Henry Gilbey
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What a buzz helping anglers catch fish and/or achieve certain goals, but is the guide meant to be trying to man-hug his client while they are fighting their fish?

I had Kep all to myself yesterday while the other lads went out and bashed some rather nice pollack on the boat yesterday. Conditions were pretty good albeit we could do with a bit more bounce out here, and Kep is a very experienced shore angler who has got the bass lure bug rather badly in the last six months or so. Poor bloke, does he have any idea of the road to obsession paved with weird dreams of soft plastics that he has started down?!

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Anyway, so Kep has done a fair amount of lure fishing for bass up until now, and it’s great to hear him raving about the excellent Chesil Bait’n’Tackle shop in Weymouth that has helped kit him out with the right gear and also not try to sell him the most expensive stuff going just because it’s nice and shiny. We all buy things off the internet these days so I think it is important to recognise the role that good fishing tackle shops have in the world of fishing. The Chesil people are outstanding, and if you want to actually see and handle a hell of a lot of very good lure fishing tackle then you owe yourself a visit.

This is the first time Kep has fished with us, and it came out in the wash that he had yet to catch a bass on a soft plastic or a surface lure, so yesterday we made some plans to try and rectify this. I might bang on about it a bit, but there is one thing I cling to with this lure fishing thing - confidence is key. Catch just the one bass on a new lure or method and that all important confidence floods through you and you now know that you’re doing things right because a fish jumped on the end.

Now we didn’t land a heap of bass yesterday, but damn we had a blast. First on the to-do list was a bass on a soft plastic - I took Kep to the most incredible looking bit of reef that requires some tricky wading when you are fishing it on the early flood tide as we were, and in not much time at all he was hooked up to a nice bass around the 3lb mark on the one soft plastic I tend to turn to first when fishing such shallow, broken, and delicious looking ground like this - yes, points means prizes, it was of course the 6’’ long OSP DoLive Stick. I know I obsess about these lures, but when you see a DoLive Stick swimming and twitching though the water and looking as enticing as it does, it makes me feel so confident that we are at least fishing properly. Poor Kep though, for when he hooked his first ever bass on a soft plastic I got so excited I nearly jumped into his arms and gave him a full on man-hug while he was actually fighting the fish…………..

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So we’ve got the bass on a soft plastic ticked and off the list, and our next mission was to try and get Kep a bass or two on a surface lure. We moved to a high water mark that has produced a fair few bass while I have been working with John, and I tend to fancy the place for nailing them off the top. Kep clipped on the killer little Xorus Patchinko 125 surface lure and blow me down if he doesn’t nail a small bass followed by a cracker of 60cm which came at Kep’s lure a couple of times but he had the self-control not to do some wild strike and pull the Patchinko away from the fish. Yesterday was about as good as it gets for an angler like me being able to help out an angler like Kep catch some nice fish and achieve those goals. What a buzz……………...

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