Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Lure fishing for bass at night - is it always going to be better ?

I will never forget the first time I saw a whole bunch of bass being caught in the dead of night by Keith and Kevin White over in Jersey a couple of years ago. It freaked the living daylights out of me. They have really specialised in it. But does a way of fishing just automatically translate to another area, region or indeed country just because you are fishing for the same species ?

I was talking with my mate Cian of Absolute Fishing the other day. He was in the shop last week while some guys went out and smashed a big number of bass on "trotted" soft plastics in broad daylight. Cian closes up the shop that evening and heads out fishing with the same kinds of lures on the same mark, but at night. Similar tide, same conditions, but it's dark now. And not one sniff of a bass !! So why not ? The next day and a bunch more bass were caught from the same spot - during daylight hours. The night before Cian went out at night with the lures, a local angler fished the same spot at night, but with bait, and he caught a few. This location I am talking about happens to have lots and lots of current if that helps clarify things, but what's going on ?

Ain't got a clue !! Wish I did though, because I have seen how deadly lures can be at night over in Jersey, and I am convinced that with some time and effort it could kill around me here in south east Cornwall for example. But I have heard of a fair few times now when going out at night with lures in Ireland has not really done the business when the corresponding tides have fished so well during daylight hours - and yes, it's happened to me before. But why ? On some specific spots I know a few of the lads can do really well at night though, but it does seem to be very location dependant - or is it ? The more I fish in Ireland, the more I am convinced that bass fishing is just a bit different over there. As it is different here. As it is different in Jersey. I don't know why and I can't prove one way or the other, but read on..........

Keith and Kevin have jokingly said to me in the past that via my magazine articles and blog I have sort of helped further the "myth" that bass can be caught on sunny, blue-sky days. But they can. Granted, I do a lot of my bass fishing over in Ireland of course, but over there we think nothing of going bassing if the sea conditions are good when the sun is shining. I am not saying it's better, just that it can work really well. Check out a lot of the photos I shoot over there for starters. But I can't say that I hugely like big bright skies over here in south east Cornwall for example, and I know this is the case in a lot of different areas. But why does it often not matter in Ireland (with tidy conditions of course) ? What is different over there (if anything) ?

Now the guys I know over there would cheerfully admit that they have not taken lure fishing for bass at night to the kind of level that a few of the Jersey lads have for example - but perhaps because they just don't need to ? It still seems to be the case that the lads are catching more bass on lures during daylight hours though - with decent tides and good conditions. Like anywhere of course. Bear in mind that I only hear a little bit of what goes on, and I am completely open to other anglers' thoughts and personal experiences here. Is it the case that some of the Jersey lads especially feel that they have been almost forced into night fishing with lures because they quite simply catch a lot more fish if they do so ? And on the flipside, a lot of bass anglers I know in Ireland are catching a whack load of fish during daylight hours and therefore perhaps they don't feel the need to spend a lot of time on it at night.

Guys I know around here in Devon and Cornwall for the most part would not think of going bait fishing during daylight hours for bass for example - areas like the murky Bristol Channel excluded. But I have had many bait sessions during daylight hours over in Ireland where we have caught plenty of fish, indeed I have been lucky enough to have fished a few sessions over the years with Graham where we have caught so many bass on bait that I think I just giggled most of the time. Honestly, it was the kind of fishing that I thought I had been born too late to see if that makes sense. How about the sometimes insane (daylight) bait fishing for bass they get during the winter months in areas like Kerry and Dingle ? Right now in fact if the conditions are right, indeed I know that Kevin Brain in Waterville guided a client to a 10lb plus fish just the other day. Oh, and a guy caught a 10 ½lb bass on a lure from the Tramore coastline just last week - during the day.......

Of course there is a lot of serious quality bait fishing for bass that does go on at night over in Ireland. But there is a lot of daytime fishing as well. I would love to hear from any Irish anglers or visitors to Ireland who have done really well on lures at night over there, but I wonder if there is indeed something a little bit different about the fishing over there ? We know that the same species can behave in different ways depending on where you fish for them. Or are there quite simply a lot more bass in Ireland ? But that can't just be it though, surely. Bonefish for example are categorically NOT a fish that will take flies off the surface, but out in Los Roques you can take them on gummy minnows off the top. As for me, well my fishing is very much wrapped up with my photography, and I for one don't really like having to hurl loads of horrible and harsh flash around in the dead of night if I can help it. I do it if I have to, but give me a bit of natural light any day of the week. That's not to say though that if it is proved the bass around where I live are more prolific at night (and bigger ?) that I will not be out there stumbling around with the rest of them !! Food for thought perhaps ?