Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Have you changed much as an angler ?

If I think back to say when I first came to Plymouth and started at the university, I could not see how life could get any better. Finally I was able to completely indulge my obsession with fishing and basically fish as much as I wanted to - which back then was nearly all the time. My girlfriend (now wife) was up the road at Exeter uni, and she was never the kind of girl who was remotely interested in hassling me to fish less. Even when we finished uni and she came to live with me in Plymouth, she never had a problem with me fishing one hell of a lot - ok, I do remember fishing for 14 nights on the trot late one autumn, but I only got a bit of grief because I got so overtired and foul tempered (who, me ?) that I literally passed out on the fifteenth night and had to give in. Back then I thought that I would be fishing those methods and for those species for ever. The thought of not fishing much with 6oz beachcasters never really crossed my mind - mullet fishing and deep-spinning for pollack excepted.

Now what this blog post is NOT is some kind of me having a go at anglers who don't want to try different things. Some people are more than happy to fish "the UK way" for ever and ever, and if you think about it, what on earth is wrong with this ? Nothing at all. We live in the UK and we need to fish in certain ways to catch certain species of fish. I am only asking the question "have you changed much as an angler ?" because from time to time I think about where I am now, and where I used to be, and I then look around at people I know and wonder where we all might be in say another 10 years time.

If you had said to me 15 years ago that I would have basically gone completely over to light tackle fishing then I would most likely have muttered something unsavoury under my breath at you. Me ? Me NOT heading out multiple times a week under the cover of darkness to chase huss, rays, cod, congers, etc. ? Not possible. The thought never even entered my head for one second back then. "The UK way" of shore fishing is just awesome, but perhaps it's life that changes first, and then we adapt our own fishing to suit a changing life. Or perhaps we don't..........

If I think about it now, I suppose that a fundamental change in my own preferred ways of going fishing was inevitable as my life changed. As I said earlier, I have never had hassle from my wife (then girlfriend) to not go out fishing. Fishing has never been an escape for me, but work is work, and my work tends to be fairly hectic. I love my work, but we all need to pay the (ever increasing) bills. I also have two young girls that I want to spend time with - and again, if you had asked me say 15 years ago whether I could possibly imagine having a family being as much fun as it is then I would have fallen about laughing. But it is, and I love just hanging out with my family and doing fun stuff.

But the above is a matter of not having as much time as I used to to actually go out fishing, plus as much as I am completely and utterly obsessed with this magical sport, I don't want to go out fishing as much as I used to. Less tends to mean more me to these days if that makes sense. There are various reasons I can think of for me not using 6oz beachcasters much if at all these days, but primarily for me this light tackle lure fishing especially has given me the opportunity to go right back to the drawing board and force myself to almost learn about fishing all over again - and like with all kinds of fishing, sometimes the amount more I need to learn to try and keep getting better almost overwhelms me. But it also excites me hugely, and I guess for me that change is important to really keep my interest levels high and to stimulate the old brain cells. My fishing is so wrapped up with my photography as well, and lure fishing can just look so awesome when the light and conditions are right. Sure, so can "UK style" shore fishing, but the continual movement in lure fishing reminds me so much of fly fishing, and both are fantastically photogenic ways of fishing. Fly fishing and lure fishing combining ? We haven't even started yet...........

And if all this deep and meaningful Monday morning stuff is not enough to keep you on the straight and narrow, then do yourself a favour and navigate your way to this web page here - scroll down and click on their online lure fishing catalogue. I am lucky enough to call a number of people within the trade my friends, and these guys are just fantastic people - and they are out and out lure junkies like many of us here. Who, me ? I bear no responsibility for what happens if you spend too much time looking at a lure catalogue like this...........

Henry Gilbey8 Comments