Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

It amazes me how bass can locate lures in some pretty hectic conditions

On our last evening over in Kerry the other day, John and I took our clients to a little bay because we needed to try and find some clean water - with all the rain we had got, Ballinskelligs Bay was in bad shape, but John’s knowledge of his coastline found our clients some good looking water and we could at least get them bass fishing with a decent degree of confidence.

Now bear in mind firstly that they are fishing in the dark, and secondly that there is a fairly large swell rolling in on a slightly more than gently sloping beach - which means we can’t have them wading out in case the water rolling back down the beach after a surge goes and knocks them off their feet when they can’t see everything going on because it’s dark. We’re talking about some pretty hectic waves rolling in further out, with those white tables of broken water rushing in at us - nice conditions but not easy to fish, and especially at night and just to get to where the bass might be is going to take a long cast before we deal with whether bass can actually home in on a lure in all that turbulence. And it’s dark remember……..

Now I’ve said it before on here - my co-guiding work with John I believe makes me a better angler, and bear in mind that I am never actually fishing with the clients. You know my feelings on “guides” fishing with their clients - you ain’t guiding if you are fishing with them, end of, but that’s not the point here. Nope, because I get to stand back and see so much of what is going on, what then sometimes unfolds can’t help but hit home to me in a different way to if I am actually doing the fishing myself, and especially when something happens that I haven’t seen before. Talk about filing stuff away in head.

Via my recent blog posts, you can probably guess the one lure that John wanted our clients to fish with - yes, the (discontinued) Bass Bullet. They needed to get a fairly long way out and we simply can’t get regular hard lures out far enough. Bear in mind as well that the guys are blasting out those (fast sinking) Bass Bullets and then cranking them in at a pretty fast speed to get them up on the surface - at night remember. They are not working the rods at all and all the lure is doing is skipping and splashing across the top, but of of course we can’t hear or see the lures actually fishing because of the crashing waves. Would you be confident in taking a bass off the top on a fast moving surface fished lure at night and in some pretty hectic conditions?

Well that one single bass around the 5.5lb mark that Andy caught will stick with me forever, and I didn’t even get to see the fish because I was working with two other guys further along the beach. OK, so it wasn’t exactly a fish a chuck, but the simple fact that a decent bass managed to locate that simple kind of lure in those hectic conditions, and at night, well if that doesn’t get in my head as an angler then nothing will. By no means have I fully got to grips with chucking lures at night for bass, but if there is one thing that has struck home to me the last couple of years especially is to stop treating night fishing with lures as some big thing that revolves around doing everything completely differently. Since I said balls to that, I have caught more bass at night on lures. Nope, as ever it’s us human beings applying our logic if you like to the natural world, and just because we can’t see at night, we then think the fish can’t see or feel our lures in the water, and especially when conditions get a bit hectic. Crumbs, if I had known how fascinating lure fishing was, I’d have got into it many years before I did!