Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

I love that buzz of getting out there and walking around and looking for new spots to fish

I didn’t grow up by the sea and I will never lose that thrill at having all that fishing so close by and so easy to access. I don’t take it for granted but on the other hand I love how a seaside kind of life is what my two girls have known all their lives - put them on a beach and since they could first crawl they have known how to have that wonderfully simple and uncomplicated fun that spending time by the sea can be………

As with fishing we have our regular beaches that we like to go to, but also as with my fishing, I like to get my lot off the beaten track sometimes to go and find other places. Whilst I know how lucky I am to be able to go fishing so easily around here, and I also love getting to know a bunch of ground better and better the more I fish there, I guess it’s in my DNA that sometimes I need to down tools as such and go wandering. Having such easy access to the sea used to be a holiday only thing for me until I was about 19, so having it all on my doorstep since then is a thrill that has never diminished. We are all different, but for me I can’t live in a part of the world like this and not want to see more of all that coastline there is around me that I don’t know and haven’t seen and haven’t fished.

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And there’s a stretch of the Cornish coastline recently that’s been playing on my mind. I spent the odd weekend up around there many moons ago with some friends of my wife, but as much as we used to walk the coastline, I wasn’t into bass fishing back then and as such I wasn’t seeing it with “bass eyes” on. What, you’re telling me that you don’t engineer it that at least “some” of the coast walks you might do with your family aren’t bloody good excuses to check a few fishing spots out? I think I was rumbled many moons ago when my then girlfriend (now wife) and I headed out to the south Devon coast one day and I had a coil of rope over my shoulder plus a spike and club hammer - and no, I am pretty sure she never thought I was a serial killer!

Anyway, I don’t know what online resources you might use to try and get a good virtual look at some potential new fishing spots - or even if you do look for new spots - but for a start I reckon Bing Maps is far better than Google Earth for getting a good look at a coastline from above. For some reason the clarity and detail is better on Bing Maps, and there is also the option for an Ordnance Survey view on there which of course helps to show the various footpaths and parking spots.

But as helpful as all these online resources are these days, to me there’s still nothing that can beat actually getting out there and having a good walk or hike around - so that’s what I did. Last week I put Storm my sheepdog in the back of my epic Berlingo, chucked my hiking boots in along with a couple of bottles of water, set the Sat Nav for where I wanted to park up - and went for a bit of an explore. It’s the Easter holidays (and my wife and girls were away for a few days), the sun was out, it was utterly glorious out on the cliffs, and I didn’t see a soul. How lucky are we here in places like Cornwall and Devon to have free access to such an amazing resource as South West Coast Path?

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I walked about four miles or so, Storm is never happier than when out and about in the fresh air, and I saw what looks like some awesome bass fishing ground. I don’t know anybody who fishes it and I have a suspicion that with the walking involved and how getting down to the shoreline isn’t exactly straightforward that where I went looking at isn’t exactly heavily fished. I know that these days there can hardly be any “secret spots” as such, but I do love that feeling of fishing off the beaten track. 

Maybe my hunch will not pay off and where I went walking won’t produce the goods, but damn I’m going to have some fun finding out and starting to get to grips with the mass of reefs and boulders and gullies and headlands and beaches and other such bass attracting delights! I never, ever mind a blank if I am trying something different and feel that I am really learning into the bargain.

Oh, and I caught a small garfish on a lure the other evening - do I take that as a good sign? We saw mullet and garfish moving around in the shallows. Where I went for this bit of an explore last week I saw one of my favourite birds flying around, and to me it’s always a good sign when swallows turn up. Has spring sprung? Damn my cabin fever related products hope so! You all have a good weekend.