads chose to use the power of the internet to (freely) put their information out there - and the rest is history if you like. And I am forever in their debt.

We are all different and we choose to go about things in so many different ways. That question I was asked has really got me thinking because I guess I just don’t question my urge if you like to be very open about how we go about our fishing - and of course, please bear in mind here that there are any number of far more talented anglers than me out there who are choosing to do the same thing, or conversely choosing not to put any information out there. And it matters not. If I caught a 20lb bass tomorrow I’d be secret squirrel ninja about where I actually caught it, of course, but I’d be shouting from the rooftops about how I actually caught it because it might actually help a few people out to go and catch an even bigger bass. Somebody’s going to take that technique as such and improve upon it, and then I must hope that they in turn share the information back to us lot and we continue the circle.

So for me the fundamental question here is this - the angler who chooses to keep how he or she catches fish “secret” as such (and of course there is no problem with this, it’s just that I don’t) - where did that angler learn about their fishing? Did they invent it for themselves from day one of picking up a fishing rod and wondering how on earth it actually works, or were they helped along the way as I guess we all were in some way? One can of course then choose to put your own information out there as you learn more about fishing (me), or you can of course choose not to - it matters not, but people fascinate me and how we are all so different in life of course translates to how we are with our fishing. Isn’t fishing so damn awesome though because it’s got room for us all?