Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

What is the addiction with bass ?

The question was posed via a comment on this blog from Rob, see the original post here. So what is the addiction with bass ? Why do so many of us literally live, breathe and sleep these fish ? There are bigger fish in our seas, and there are fish that fight harder, so why do an increasing amount of sea fishermen spend so much time doing their utmost to catch the king of (sea) fish, the bass ?

Well the photo above says a lot to me about why I love my bass fishing so much - I spend very little time these days staring at two rod tips sat in a tripod. I've done loads of it, and I've even caught a fair few nice fish doing it (and it is always going to be awesome fishing), but if there is one thing that drives me forward in my fishing, it's change. Doing the same thing all the time loses its appeal for me in the end, but I never really spared much of a thought for serious bass fishing for many years. But look closely at the photo above - a lack of other people around, huge, lonely skies, no tripods, seat boxes, rig wallets or vast rucksacks full of millions of reels and lead weights, just the angler lost in their own personal thoughts, waiting very simply for a fish to find his or her bait in amongst the hypnotically rhythmical water.

I guess that bass fishing is just such a "true" form of fishing to me. I have nothing against whatever kind of fishing that anybody wants to do, but I just really like it when fishing is stripped right back to what it always was - man versus nature in its most basic form. Bass fishing forces me to keep learning all the time about the most vital ingredient in all kinds of fishing - watercraft. And it's this learning that drives me on and on. I guess I just want to know more all the time, but is that a good or a bad thing ?

As part of what I do, I have been asked the obvious question many, many times - "Why do you go fishing ?", and a bit like the title of this post, in reality we all love our fishing for so many different reasons, and these reasons are often very hard to really put into words, whether written or spoken. I try to let my photography of fishing speak volumes for why I do it, so I guess my visual interpretations are a huge part of fishing's appeal to me. Sometimes on my various photography jobs I have to photograph the technical bits and pieces to do with fishing, of course I do, but anybody who looks carefully at what I do photos wise will see straight away that it is the "being out there in the middle of it all" that is a huge part of going fishing for me, and especially with regards to bass fishing.

I love certain aspects of various modern technologies, indeed I embrace a lot of it in my work, but you can't get away from the fact that going fishing (or indeed hunting or shooting) is still one of the most natural things that mankind can do. Whatever the newspapers, think-tanks (daft term if ever I heard it), quangos or successive governments tell us day in, day out, we are still hunter gatherers at heart, and nothing is ever going to change that.

I guess I go fishing partly because I can't actually help going - something inside me drives me to go, and I guess that the bass simply happens to be a fish that perfectly suits many of the reasons why fishing does it for me. My own fishing is so wrapped up with my love of photographing it, and bass fishing gives me the perfect mix of it all I suppose - hugely exciting, very mobile, often takes place in stunning locations, often with great people, usually away from the crowds, and as a form of fishing, bassing is really being driven forward in this country by lots of forward thinking anglers who have got the bug as badly as I have. The people responsible for largely opening my eyes up to the thrills of bass fishing know who they are, and I am forever indebted.

And lastly, let's not forget that although I would lay claim to not being a tackle-tart, in reality I do love all these bass lures, modern Japanese-style bass plugging rods (see here), lovely looking spinning reels and assorted waders. Basically, I am addicted, and it just gets worse. The bass does it for me, plain and simple. All of you who are into bass fishing will have your own theories I am sure, but fishing's just fishing in the end, and it's what makes us who we are.

Henry Gilbey3 Comments