Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Nothing humbles you like fishing!!

My apologies for the lack of blog posts last week when I was out in Ireland, but we had a bad internet connection and the fishing also got really tough. After that fast start you can’t help but think yes, here we go (check my previous blog post), and although we got a few more fish off the beaches at night on those slow-retrieved white senkos, for the most part there was a real lack of bass around last week and we struggled. Nobody would ever say that bass stocks anywhere are in the rudest state of health, but it was interesting how we saw virtually no bait fish around, and as much as we want these bass to behave for us, it has always been my understanding that the fish ain’t coming close inshore for a bit of fun - if the food is somewhere else, that is surely where they are. My view is that we just hit a set of tides when the bass we might hope to see had quite simply sodded off, and I wonder if the forecast over there for this week might get things moving again. As always, you can but pick your times and tides and hope to be over in Ireland when the bass fishing kicks off……

As tough as the fishing was though, I have come away with what I really wanted to get - a great big jolt of confidence that I can give my local waters a serious go with those white senkos at night, and now knowing that even if on a particular night the bass aren’t playing ball that I am fishing “correctly” as such. I am pretty sure the bass I caught last week on this method were the first ones I have actually caught (and not just witnessed) at night on soft plastics - it doesn’t matter if you see fish coming in like this, because as much as this might get the interest levels going, you and I both know that nothing gives absolute confidence as much as catching the fish yourself. My brain is now churning like you would not believe with various places I might try around where I live, and whilst night fishing and having to use loads of harsh flash for the grip and grin photographs breaks me creatively, I am out and about that much in lots of awesome light that I reckon I can live with it.

A friend of mine who was over in Ireland a couple of weeks before we headed out had a very interesting few days - they got the kind of conditions that you tend not to wish for around the Copper Coast area, save for the fact that of course we have hammered plenty of good bass in bright calm conditions when the estuaries etc. (areas with current) are fishing well. These lads made the decision to take their night fishing techniques from back home and apply them to some of the Irish beaches, and they caught a heap of fish - now I don’t like quoting numbers of fish as I don’t think it does much, but I do know that nearly 85% of the bass they caught were taken at night on white senkos in calm conditions, and around 50% of those bass were around the 6lb to 8.5lb size. Pretty frigging good if you ask me, and I find it absolutely fascinating that if they hadn’t turned to the night fishing then they would have ended up having a relatively tough few days.

Somewhat ironically we then had a fair amount of onshore winds that gave some pretty nice conditions for the open coast, yet it just wasn’t fishing very well - or at least it wasn’t for us with the knowledge levels we have of where to go and when. We had a few fish off the beaches at night on the white senkos, but in reality we could have done with more of those calmer conditions for that kind of fishing - anglers eh, never happy with the weather!! But in reality it gives me huge hope for future Ireland trips and of course my bass fishing around home, because if I persist with learning about this night fishing with soft plastics like these innocuous looking senkos, then perhaps in time I will come to jump for joy at dark, calm nights instead of continually wishing for lovely bouncy conditions to get the open coast fizzing up. Put on our arses by the bass fishing last week we might well have been, but I have another string to my bow and all the confidence I need to see where I can go with it……….