Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

There are plenty of ways to skin a cat

As much as the growth of what we might call "modern lure fishing" is I think some really exciting stuff, a part of me will always worry that getting into it can seem pretty daunting - and especially with things moving forward so rapidly. I love that fishing never stops moving onwards, but sometimes I think that somebody coming into either the sport of angling as a whole or perhaps migrating towards lure fishing could be led to believe that it's some dark art with all kinds of weird and wonderful terms and phrases. At the end of the day you are still going to catch bass by doing nothing more than whacking out a floating minnow and cranking it in, and that's a pretty easy way to fish. Plenty of us fish like this a lot !!

Sure, there are of course numerous ways in which we could be fishing that bit better (or indeed worse), but I think it's important sometimes to step back and realise/accept that there are many, many different ways to skin a cat - or in other words, there are any number of different ways to go about catching fish, and just because one angler does something a certain way does not all of a sudden make this the only way. Do we sit back and think we've arrived as anglers because we can catch a few fish, or do we stand up and look around for ways in which we might do things a bit more effectively ? The best anglers in my opinion are the ones who strive to learn new ways of doing things all the time.

Your opinions and thoughts on fishing are no more or less valid than mine. Sure, I might write about fishing in magazines, books and on this blog, but just because I do so does not for one second mean that what I am saying is the only way to go about things. That Graphiteleader rod that I got the other day for example - I love it and it makes perfect sense to me as an all round lure fishing rod. But you might find otherwise. Give me a shallow diving, floating minnow kind of lure with some kind of a holographic silvery pattern on it and I'm a pretty happy bass angler, but I know many anglers who just don't get on with a garish colour like this. I tend not to feel very comfortable with lure rods over 9' long whereas I know many anglers love the longer rods. A Texas rig might well be a Texas rig, but I bet you there are countless ways to fish with it for any number of different species. See what I mean ?

When I did a few very basic demonstrations at the Hooked Live show in Dublin, it tended to be the weightless plastics that really grabbed people's attention. I was completely honest and said that on a scale of one to ten of fishing with them that I was perhaps down the bottom at one (but itching to keep on learning more about them), but even then I think a few eyes were opened at the almost endless possibilities that a simple lure like a soft plastic stick or senko can give. But just because I have had some fish by whacking them out and fishing them back during daylight hours with a fairly rapid twitch/pause kind of retrieve over rough as rats shallow ground does not in any way, shape or form mean that this is THE way to fish them. Not a chance. The way I have been fishing with them is merely one single way that has produced a few fish for me. It is not the best way but also it can't be the worst, but I would never, ever stand there and say that this is the only way to do it. It's merely one way. Come stand next to me and fish and I will make sure to watch what you are doing to see if I can learn stuff. Make sure to walk away from those anglers who reckon they know it all and try to ram it down your throat that their way is the only way - because it can't be. Sport fishing at its most basic level is about trying to outwit nature, so how on earth can trying to beat something that is totally unpredictable in the first place ever become definitive ?