Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Is it my imagination, or are there more and more lure anglers fishing for bass at night, and often catching more and bigger fish?

OK, so first off it’s apologies to those bass anglers among you that have been night fishing with lures for these fish for many years now, because you will no doubt be wondering what on earth I am on about when it’s second nature to you. To a lot of us though, night fishing with lures hasn’t been second nature for that long at all, and I am convinced through what I hear and read. that there are increasing numbers of anglers going out and deliberately fishing with lures at night for bass - and then it also seems that a lot of these anglers are catching more and bigger bass by doing so……….

Or is it more a case that more anglers are active on social media and are posting more reports of their fishing? That may well be a part of it, but I remain convinced that night fishing with lures for bass is growing and growing, and I would hazard a guess that the principal reason for more anglers doing this is because they have found that night lure fishing often produces more and bigger fish than it does during the day. By no means am I saying that night is better than day all the time, not at all in fact, but if I was to go purely on my own more recent experiences together with those anglers who I either fish with or personally know of, then having a few night fishing skills in the quiver is a complete game-changer.

There are many aspects to lure fishing that I cling to if you like, and with night fishing it was that nagging doubt that bass are going to be able to home in on my lures when there is no light to see them by. I’m way past that fear if you like by now, but I cling to those doubts because I like to try and ground myself as much as possible - and remember what it’s like to try something new when you’re just not quite sure about it.

And it seems to me that a greater percentage of anglers who fish lures for bass are spending more time out and about at night, and this of course means that more anglers are fully confident that fishing lures at night can sometimes be absolutely lethal. Believe me, via my photography work and wanting good light to work with, if I felt confident that when it went calm and clear especially I could go and smash a heap of bass during daylight hours then rest assured that is what I’d be doing, but the unavoidable fact to me is that when I get those conditions that night time is the time to be out and about. Not always, but it’s very interesting how a lifeless feeling coastline can change so much when it’s properly dark.

I got a very excited phone call off Marc Cowling yesterday morning (Marc runs South Devon Bass Guide, and we are going to be starting some co-guiding work together in a few months, dates to come) - Marc had taken a client out for some bass fishing, and whilst conditions were calm and warm, they saw fish moving around before it got dark, but hooked nothing. And then it all changed when the light disappeared, with Marc’s client landing I believe five bass up to about 5lbs on Jim’s Lures needlefish, plus plenty of other hits and a couple of really good fish that came off. Imagine now if they had not fished on into darkness - they’ve got conditions which for the most part you know are going to be tough during daylight hours, but come darkness and the game completely changes. And yes, damn right, Marc and I are talking about how best to go about making night lure fishing a part of our co-guiding packages as and when conditions dictate.

One thing I never wanted to do on this blog was do nothing but report on my own fishing sessions, but if I was to look at the bass I have caught so far this year for example, if I was not into fishing lures at night then I’d really have been struggling. It’s been up and down around here so far in 2017 as it is, but most bass I have caught on lures so far this year have come at night, with some real struggles during daylight hours, and often in tidy conditions as well. Sure, I know that in time we will smash a bunch of bass in the day when we get bouncy conditions and a decent amount of bait is inshore to help bring the predators in, but these days I catch myself laughing when I no longer dread calm and clear conditions one single bit. Nope, fishing with lures at night feels as normal to me as doing so during the day now, and I am convinced that more and more anglers are feeling exactly the same way - and on the flipside I wonder how many lure anglers there are out there who have yet to stumble upon how good bass fishing can sometimes be at night on the lures…………..

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