Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Seems like it's all kicking into gear........

Don't you love it when you can feel things coming back to life after the winter slumber ? Loads more birds are singing, the grass is growing, the wild garlic is going haywire, and some of our fish species seem to be working out that it's ok to chow lures with a bit more relish. It was not that many years ago that I used to almost suffer through summer while I was waiting for the cod fishing to rumble into life again, but these days I am far happier when the temperatures begin to warm up as we roll from spring into summer. Is that a sign of getting older ? I had a feeling that the warm weather we had a couple of weeks ago when I actually went out wrasse fishing in a pair of shorts was going to be but a mere glimpse of summer, but Easter's done and dusted and it has to be onwards and upwards from here...............or is that the kiss of death ?

I read a report of some outstanding wrassing on plastics somewhere in Cornwall over the Easter weekend, and it was topped off by an awesome fish of over 7lbs !! Check here for the details. Wow. That is some wrasse to catch via any method, but yet again it proves how lethally effective lure fishing for them is, and I am rather pleased of course that Sea Angler have just published a feature of mine on wrasse fishing with plastics. I did not know until the magazine dropped through my door that I had got the front cover with a shot of Keith and a Jersey wrasse that he nailed on a soft plastic. Great timing !! I have promised myself that I am going to be doing a lot more local fishing this year to get myself out of the office and out doing what I love the most, and when conditions go pants for the bass I will be out and about wrassing as much as possible. I had a few smallish ones during that hot spell, but it was weird how they started to really come on the feed later in the tide but then went off like a switch when the sun dipped behind the cliffs. It really seems that going after these rockfish with the lures has kicked on a level as regards anglers going out and doing it.

I heard of a few small bass taken on lures around here, but I would hope now that with the change of wind direction that the fishing should start to pick up now and continue to build. It seems to be the case around where I live in south east Cornwall that it is very much worth going after the bass well into January with the lures, but then things seem to quickly tail off for a couple of months as the depths of winter sets in - even though we had a very mild winter down here. Is this something new, or is it more the case that lure anglers are increasingly looking to tear the rule books up and keep on at it ? Why on earth then does somewhere like that glorious Kerry coastline in Ireland consistently produce its best surf fishing for bass during January, February and March, conditions depending of course ? If there is one thing I am going to do before long it's travel over there during the depths of winter and shoot some classical surf fishing photos and then convert them to black and white. It would be a gamble as regards conditions, but how awesome could it be if things went well ?

Over the last couple of weeks I have been getting reports from southern Ireland of some insane lure fishing for bass. I know of some serious fish that have been taken on baits during the winter, but it seems that the lure fishing has now kicked off in serious style. One guy went out and had eighteen bass to 10lbs one morning during that warm spell, and that to anybody is world class fishing. My friend Ger Carey took two double figure fish on bait in one night session a few weeks back - a bass of 10lbs, and one close to 15lbs, and I know that he had a follow from a fish on his lure the other day that apparently rather shocked him !! I am over there in early May which will be the earliest in the year that I have gone over for a bass fishing/photography trip, so we shall see what happens. I hope to see some of you at the first Irish Bass Festival in July as well...........