Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

I blanked, and I loved every single second of it

On Saturday morning I didn’t catch a fish let alone get a meaningful hit off a bass, but I loved every single second of it. Sure, we all want to catch a load of decent fish, but do you find that sometimes the place and conditions and way you are actually fishing combine to give you such a sense of excitement that not ending up landing any fish doesn’t remotely bug you? Everything felt so damn good I was expecting a hit literally every time my lure came through the water, but I left the actual catching to Mark!

We’d been watching the forecast for a few days and then checking the swell predictions on Magic Seaweed, and every single thing was pointing to this particular spot being in perfect condition for a few hours on Saturday morning’s ebb tide. Even if all that stuff comes together though, you’ve still got to hope there are a few fish around, and you then have to trust that one or both of you are going to be in the right place at the right time fishing the right way to catch some of them……….

Which Mark was, and I very evidently wasn’t! I know that banging surface lures out and seeing bass smash into them is about as good as it gets, but increasingly I would put fishing with soft plastics that have no extra added weight (weedless/weightless) on a lighter rod and reel setup up there with surface work, and especially when you have those fizzy conditions over perfectly stunning broken ground that could almost be a poster for where to go looking for bass. Hard lures are obviously always going to be a big part of my bass fishing, and especially with some of the conditions and locations we all like fishing, but it’s such a different feeling when you are retrieving a hard lure and a bass nails it to when you are “deftly” working a weedless/weightless rigged soft plastic on a lighter setup especially. As I have said many times on here before, never in a month of Sundays could I ever have imagined how varied and absorbing lure fishing for bass could really be. Talk about all consuming.

Is it the glorious directness of this way of fishing that is so exciting? On the one hand you’ve got the sight and drama of all that fizzing water tumbling around the rocks and reefs combined with the actual technique we are using, and then at night on the white senkos you take that sight element away and it’s the feel side of this type of fishing that is heightened even more. I love watching a fish smash into a surface lure, but holy cow I also lust after that jolt when a bass hits a soft plastic that you the angler are helping bring to life. Maybe it’s a tap, tap and you need to keep moving it to induce a proper take, or perhaps it’s one of those hits which is almost so shocking that you’re into the bass before you fully realise what is going on. Wow it floats my boat, and that’s even without my managing to bother any actual bass on my part on Saturday morning!

Now I accept completely that there have to be a few soft plastics out there that do the same or indeed better job than the OSP DoLive Stick, but from my own messing around with stuff, I haven’t yet found another “twitchbait” style soft plastic lure that gives me the perfect combination of casting weight (15g rigged on a weedless hook, and they frigging fly), “grip” into some surprisingly lively seas, durability, and whilst I blanked on Saturday morning, every single time I’ve got a DoLive Stick clipped or indeed tied on the end of my leader I feel about as confident as it’s possible to feel. I feel pretty confident saying that Mark feels the same way as he caught his bass on Saturday on the 6’’ DoLive Stick, plus had a potentially tidier fish run his leader over a nice sharp bit of reef. As I said, I didn’t catch a damn thing, but those few hours will live long in my memory.

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