Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

What’s it like to land the fish of a lifetime?

I so, so wish I had been there to see this bass landed! I was over in Ireland the other day when I got a phone call from a very, very excited friend who I fish with a lot at home. Why the excitement? Well he’s only gone and bloody done it! A lifelong passion for bass fishing and he had gone and landed his fish of a lifetime, and whilst I was having a great time in Ireland and catching plenty of fish, I cannot tell you how much I would have given to have been there to see Mark hook and land that special bass - 79cms long, over the magical 10lbs, how good does it get?

Photo courtesy Mark Quinton, shot by Andy Bignell

Photo courtesy Mark Quinton, shot by Andy Bignell

I don’t think he’s come down yet! Life goes on, nothing radically changes and non-anglers won’t have a clue how much catching a fish like this means to us, but that’s just it - we are anglers, we “get” fishing completely, and there are certain sizes of fish or indeed locations to fish in that we spend a lot of time dreaming about. Some people fish for a bunch of different species and some anglers specialise in fishing for a certain species that floats their boat quite enough to sustain that lifelong obsession. As I have said multiple times before, fishing is so damn awesome because it is big enough to fit us all in, and it means so many different things to so many different people. I know how much Mark loves his bass fishing, and I know how much the capture of his bass of a lifetime means to him. Big, big respect, and I am gutted that I wasn’t there to witness it and take the photos of one rather happy angler.

This 79cms long bass was caught from a spot that we have finally worked out how to get down to, so whilst I wasn’t there to see it caught, it does make my day that such a special fish came from a location that we had had a hunch about for a while (and especially Mark). Hugely well done Mark obviously for catching such a special fish, but also for having made the call to fish that particular spot on that particular morning. Mark and Andy had that one bass only, but I think it was enough fish to fuel a lifetime more of dreaming about more fish of a lifetime if that makes sense! Mark caught the fish within ten casts of starting the session on a forecast that to be honest wasn’t exactly what you’d have chosen, but the fact that it was early in the morning must have been ideal. As with nailing a bunch of bass over in Ireland on east winds, what do we really know about when the food is going to be there for bass to come in and feed on it?

He caught the fish close in on a Tackle House Feed Shallow lure, Major Craft Truzer 9’ 7-23g rod, Penn Clash 2500 spinning reel and Duel Hardcore X4 braid if that helps. I know how good Mark is at really searching the close in ground all around him: “Never ignore really shallow water twenty feet in front of you, even if you risk losing a lure or two”, and it’s something I think we could all learn from. Sure, having the ability to put lures out a long way and cover lots of ground is so handy, but nobody could ever accuse the regular size Feed Shallow of being a long-range missile of a lure, yet Mark goes and hooks his bass of a lifetime not very far off his rod tip. Right time, right place, right lure, right cast, right decision. Sometimes things are just meant to be, and whilst fishing owes none of us anything, I can’t help but feel that Mark quite simply deserved that special fish. It was his time, everything went right for him, and I am so frigging made up that a good friend has successfully caught (and released) his fish of a lifetime. And yes, it can’t help but buzz me up that bit more that such a fish was caught not very far from where I live. Well done Mark, that is some mighty fine fishing and it could not have happened to a nicer bloke. Wow!