Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

It's the most amazing thrill to help people catch fish, laugh, and have a good time

Even when you’ve got east winds, flat calm seas and you’re praying for a decent bit of swell in the middle of October on the south west coast of Ireland (yes, I know, it’s mad), this whole guiding/helping people out with their fishing is one of the most thrilling and rewarding things I have ever been lucky enough to do within my working in fishing career. Getting to work with John Quinlan and his wife Lynn around their rather excellent Thatch Cottage Fishing Lodge is pretty damn cool on its own, but being around anglers in such a truly wonderful corner of the world and watching grown men giggle like school children at catching a few fish is like the icing on a bloody good cake………

I have been looking forward to these two October trips for a long time now, and whilst we caught a fair few fish, there’s no getting away from how some (rare and very unlucky) late summer red tide has obviously done something to the amount of bait that I know John would expect to see around his part of Kerry at this time of year especially - and as much as we as anglers kinda expect certain fish to be around at certain time of the year, they ain’t coming close inshore for a bit of fun. If the food isn’t there they are going to find it elsewhere. We saw bass every day and we had some good pollack fishing as well, but again I come away from one of these Irish co-guiding trips with the amount of laughter and giggling at the forefront of my mind almost more than the actual fish we caught.

I love it, I really do. Sure, you want your clients to be catching big bass all day long, but I am also always hoping that our people can leave us having had a huge amount of fun however the fishing went, and if they also learnt a bit more about lure fishing along the way whilst surrounded by such a special place, then I feel we can do no more. I know how Kerry can fish when it fires, and I am absolutely loving the whole getting to learn and better understand the fishing, but to be honest it still freaks me out just how much coastline there is that isn’t being fished. Nobody could deny that bass stocks Europe wide are in trouble, but do we all stop going fishing because it isn’t like it was during the good old days? I am not remotely burying my head in the sand and hoping that we suddenly get a load more big bass to catch, but I still maintain that there’s some pretty decent lure fishing out there when things come together, and still for me there is a huge, almost “romantic” appeal to bass fishing in Ireland.

Anyway, that’s my work with John Quinlan done for the year. We have worked out dates for some 2016 trips and I can’t wait for them to get going again - if of course we secure the clients. There are no givens in this line of work, but wow it’s some buzz, and I have an incredible amount of respect for professional fishing guides who do a professional job. My apologies for the lack of blog posts recently, but it’s some hectic work with very little downtime. I am on the way back home now and hoping for some bouncing bass conditions to get my local coastline going.