Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

There's something uniquely satisfying about going fishing before most of the world wakes up

I pity any anglers who don't like early mornings and all that can be achieved in the early hours - and especially with these lovely long days we have at the moment. Now to be fair I work for myself and therefore to a certain degree I can be flexible with work and fishing, but of course life never makes it quite as easy as that. This morning was an exercise in timing...........

My youngest girl was due outside her school at 5.30am for a trip to London, so I set my alarm for 4.30am and of course woke up at 4.15am. Let Storm out the back, make a cup of coffee and quickly check the sports section of the iPad version of The Times. Wake my youngest up at 4.45am, get her a bowl of cereal while chucking my fishing gear in the car, strap the rod to that awesome Vac-Rac rod holder (how lure anglers survive without these things is beyond me), make sure my daughter has finished her breakfast and is getting dressed ready for her school trip, do her hair for her (I can do a mean ponytail!!), and then get my waders and wading boots on - not forgetting to put Storm in the car.

We are outside her school for about 5.20am and I hand my girl over to her teacher. Not quite sure what her teacher and headmistress think of me in my waders with a fishing rod strapped to my car, but hey ho, we anglers are a strange bunch!! Give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye and then jump in the car to head off fishing.

I was fishing by about 5.45am I reckon, and after that blow up yesterday there was a real fizz on the sea and what looked like a bit of colour. I thought it might be a little calmer in fact, and it was evident very quickly that there was a fair bit of weed in the water. But I was fishing. Nobody else around, just Storm and I, a bouncing sea, a beautiful coastline - what more could anybody ask for really? At times like this I sometimes think about how I might have made some different choices when I was younger and say chased the big bucks somewhere like London and then spent every weekend trying to get the hell out of there. I look around and think about what I am doing and I love it. Big bucks or living where we do? Well it's always been my theory that we get but one chance at this life, and I am also pretty sure I can't take any dosh with me when I die.

Anyway, I haven't got long for fishing this morning, but I just love how easy it is with lure fishing to grab bits of time here and there and actually make it count. I chose a spot that I fancied for the state of tide and of course it was deeply satisfying to nail a bass nudging the 3lb mark, and I got hit hard again. Sure, a load of them would have been cool, but I just find it so satisfying to almost sneak a quick hour or so in before the rest of the day starts, and to catch a fish before most of the rest of the world has even got going gives me such a kick. I reckon there were more fish around, but I can count on one hand the number of times I got a clean retrieve with the weed. There are various lures we don't go fishing without I am sure, and for me I would feel naked without an IMA Sasuke 120 in my lure box - I just love how it casts and "grips" into a bouncing sea, and the bass this morning just smashed it. Easy unhooking of course with crushed barbs and only two sets of trebles.

This morning was my first go with this brand new DFR (Dorset Fishing Rods) Super Sea Bass Custom 9'6'' 8-28g lure rod - plenty more to come when I have given it some proper time, but it's one interesting bit of kit. Holy cow when you get that timing right it bangs them out, and it's interesting how the timing of a rod like this is so different to even a good 9' one. Slow down, make sure to really load the rod, and then it's like a machine.

Anyway, I had to stop fishing at 6.45am to get back here by 7.15am so my wife could head off for work while I am here with my eldest girl until it's time to go to school - breakfast, coffee, shower and then we take Storm out for her second walk of the day (fishing being the first). Get back, I start work while my girl practises her guitar, then take her off to school and get on with my day. To be fair I usually start work far earlier, but with the tides and the conditions I reckoned I could fit an hour's fishing in around everything else this morning, and what on earth could be better than that? My youngest brother who is not an angler reckons I am part of the Smug Early Morning Club, but then they've recently had their first child and now know what early mornings are all about - cramming as much in as you can because life's too short not to.