Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Should I be bass fishing differently here at home ?

It's been preying on my mind ever since I got back from the filming trip on the south coast of Ireland that all the fish we got for the camera came from Dungarvan Bay - and not out on the open coast. I am perfectly comfortable with this though, indeed I am in a slightly weird situation where a some of the time I feel that I have a greater knowledge and understanding of the bass fishing around there than I do around me here at home. Bass may be my thing these days, but I come from a bait fishing background and for many years I never looked at my local coastline with lure fishing eyes on at all.

I keep thinking about the choices we made for the filming. Some of those decisions turned out to be right, and of course some were wrong - and then I think about my local bass fishing here in south east Cornwall and it's really working through my skull that perhaps I should be doing some of what I do somewhat differently. We have a lot of open coast fishing around here that can fire from time to time, and if you are prepared to walk, climb and scramble a bit then most of the time you don't see other anglers - but when this glorious coastline around me is not firing during "bass season" (whatever that actually is), I am increasingly thinking that I need to do some different stuff to find the fish.............

Take a look at the part of the world where I live and tend to fish a lot of the time and you can't help but notice the massive expanse that is the River Tamar and its various tributaries. Nope, it's not remotely like Dungarvan Bay over on the south coast of Ireland, and yes, I used to spend entirely too much time chasing cod, rays and congers from the Tamar, but surely I should be looking more and more into this vast waterway as a place to go bass fishing ? I know little about the bass fishing in the river/estuary system around here, but I do hear various reports and stories from time to time and the potential for lure fishing churns through my brain.

I am very aware that some visitors to Ireland have struggled this year on the bass fishing, but if I think back to the trips I have done so far then most of the fish I have seen or caught myself have come from places that are not out on the open coast - it's going to fire, and I hope it does in autumn when I am over, but staying around a place like Dungarvan Bay gives me so many options. I personally think that visiting anglers need to almost stop and think a bit more and accept that things can be different over there sometimes - when things are on, hammer the coastline, but when they're not ? Look for the bays and estuaries and think out of the box a bit. How about night fishing with the lures as well ? It worked for us.

OK, so it's mullet fishing, but you get my drift

But should I be applying those very same thoughts to this massive expanse of water that lies all around me ? I can't help but love open coast fishing with all the excitement and visual aspects of crashing water when conditions are bouncing, but soft plastics especially are making me fall in love more and more with the "quieter" side of bass fishing, and this in turn is churning the old grey cells with regards to the bass fishing potential within the Tamar waterway. I can think of any number of different places to go and try, but I know my default if you like is to head out to the coast because it's so much fun to fish and I feel relatively comfortable at times with finding some bass. What is fishing though if it's not the chance to exit one's comfort zone and do something different ? I have so much to learn...........