Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

When there’s obviously a bunch of small bass around, what do you do?

After two weeks of co-guiding work over in Ireland and obviously not fishing (because guides do not fish with their clients, end of), believe me, the need to go fishing for myself is serious! As much as I absolutely love helping people to catch fish, I am obviously an obsessed angler - and I got back home the other day with a burning need to get out fishing and see if I could hook a fish or two for myself…………

Now I wouldn’t usually choose to fish on the open coast when it’s as flat and clear as it is right now down here in south east Cornwall, but around the kids and school and all that they do outside of it, plus my wife’s job as a teacher, sometimes you just gotta go when you can fit it in. For sure these are night fishing conditions at the moment, but I thought what the hell and headed out just before first light this morning. Damn it was calm!

And it was very obvious very quickly that there were a lot of bass around! I’d love to say that they were monsters on the hunt for my lure, but when my first bass came in at around a pound or so, and then I had multiple fish chasing my surface lure, you kinda know what’s going to happen. In some respects I could have walked away and fished somewhere else, but I can’t help coming back to when I had my big bass the other day and in the same session I caught a bass that wasn’t a whole heap bigger than my Spittin’ Wire surface lure - so you never quite know I guess.

I do though tend to start playing around a bit when I know I’ve got a bunch of small to smallish bass in front of me. I have little interest in numbers of fish and to me it’s a license to try something a bit different and give yourself a jolt of confidence if it goes and catches. If small bass respond to these changes then I see no reason why bigger bass will not, and so on.

It’s no secret on here that I have fallen head over heels for this Whiplash Factory Spittin’ Wire surface lure, and I sincerely hope that if any of you have invested in these (not cheap) lures that you are loving them as much as I am. I have tended to fish them with a fairly splashy walk the dog kind of action, indeed it seriously made my day when I persuaded Dave over in Ireland last week to change from his beloved baby Patchinko over to his brand new Spittin’ Wire and fish it like I have been doing - and he went and caught a bass.


So first cast this morning and I’ve got small bass trying to inhale my white coloured Spittin’ Wire, as per above. The Spanish lad who kindly put me onto this lure and began my (not cheap) obsession with the lure told me from the off to really play around with different retrieves and ways of working it, so this morning to me was exactly the time to give this a go. On several occasions when a bass came at the lure and missed it I would stop it dead, wait a couple of seconds, and then twitch it - bang! A couple of times bass hit a static lure after they had swirled on it, and so on.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly hard to hook a bunch of small bass up this morning, but if all the small ones are coming up for surface lures, how about changing to something sub-surface? I have seriously loved the “Honey Flash” 6’’ DoLive Stick from the first time I ever used one in very clear water and a bass around 5lbs hit the thing so hard it hooked itself but the lure ripped clean off the hook and hitchhiker. I obviously can’t prove if the shimmery yellow sort of colour makes a difference, but my one packet of this particular colour DoLive Stick has been uncanny how well they have worked when the water is particularly clear - which it was this morning.

Does this count as a selfie?!

Does this count as a selfie?!

So you can imagine how I sat here in my office and nearly cried tears of joy when I found that I could finally buy this particular DoLive Stick here in the UK instead of having to trawl the internet and find the odd pack over in Japan. If there was ever a time to get one out there it was this morning, and I bet you can guess what happens next - no word of a lie my first cast with a “Honey Flash” 6’’ DoLive Stick and the best bass of the brief session absolutely smashes it. As ever I’m not trying to tell you that it was the lure or the colour or whatever, not when I am fishing on my own and I can’t come close to proving anything. Nope, all I can do is go on what happened this morning, and when trying something a bit different to what had been nailing a heap of schoolie bass goes and produces a fish around 4lbs which was by a long away the biggest one I caught this morning, well for me that’s all the “proof” I need. You all have a good weekend.

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