Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Some lures do very little........

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.........until you start to literally bring them to life. I have to be one of the worst culprits at this - chuck a new lure out, wind it back, see that a straight forward straight retrieve does not make the lure "come alive", and then put it back in the box and sometimes virtually forget about it. Some lures are designed to look awesome with a simple straight retrieve, and I guess those ones tend to register straight away in the head................but some require a little bit of work to make them do what they are meant to do.

Take the little North Craft Victoria 1100SSR above - I own only one North Craft lure, and this one is a work of art. Yes, you guessed it, I want to own more !! (but that's not because I have a lure problem, my mates are far worse). I got it because it just looked so good, and in the flesh it does not disappoint. Almost too good to launch out there in fact. A small sinking lure of only 10g, yet it flies out there like a lure twice its size. A while back I tested this little beauty out - on a straight retrieve it does very little apart from a tight little rolling action that did not instantly float my boat at all. Back it went in the box, all dejected and alone.

But then I came back to it the other day to give it another try - with my increasing "inner finesse" coming to the fore after all !! Surely a subtler me could find how this little thing was meant to work ? First off, it sinks fairly slowly on what looks like a horizontal plane. Please eat me on the way down deep for starters. But then I started to dig deep and allow my inner finesse to flow through my rod arm - it was close to a spiritual thing, but perhaps my earlier cursing at snagging up a beloved MegaBass Zonk Gataride 120 and losing it had put paid to any gospel choirs raining down their praises at my new-found feeling. But I was trying, gotta give me credit for that........

Work the rod tip, slow the reel handle right down, and suddenly this little North Craft lure literally jumps to life - it slashes from side to side in a way that I know bass love, and the first thing it reminded me of was almost a hard version of the MegaBass XLayer when you rig it like this and then work it like a panicked sandeel. Slash the rod tip down repeatedly, winding slowly almost between slashing strokes if that makes sense. Now a lure like this makes perfect sense. I have also begun to play around with some Sebile lures that I had previously ignored, exactly in this way, and suddenly some of them are starting to make a whole lot of different sense to me............more to come. Still learning from day to day, and I'm loving every minute of it.

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Start the new working week off by taking a bit more time off and drool over the new issue of the online magazine Catch - still the most stunning online fishing publication out there, and it consistently attracts some mind-blowing photographic talent to their "pages". Check here for the new issue. When fishing is done well, I can't see how the world can look any better.......

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You should also check out the newish "Surfcaster's Journal", an online magazine aimed at striped bass anglers over in the US - but anybody into any kind of saltwater bass fishing is going to find this one a vital read. The guys who do this also run a blog (see here), and check out the size of this striper here !!!! What a superb fish, and huge credit to the angler for putting it back alive. One day...........

I guess most of you are following the horrendous story of the US oil slick that could potentially do so much damage to so many vital saltwater areas of the south east United States - check here for some recent info. I find it staggering that in this day and age something like this can still happen. The world is too precious a place to go messing it up any more than we have done already and I follow this sad story with an increasing sense of dread at what might happen to such vitally important wetlands and their birds, animals and fish. So many people think that the US is Disney World, New York, Hollywood and no more - they have some of the world's largest and more important wilderness areas, and it makes me sick to think that man's (our) ineptitude and greed could once again result in such harm to nature.

The gig in London that I went to on Saturday night was just immense - music is meant to be fun after all, and for all the posturing and preening that so many bands do for PR purposes, it was just so cool to see a bunch of awesome metal bands so obviously having such a blast playing live. Rotting Christ were just sublime and I only wished they had played for longer. Tight as anything, good sound, classic songs, one of my most favourite bands on earth. The headliners Bolt Thrower just smiled the whole way through their set as monster riffs poured off the stage. Nobody could ever accuse Bolt Thrower of ever straying too far from what they are so good at and it just works really well in the live environment. Truly monstrous, heavy as hell, insanely catchy, true British steel. A great gig.

I am flying off somewhere tomorrow for a couple of days of squirrely meetings that could end up being really interesting, or could also end up being a bit of a waste of time. We shall see, but it's very much fishing related and it should be fascinating whatever the outcome........