Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

It fascinates me how in such a small country we have such pronounced differences in our bass seasons

I can get my head around the striped bass migration and how different the timings can be with being able to catch those fish in a country as vast as the USA, but then you compare our little coastline and it continues to fascinate me how varied our localised bass fishing seasons can be. Take right now for example - are you still chucking lures at bass and realistically hoping to catch, or have you mothballed your gear until next spring?


I don’t know how many of you have had a very up and down year on the bass - one week it’s fishing great and the next it feels like a marine desert out there - but whatever does or does not happen on the bass fishing front I look forward to November, December and into January all year. Sure, I’d love an almost permanent summer because I do like a bit of warm weather, but much like the days when I obsessed about catching cod from the shore, I find myself looking forward to right now nearly all year………

Is it a case of conditions only preventing longer seasons, or are the bass really moving on from certain parts of the UK because the water is starting to cool down and perhaps various bait species have moved elsewhere? It was really interesting speaking with different anglers at that brand new European Sport Fishing Show the other day - some lads for example fancy their chances of catching bass nearly all year long from the boat if they get favourable seas, yet their local shore based lure fishing opportunities ain’t happening now because the water clarity is shot to pieces with the winter weather.

I also wonder if the traditional bass fishing seasons as such still pervade - are there some lure anglers out there who mothball their gear more because they always have done say towards the end of autumn? And could these same lure anglers still find some good fishing out there if they kept at it? And of course there is the argument that it’s also very healthy to mothball the gear and go chase some different fish on a bit of bait or whatever. Never for one second could I have imagined how these bass could so take over my fishing life!

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As much as I look forward to this time of year, just because I live in Cornwall doesn’t mean that I am not bound by conditions. We had a winter not very long ago when it essentially blew a monster all winter long and the coastline was a frothing mess for months on end and you couldn’t get at it with lures. If fishing requires us to be eternal optimists, then as much as I love the start of winter for bass fishing, if anything I check the weather forecast now more often than I usually would. I’ll take those calm, cold nights for night fishing, and I’ll take a very fishable bit of bounce like we had yesterday morning when the birds were working on bait, the bass were around, and everything just felt so alive. I love this time of year………..