Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

It fries my brain when you’ve been catching nothing on a certain lure or technique, so you change things up, and bang, a bass jumps on the end

I went out fishing the other morning and to be perfectly honest it was more a case of simply wanting to be out there on the coastline rather than feeling hugely confident of seeing a bunch of bass - flat calm, the tides weren’t particularly special, and of course it’s getting brighter much earlier. How good does it sometimes feel to simply be out there though, and if you’re out there fishing then at least there’s a chance…………..

Anyway, so I’m fishing as dawn breaks and it feels to me like a surface lure could be just the job. The lure I turned to doesn’t really matter because I am sure you all have your own go-to surface lures that you carry with you, but these days I find myself turning to what I think is the absolutely lethal Whiplash Factory Spittin’ Wire. Confidence of course is key to what you end up clipping or tying on and chucking out there, and for me this not easy to get hold of not exactly “budget” Spittin’ Wire gives me a huge amount of confidence.


So I’ve got a lot of confidence in my lure but not exactly a huge amount of confidence in the conditions. Still, I’m out fishing, there is nobody else around, and the world looks pretty damn stunning as first light creeps up from behind the cliffs. There is no getting away from how hypnotic it is to watch a surface lure working across the top, indeed I do wonder if this getting almost locked down into being able to see your lure working can sometimes cause us to persist with topwater fishing when perhaps another method might produce some fish.

Which is kind of what I am doing - enjoying fishing with a surface lure and being able to watch it weave and spit from side to side and obviously hoping that my Spittin’ Wire gets unceremoniously inhaled by a bass so big I’m going to struggle to fit it into my camera lens. I am fishing on my own and I have made the decision that this is my best shot at nailing a fish or two, but because I am on my own there can only be the one method and/or lure presented to any potential fish - and I don’t know the way you are wired, but when it’s just the one angler and therefore the one lure or method and things are quiet, I am always going to wonder if a different approach might well do the trick.


A while later and after sod all has even bumped into my surface lure by mistake, it’s time for a change. For sure I could dig into my lure box and change surface lures for a different one, but would it really make that much difference? I am on my own so I will never completely know, but it feels to me like it’s worth a change to something sub-surface, and with how clear the water is and how bright it’s starting to get, I’m going to turn to a 6’’ long OSP DoLive Stick. You might well have turned to something different, but again it’s a confidence thing - a number of times last year I clipped on a white DoLive Stick in bright conditions and caught bass. So I clip on a white DoLive Stick and whack it out over the shallowish rough ground. As with a good surface lure, I enjoy watching how when you catch a DoLive Stick just right it kind of arcs out perfectly without wobbling or deviating in its flight, and then when it splashes down I am now fishing again with confidence renewed.

And isn’t it bloody typical? A few twitch, twitch, pauses into my first retrieve with a different lure and indeed method, and bang, everything goes gloriously tight and I strike into a fish. Okay, so at 3lbs+ it wasn’t exactly going to break any records, but my morning was made and I could head for home later on a happy angler - who also can’t stop thinking about whether I persisted with a surface lure for too long to start with, because when a bass hits you first cast after a lure/technique change, my brain is full on bouncing with questions such as were there more fish around but they simply didn’t feel inclined to hit a surface lure that particular morning, and so on. If we had all the answers then of course we would not be out there in the first place, trying to find answers to these questions that fishing raises. I love it…………….

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