Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

"That'll never catch on..........."

For all that many of us obsess about fishing, at the end of the day the remarkably simple act of going out fishing to me is about having fun. Enriching your life. Putting you closer to nature. All that sort of stuff and plenty more of course, and if there one thing I will never get is the "just 'cos I don't do it means it's rubbish/waste of time/beneath me etc." Fishing consumes so many of us surely because there is something within this great sport for everybody. I can remember very well when I first started hearing reports coming out of Jersey of lure anglers actually going out and deliberately targeting wrasse on soft plastics, and if I am completely honest I would bet you my first response was "ummmmmm, not sure about that, got to be some kind of mistake/gimmick". Which of course it was not/is not, and if there is one thing that lure fishing has taught me it's never to say never. At the end of the day who knows what's really possible until you have gone out and tried ? As you can guess I am sure, we don't do the phrases "I can't" or "I'm bored" in our house...........

I was heading out to go wrasse fishing the other day and I almost mentally stopped myself and had a giggle about not having a bucket of crab or piles of worms with me, plus of course no cloth bank bags full of spark plugs. Take away my camera gear and it's no more than a few lures, a box of bits and pieces plus a (light) rod and reel. I am hearing so much now about people going out wrasse fishing with soft plastics and having what can only be termed a huge amount of fun (see here and here for recent examples) that I am not even going to try and put an estimate on where it might go as regards "our" saltwater fishing. I still don't think that most sea anglers in the UK or Ireland have actually got their heads around the fact that this species that we all used to fish for with baits is actually this cheeky thing that loves snaffling lures. Not everybody wants to use lures instead of baits for them, and why on earth should we not fish for them exactly how they want at the end of the day, but it's just fun fishing in my book. And of course many sea anglers either don't have wrasse around their coastline or want nothing to do with these "humble" fish. Nothing remotely wrong with that either. Each to their own and long may this continue, although keeping an open mind about it all to me is much harder but ultimately far more beneficial than simply slating something because you don't do it or understand it. I am not going to try and pretend that this LRF or ultra-light lure fishing thing really does it for me, but I think it's fantastic that it does for more and more anglers. Remember, it's about having fun, and we all like to have fun in different ways. For all that I say though about having an open mind though, I can't for one second get my head around the appeal of computer games when there is the great big outdoors just outside your front door - but that might just be me.

At the moment I have a series of articles running in Sea Angler magazine that are all about lure fishing for wrasse, and if you had said to me when I started freelancing for the mag all those years ago (and was regularly going out smashing wrasse on bait) that X number of years down the line and I would be actively writing and photographing a series like this I might have carted you off down the funny farm. How times are a changing, and as much as I understand anglers who are reluctant or don't want to embrace different ways of fishing (each to their own remember), from a personal point of view I have no interest in standing still and doing the same things for ever and ever. Look, I love bass fishing with lures and indeed bait in a way that I could never have envisaged, but I need more than that. I need some variety and I need some different challenges to keep me fresh. I never really thought that lure fishing could actually give me all that and more, but it does, and it seems to be doing the same thing for increasing numbers of anglers - and long may it last...............