Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Sometimes I’d like to give myself a damn good thrashing - good old fashioned bad angling!

At times I think I am a better angler when I am watching our clients rather than actually fishing myself, or to put it another way, it’s often easier said than done - yep, it’s another example of me fishing like a tit and doing exactly the opposite of what I have advised other anglers to do. I will explain.

So Mark and I are fishing a stunning bit of reef on Sunday morning. There’s a few fish around, the conditions are spot on albeit I could do with it not being so bright, Mark’s landed a couple of bass, and on guess what lure? OK, too easy, yep, the 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick. I know I keep banging on about this soft plastic, but I genuinely believe that if there are bass around then they are going to nail it. You might well have a few lures yourself that just give you so much confidence when you’ve got one one, and I think that is so much of the point here - confidence. Anyway, I digress. Henry and some piss poor angling……………….

I think Mark’s on three bass now, and apart from one gentle little tap I haven’t caught anything so far, but then out of the blue I get one of those wonderfully unmissable hits when the bass just smashes my DoLive Stick and impales itself. All I have to do is tighten up, land the fish,  and then tell myself what mighty fine angling I just did.

So I’ve landed a fish, and now my adrenaline levels are through the roof. I love just being where we are fishing, the water is that beautiful shade of fizzed up greeny blue, I am literally shivering with pleasure at fishing with what I think is quite possibly the out and out best “regular” casting weight lure rod I have come across, there’s a 6’’ DoLive Stick on the end, and yep, I am feeling nice and confident. There doesn’t seem to be a heap of fish around, but I just so enjoy that direct kind of touchy feely fishing with weightless soft plastics that any kind of interest is enough for me. But of course I’d love another bass or two.

Now if there is one thing that I speak to our clients about over in Ireland when they are fishing with lures like these DoLive Sticks, it’s to try and control yourself as a person to be able to react properly to a hit. Obviously it’s no worries when a bass nails you good and proper and you couldn’t miss the fish if you tried, but there are plenty of times when you get a gentle tap, and this is when I try to get across to our clients that they need to almost ignore it, keep on fishing the lure, and nine times out of ten they will get a properly hard, strikeable hit in a second or two - i.e. whatever you do, don’t strike that a gentle tap, because you are going to miss the fish. I can’t tell you how much of a thrill it is to then watch one of your clients do exactly the right thing and nail a bass or two - as per here for example.

As I said at the top of this blog post, it’s often easier said than done though! I get one of those lovely little taps that is just asking for me to carry on fishing the lure and then strike the next properly hard hit, but oh no, that would be far too accomplished. The little demon that resides in my head and controls the tackle tart urges within me also sometimes jumps up and makes me fish like a serious tit at times, and this is one of those occasions when he decides to take over. That gentle little tap, and then what do I do? Damn right, I strike the living hell out of it and miss the bass about as perfectly as you could hope for. None of that waiting for the proper hit to come. Oh no, sod that, why don’t I just remove what the bass obviously wants to eat from the entire equation and leave the sodding fish wondering where on earth it’s food just went. Now that’s some serious angling! On the way home I fess up to Mark about my episode of piss poor angling and then I start looking for a spare tree branch to give myself a damn good thrashing a la Basil Fawlty. Mark didn’t laugh at my ineptitude at all!

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