Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

What a buzz to be able to "remotely" help a friend catch some bass and then actually be there when they catch a cracker

Some anglers live by the sea and get to fish a lot, and some for any number of reasons don’t, and as much as I didn’t grow up by the sea and I’ll never take what I do and where I live for granted, getting out fishing isn’t exactly tricky save for those times when conditions screw things up completely and you’re left chuntering at home until your wife is literally begging you to get back out there fishing. Sensitivity is my middle name!

Anyway, as you have been reading on here, I had Steve down for a week here at home and we had a blast fishing all around Cornwall and even sneaking over the border into Devon for a couple of exploratories. Another friend of mine was heading down to Cornwall but for the time being we couldn’t hook up to fish together because we were busy doing our stuff our end. I first met this lad Andy when he came as a client on a couple of the co-guided trips that John and I run together over in Ireland.

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And because Andy is a thoroughly nice bloke I’m going to try and help him out with some fishing. Believe it or not I don’t respond very well to messages I sometimes get along the lines of “coming to Cornwall, giz us a good bass mark” and so on, indeed manners maketh man and all that cuts a lot of mustard with me. Anyway, I’m out fishing with Steve when a message comes through from Andy asking (very nicely) if I might be able to help out with a fishing spot on the south coast of Cornwall because there was a fairly hefty swell running up on the north coast. 

If you know me you will know how much time I spend cursing my mobile phone because as a phone it so rarely works very well. If mobile phones had never been bloody invented I reckon the world would be a far better place because somehow we all managed to survive without the sodding things for a fair few years before they arrived and took over the world like a malignant tumour. But I will grant you that as a tool for accessing weather and swell forecasts they are pretty damn useful, and if you’ve got some decent mobile internet then they are also a handy navigation device - and down here in Cornwall I reckon you’ve got a better chance at some mobile internet than you have a consistent mobile phone signal for making actual phone calls. Good eh?

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Because I knew Andy was around, I went back to my rucksack to check my phone - could I please help with a fishing spot for the next morning somewhere on the south coast of Cornwall? I didn’t want to get him driving all over the place so I put my thinking cap on - but how on earth do you get somebody fishing on a specific spot they have never been to when they don’t even know how to get there or where to park etc.?

I submit to how in this situation a mobile phone with a 4G internet signal was very useful. I messaged Andy and told him of a location on the south coast that could work on the ebb tide in the morning. I was hoping that there might be a bit of white water around the rocks from the freshening SW winds we were getting out on the rocks ourselves, but of course I know where to park and fish and he doesn’t. So I get onto Google Maps and “drop a pin” on exactly where to park and also where to fish, I tell Andy to start fishing around HW the next morning, and then I leave him to it and we get on with our fishing towards dusk and what turned out to be a plague of mackerel.

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I reckon it was about the fishing highlight of my year so far when I got a message from Andy the next day to say that he had smashed a heap of bass from his very first cast! I know how much this guy loves his fishing and he simply hasn’t had the chance to get out and about so I had a good idea how much catching a bunch of bass would have meant to him. Catching fish yourself is obviously the crux of going fishing, but to me fishing has always been so much more than just catching fish yourself, and being in the position to help a friend out with a suggestion that really paid off was about as good as it gets for me.

I then managed to point Andy towards a certain part of a mark that he knew already a couple of days later when he went fishing there and messaged me to tell me where he was. I was here at my desk so I grabbed a screenshot of this particular place, put a few arrows and lines on it to show where it can sometimes fish well at a certain state of tide, messaged it through to him, and then left him to it. Holy frigging cow did he smash a heap of bass the next day when I was working away and breaking my balls that I wasn’t up there fishing with him. 

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So we did manage to get together the next day and actually fish together, and whilst there weren’t many bass around and Andy for whatever reason decided to deep-wade/swim to a couple of rocks and fill his waders up at least three times, I was able to watch as he had one hell of a tussle in some very fizzed up green water with a stunning 67cm bass. To see the smile on his face and be part of the joy that a bass like that means to an angler is what it’s all about if you ask me. I don’t need to go into how when we were walking back across the rocks I went racing through a gully and slipped and my lifejacket went off and the other lads nearly wet themselves laughing at me, so instead let’s stay with how much pleasure it gives me to be able to help in some small way with getting a thoroughly nice bloke into a few fish. You all have a good weekend.