Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Does it wreck your head when you see a bass follow but then turn away from your lure?

Talk about timing. I was at my desk a week or so ago, thinking about bass fishing and various ideas for blog posts, and something that has been gestating for a while in my head got me thinking about a blog post for this week on the subject of “follows” from bass. You know when you suddenly see a bass following your lure but it then turns away?

So my mobile goes off while I'm thinking about this and it's my mate Mark who proceeds to tell me about his brief try for bass that morning. He didn't catch (it is February after all), but he did see a bass clear as day follow his DoLive Stick in and then turn away. A follow. Exactly what I had been thinking about myself. Timing eh?

Anyway, I don't know about you, but as much as seeing a bass coming in on your lure is always a heart-stopper, if it turns away from the lure and heads off somewhere else, well this tends to wreck my head for the simple fact that it leaves so many unanswered questions via that one single moment. It’s not just that the fish you saw didn’t hit the lure - I'm working on the assumption that if you can see the bass then it has seen you - it's also a case for me that my head gets wrecked because I can't help wondering how many times the fish we chase might be turning away from our lures much further out but we aren't actually seeing it………..

Which in turn makes me wonder what I am doing wrong. You know those times when you thrash the water to a foam in perfect conditions and tides but come away fishless? Obviously there were no fish there says your head, but were there? You know when you fish say a hard lure for most of a session, don’t get a single sniff, then change to say a soft plastic and you hook a bass straight away? How often are there bass out there that are on the hunt for food but we as anglers are not putting lures in front of them that they want to hit? Or how often are bass out there but not switched on into a feeding mode? And so on.

OK, so whilst in some respects a follow and non-committal wrecks my head with the questions it asks of me, of course it’s us trying to beat nature and coming up short because we will never come close to understanding it all. If we had all the answers then fishing would not be the challenge that it is, and as much as I hope that I have learnt about fishing over the years, I happen to take great comfort if you like at how much more there is still to learn. By nature I am pretty black and white, but fishing surely is beset with so many grey areas that we simply don’t understand? Why would what seems to be a hungry fish rush in so enthusiastically on our lure but then turn away? Is it simply natural instinct that something is wrong? As ever, I choose to ignore those anglers who purport to have all the answers, because I simply don’t believe that it’s possible. Is it in fact a healthy dose of cabin fever that wrecks the head more than anything else?

If you are into your rugby then that was one strange weekend. I had a feeling Scotland might turn Wales over, and Ireland were surely odds on to beat a resurgent France, but I can’t work out how I feel about the England Italy game. I like to think that we were never in danger of losing, and it was frustrating as hell to have that team out there and for the most part not see them play expansively, but on the other hand I have to give credit to the Italy coaching lot for coming up with a tactic that so frustrated and confused England. Isn’t it interesting how professional players get thrown a complete curve ball and take so comparatively long to figure out a way to deal with it? In the heat of battle I might add, but pressure is an interesting thing. Maybe it’s a new Eddie Jones tactic to have England still in position for a grand slam whilst playing nowhere near their potential?