Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Pinch, punch, first of the month, it’s bass time…………..

It fascinates me how each year seems to be slightly different as regards the timings of when bass seem to start properly showing up and reports begin appearing of anglers in different areas catching bass on lures from the shore. To those grizzled veterans of bass fishing and also if we take out that early run of bass that those lucky sods in the Channel Islands seem to get every winter into spring, can you remember hearing so many reports of bass coming to lures this early?

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Or is it also a case of more anglers targeting bass on lures these days, AND are these anglers throwing the old rule books out of the proverbial window and deciding that if you aren’t out there having a go then you’ll never actually know? I saw some reports of some stunning looking wrasse fishing on lures from the weekend for example, but now go back through the fishing press and I wonder if anybody ever recommended going out and deliberately targeting wrasse at this time of year - and on lures? I love it. Bass fishing has in no way been a lifelong thing for me so I guess that by virtue of where I live I accept it as perfectly normal that if the conditions behave then we can sometimes get some our best bass fishing in November and December - my heart still bleeds for December 2018 that we essentially lost to the weather - but I have had a lot of questions and correspondence over the years from anglers wondering if they should carry on trying to catch bass after say late September.

And I wonder if this translates to earlier in the year as well. I am aware of shore anglers around here who base when they really start going on reports of good numbers of bass turning up on the Eddystone Reef for example, but for me I firstly don’t know much about bass fishing out there save for those stories I used to read about how good it could be, and secondly I am noticing reports of shore caught bass from an increasing amount of areas already. I have had a few unsuccessful short trips that to be honest have been more along the lines of playing around to see what the water is doing on certain spots for later in the year, but April for me is when I really start buzzing again - and I can’t bloody wait.

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I don’t study historical weather patterns, but I do know from my huss fishing days especially and how late winter into very early spring would often see it switch on that we’d always seem to get a week plus of east winds come in and kill the huss fishing stone dead just as it was getting going. I can’t remember an early spring time when we didn’t get this bit of weather come in - as indeed we have had down here for a while now and it’s been utterly glorious - but this next set of spring tides coming up and a bit of a shift in the weather patterns and I wonder what might happen on the bass fishing front. I love how it’s such an inexact science and how we are clutching at straws of knowledge about the natural world which thankfully we will never fully understand, but there is one thing I do know - you’ve got zero chance if you don’t get out there and have a go. See you out there……….