Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

I dream about doing a bass fishing book

I can't help it, but I do fairly regularly dream about doing a book on bass fishing. I don't dream about producing the definitive technical manual on how to go bass fishing, firstly because I don't feel remotely qualified to do it, and secondly because there is plenty of good information out there that is and has been produced by anglers with a far higher set of skills than me. Nope, my dream bass fishing book would be all about inspiration - trying to get across to other anglers the inspiration, the drive, the breathlessness, the obsession that bass fishing gives to me - via a mixture of photography and words. Is a book like this remotely feasible ? I like to think so, but in my heart I know that it's pretty unlikely.............


To me, lure fishing for bass and fly fishing are one and the same. I grant you that the fishing methods are somewhat different, but fishing for me is about visuals, and the sense of movement, fluidity and continually doing something, that is where I see the link. Coming from a bait fishing background I completely get it, and at times it can be stunning to photograph - over a longer period though, it's the types of fishing that have plenty of movement and I suppose more angler participation that serve both my creative and my fishing side. Lure fishing gives me the same thrill as fly fishing when it comes to photography, and for me that is massively important.


Hence my dreaming about doing a bass fishing book. I accept that I am biased because I love doing it, but sometimes when I am around lure or fly fishing, the light, location and angler movements for want of a better word can come together so well that I start hyperventilating at so badly wanting to capture it as best I can via my cameras. I want to make the fishing I get to see look as visually impressive as I can with the skills (or lack of !!) that I have within me. I love my magazine work, doing this blog gives me a buzz like you would not believe, and I put photos up on FB etc. - but having written and photographed three books, I still maintain that there is nothing like opening a book and being assaulted by strong visuals. And I don't mean to say that my books are remotely like that, rather I think that fishing is so awesome it deserves to look the best it possibly can.


I would seriously doubt that any other fishing photographer out there has a library of bass fishing images like I have here - it is massive, and it keeps on growing, indeed the storage of data my end is a constant headache. Obviously I back my own material because I am passionate about what I do and I have to have faith in my abilities with a camera, but as with any photographer, the more you are out there, the more you are in with a shout at being in the right place at the right time, both with the light and conditions and of course the fish. And the creative side of me would just kill to try and create a bass fishing book that served to inspire those who opened it up and decided to lose themselves within.


Can it ever happen though ? As I said, I dream about it. I have worked in fishing for long enough to be at least somewhat realistic, and as much as me as a photographer and writer might froth at the mouth about how awesome certain kinds of fishing look, if you nailed it down and come the end of it your potential customer is then asked to drop say £20-30 on what would be a coffee-table style tome, would they (you) pay ? I don't think so. Sadly it does come down to your target audience and finding a publishing house willing to back a project like this - and the bigger the publishers, the more copies need to be sold to make it worthwhile etc.


But never have we been so in control of what we can and can't do with this sort of stuff these days. Perhaps a book like this should just be done as an e-book and then given away for free ? That idea appeals, but with the time it would take me to do it properly (and I know zero about design etc.) I have no choice but to try and at least cover my costs. Lure fishing for bass may be growing, but it's not as big as you think it is, and to me a book like this would have to be translated into different European languages to help make it more viable. Who knows though ? I like to dream, and dreams do sometimes become realities.


Anyway, there you go, that's where I am at with it. Would a book like this actually make the blindest bit of difference ? No, of course not, but I can but dream of trying to ensure that in some small way I can help put across that which obsesses me in the best possible light I can, hoping that just perhaps my being so inspired by it might sow the seeds in others..........


Anyway, you all have a good weekend and let's hope these forecasted storms aren't as bad as they say. I can't believe the Six Nations is here again, and after the extreme disappointment of the winter cricket down in Australia, here's hoping that England really are on the right road. I am excited about the potential dynamism in the team, albeit I worry about the lack of experience. Plenty of credit to Stuart Lancaster who strikes me as a thoroughly decent and talented human being. France tomorrow afternoon is going to be intense !!

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