Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Stepping backwards to move forwards

Yes, catching fish obsesses me, but it simply has to be more than that for me - it's the entire fishing thing that grabs a lot of us, and if there is one thing that continues to fascinate me it's the fishing journey if you like. Where we are, where we might be going, and where we came from in fishing, and how we get to where we are going. Yes, this blog post is the product of an early morning and perhaps a touch too much caffeine, but you might find yourself somewhere here.............

OK, so you're finding out about lure fishing say for bass and wrasse, or perhaps pike and perch. I bet in bass fishing especially you can't help but be initially drawn to shiny, rattly hard lures - and there are any number of good looking hard lures that have any number of awesome looking actions when you work them in the water. They flash, sparkle, rattle and roll, and we look at those actions and we think yes please, bass do love a bit of something obvious going on.

So we do our stuff and if we get better at it we might start catching a bunch of fish. Bashing out the hard lures. Now because of where you fish or perhaps because you don't question stuff, you may simply carry on like this. If there is one thing I will always fail to understand though it's people who don't ask questions of either others or themselves, and likewise at all costs I have always avoided experts who profess to know it all and want to ram it down your throat.

When do you start to think more about what bass might actually want in certain situations or locations, rather than tending to chuck out what "speaks" to us the most? Or because we are all at different stages in fishing, are you not here yet? It's nothing about me or you being better at fishing than each other, rather it's where you are and how you go about trying to make yourself a better angler - which is something I am trying to do from day to day.

I didn't suddenly decide in a blinding flash of light that there were actually different ways to lure fish for bass other than banging out whatever hard lures I happened to have in my box at the time, but I do know that for numerous reasons it kinda crept up on me that for all their gill-flaring, predatory nature, bass are still going to spook pretty easily if you mess things up in calmer conditions especially, and I am increasingly convinced that they just don't want loads of visible/loud action on a lure perhaps more times than we might think. Perhaps for me it was actually catching fish myself on a senko that really convinced me you could sometimes catch these fish on lures that to our eyes are essentially doing next to nothing - but then we aren't fish, and if a fish hits a lure like this then the lure has to be doing something pretty appealing to get them to nail it.

So in some respects I'm stepping backwards to move forwards as an angler, and hopefully I keep improving. I am no different to you, albeit I might be at a different stage to you in my fishing, and of course my obsession with it is so bad I made the decision many years ago to try and make my career out of working in it. Via whatever ways, I came to this lure fishing thing like a bit of a sponge, eager beyond belief to learn and keep learning as much as possible, but like many of us starting out I first went for the flashy hard lures, the stiffer rods that were somewhat more powerful than I really needed, braids that could have landed a house etc. Come from bait fishing and it's going to take time to tune in as such. This is perfectly normal though, because how on earth do you get into something new without starting at the bottom of a rather fascinating learning curve?

I like to think it's moving forwards to realise that there is far more to lure fishing than simply whacking out a bunch of hard lures, but to get to this point perhaps we have to almost step backwards slightly in our approach, as in tone everything down a bit. Sure, there are times when bass will hit anything you put out there, but there are also times when quieter and more muted is better. The fact is that all anglers are at different stages in their fishing lives, and of course some people are hungrier than others to learn more.

You could use this blog as a snapshot of one person's fishing journey - that being me of course. If you were to chart a course through my ramblings over the last few years, I am sure you would find lots of evidence of what I have been talking about above, with me making plenty of mistakes along the way (which I still make and always will make), yet I would hope that I remain very open to learning new stuff. With some of the unpleasant stuff you see online especially, perhaps a few more anglers could do with a bit more humility and understanding towards other anglers who are finding their way. AEAAC - Avoid Experts At All Costs. It's fishing at the end of the day, and in fishing there are any number of ways to skin the proverbial cat. You all have a good weekend and thanks for reading my ramblings! More coffee..........

Henry Gilbey8 Comments