Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

First day with our clients out here in Kerry - about as calm and clear and warm and dry as it’s ever going to get out here, but there are bass around

The fishing yesterday wasn’t remotely epic, but there are many, many things I love about spending time in Kerry and being able to do this guiding work with John Quinlan - and the fact that almost whatever the conditions you get you are still in with a realistic chance at a few bass is one of the many bonuses in this magical part of the world……………

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There are a lot of very shallow reefs out here, and if there is one thing that bass seem to like when there is a distinct lack of anglers around as there always is here in Kerry is mooching around ground like this when the water is nice and warm. On the first spot we went to yesterday morning the lad above hooked and landed this bass, and on guess what lure? I must sound like a scratched record sometimes, but yes, he nailed the fish on a 6’’ DoLive Stick, indeed the only real options for fishing ground that shallow and rocky and weedy that I know of is either with a surface lure or a soft plastic rigged weedless and weightless. 

When you’re guiding you are obviously going to advise your clients to use the lure or lures which you think have the absolute best chance of catching some fish - for John and I the DoLive Stick is so often that lure. John guides for bass for much of the year here in Kerry and he sees more ground and different conditions and fish and fishy things going on than most of us, and it’s interesting how much he turns to certain lures because they keep on producing.

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One of our lads hooked a really nice bass after lunch on the white DoLive Stick in some almost outrageously bright conditions, but the fish came off for some reason, and then later on another lad got smashed up good and proper on a Fiiish Black Minnow that he really likes fishing on the shallow heads that I just haven’t done enough with.

It continues to be the most incredible buzz helping people catch fish, indeed I have to be careful not to start jumping around like I’m in the mosh pit at a metal gig when something goes and works and somebody connects with a bass. I rigged up one of our lads with one of those long-casting Spofford’s needlefish last night, but with how shallow it was in front of us the lure kept bumping the bottom at a retrieve speed I tend to like with these lures. I pulled one of those rather lovely and increasingly for me “wouldn’t be without at night” Jim’s Lures needlefish out of my box that I know is more buoyant, so we changed lures, and within a few casts Nigel got nailed good and proper about ten yards or so off his rod tip. He has never night fished for bass before and it was some buzz to have been a small part of his first ever bass at night on a lure. 

So we’re off. Conditions are not exactly easy, but there are bass around, the tides are building, we’ve got a huge area to ourselves it seems, and John and I for whatever reason are lucky enough to get some thoroughly nice people coming along on these trips who are genuinely fun to spend time with (but then anglers are for the most part some pretty cool people anyway). I still kinda pinch myself that I get to spend time out here doing this co-guiding work………..

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