Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

I highly recommend touching an electric fence with your head

So you haven't commando rolled under an Irish (juiced-up) electric fence, went to get back up a little early and touched the frigging thing with your forehead? You don't know what you're missing, seriously, it's something else - the things that happen when we are fishing eh? Shocking. Sorry.

I chucked my lure rod over the fence into some lovely long grass, and next over was my camera bag. I kept my HPA lure bag strapped around me as I reckoned my special forces training would enable me to successfully commando roll under the electric fence without touching it. Crumbs if there is one thing that Irish farmers love it's their electric fences and vintage tractors. Well I didn't quite pull the timing of the roll off, as in it's pretty handy if you are well under and away from the electric fence before you pop your head up to check you are well under and away from it!!

I don't know where I went, but for a split second I wasn't here. That frigging fence zapped me right on the corner of my forehead and next thing I know I'm asking Steve what happened and he's starting to double up in hysterics - if a few more of the lads I know had been with us I am pretty sure I'd have been responsible for them all being physically sick from laughing so much. Steve says he saw a big spark between my forehead and the fence, then I looked blank for a second and asked him what happened. What is it with fishing and the propensity for things to go wrong? And of course we can't help but fall about laughing when stuff like this happens.

We get back to the car, strap the rods to the Vac-Racs, dump the bags in the back, and I see Steve sending a text message on his phone. "Who's the text to Steve?" "Oh, just my girlfriend." Does the bloke think I was born yesterday? Does Steve think I don't know that he's texting a certain tackle shop owner in Tramore to tell him all about my arc of light incident!! I can only hope that this tackle shop owner is making himself ill from laughing so hard, and sure enough I soon get a text that is making what he thinks are clever comments about shocking times etc. Aren't mates a bunch of tits??!! Obviously if it had been the other way round I would never have done exactly the same thing!! I can still bring myself to tears thinking about a certain Japanese lure importer/distributor falling on a (seriously juiced-up) north Kerry electric fence after one of the lamest attempts at a jump across a fence that I have ever seen.

Anyway, the fishing - it's been pretty tough for the most part, but we've caught fish and covered some serious ground. I got my backside handed to me on a plate last night when Steve just hammered the bass, but I will tell you about that next week. Yesterday morning we fished a mark as the tide ebbed, and we pushed further and further along as the ground just got more and more brutal and perfect for bass fishing. There's a load of awesome ground out here, but I had never pushed so far around on this spot and I would put it up there as some of the most incredible bass fishing terrain I have ever seen. And talk about brutal walking - the kind of slippery, boulder-strewn, deep hole infested, careful not to wade over the top of your waders kind of ground that lure anglers dream about. One bad slip and it's broken ankle time, that sort of place, and I just love it - no electric fences either!!

OK, so we had east winds and mostly driving rain, so not only was it not great for photography, but it's hardly the most ideal bass fishing conditions either. When you're seeing ground like that though and banking it up for the future, well I can't help but love mornings like that. Steve took a fish off the top on his beloved Patchinko and then pretty quickly hooked a much better bass which went straight around a rock - after much back and forth, the fish broke Steve's leader and the air was rent asunder of course. When we came back to this spot later on, Steve had a close look at where that bass had run - right into a small through-cave!! How well do these predators we obsess over know their domains? Not only did the bass run around a rock, but it also went into that through-cave in an effort to shed the lure.

I nailed this 6.5lbs bass the other day in the driving rain, hence the angle of the photograph which was me with an umbrella stuffed down my waders taking a photo of Steve kindly holding the fish. You can probably guess the lure, as in we were bumping soft plastics down the current and the bass did that classic bang, keep fishing the lure (B...k M....w), and then the fish smashes it. I see all kinds of arguments for and against a lure like the Fiiish Black Minnow - too soft (the whole point?), should be cheaper, fiddly to rig, whatever, but on the flip-side I continue to see them hammer fish after fish after fish. Can there simply be something about a lure that turns fish on that little bit more than others? Enjoy your weekend and make sure to commando roll properly.