Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

Incroyable p?â?¬che au bar

Roughly translated to "holy cow, that has got to be close to if not actually the most awesome bass fishing I have ever seen" - yesterday morning the swell had dropped just enough to let Matt get us in as close as possible to some huge rock heads for the better bass, and once again this magical island and the tempestuous waters surrounding it just floored Nick and I with the sheer insanity of the fishing. There is no other way to put it other than between the three of us we absolutely smashed the bass, indeed on at least three occasions the three of us were hooked into bass at the same time - and bear in mind of course that I can't fish as hard as Matt and Nick because I am on photo duty and must keep pulling away from the fishing. I got some pretty cool stuff, but still my overriding frustration is that I know I can't get across how extreme the conditions were via the medium of a simple still photograph - for that I know I would need to be in another boat and shoot the guys fishing with a long lens. Another time..........

I have been with the Jersey lads when they fished close to rock heads for bass, but yesterday the difference was that over the top of these heads were massive breaking waves, and all around us was a seething maelstrom of ocean the like of which a few days I ago I could never imagine that people would actually take a boat into. The first time Matt took the boat close in almost to the base of the breaking wave you have Nick and I once again looking at each other with slightly "worried" faces on, but then you cast a Black Minnow right at the base of the rock and get nailed by a bass as it drops down and your fears miraculously disappear. Fish fever I guess.

I dread to think how many bass were caught yesterday morning - you essentially had one really good cast first off when Matt pulled the boat in as tight as he dared to the breaking waves. Put that lure right in close to the base of the rock and almost every time you would end up with a bass, and then as the boat pulled away in the current we would wind in and wait as Matt brought the boat around once more. The water was not very deep and both Nick and I were fishing as Matt was - blast the Black Minnow at the structure, snap the bale-arm over and then maintain that tight line as the lure sinks. Occasionally put a twitch on the lure, but mostly you are fishing on the drop and striking at the bites. Electric. Kind of reminded me of shore fishing but from a boat - casting at visible structure. Wildly exciting bass fishing the like of which I have never done before - Matt had the biggest bass at around the 12lb mark, and we had masses of other fish between I suppose 4-8lbs. I understand from some recent research and conversations that fishing sink and draw methods with shads/paddletails is actually more prevalent in the UK when it comes to bass fishing than I thought, but I have never seen any photos of written accounts of the kind of bass fishing that a few of these French guys get up to from time to time. I know that fishing at structure is of course done a lot, but it strikes me that some of these French lads have taken it to the extreme when it comes to the tides and conditions they are prepared to fish - I feel so lucky to have experienced it.

It's incredibly kind of these Fiiish lads to have us over for this trip. I love how working in fishing gives me the chance to meet so many different people, and this trip came about from simply yapping to the guys at the T&G show and then following through with the plans to the point that Nick and I were really and actually on a RIB blasting through some turbulent French waters. Matt and Fred have gone out of their way to give Nick and I an experience that we will never forget and already I can't wait to come back. A huge thank guys. Ile D'Ouessant is one seriously awesome place and I have no doubt that around this almost ridiculously rugged coastline there is some awesome shore fishing as well. We pulled into a bay yesterday afternoon and hammered silly numbers of wrasse for example - I put on your "typical" Texas rig with a senko but quickly changed back to a little Black Minnow when Matt and Nick were catching masses more wrasse than me. I know they are not the cheapest lure around, but I don't personally think I will be going wrasse fishing again without a couple of the 90mm size in my lure box. Do you know the thing that struck me almost the most on this trip ? How cool must it be to have come up with the idea and design of your own lure, prototyped, tested and refined it, gambled on taking it to market like the Fiiish guys did at Nantes in 2010 I believe, and then found out that French lure anglers did actually want to buy them in sufficient numbers to make a proper business out of it - but above all for me is designing your own lure "system" and then catching fish after fish after fish on them. And proper fish as well. And then seeing other anglers catching all kinds of big fish on them. How much of a thrill must that be ? Anyway, today we are heading back from Ouessant to Brest and then driving to Roscoff to catch the afternoon ferry back to Plymouth. We have been incredibly lucky with the weather we have had in November and this trip has left me with so many ideas, plans and also a huge number of photos to edit and keyword on the ferry journey home. No rest for the wicked.........