Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Why on earth is chucking lures around at night for bass so damn exciting?

To be honest it makes little sense to me if I think about it logically, because the whole lure fishing thing appeals to me so much because it’s so wonderfully visual for my photography obsession, but obviously when you’re out in the pitch black casting lures around, that whole visual side to this style of fishing flies right out of the window. I can’t get visually excited about say an angler working a lure rod against a dramatic sky in a beautiful location at night, and even a grip and grin of an angler plus bass at night is severely creatively curtailed because you have to chuck loads of harsh flashlight at the subjects. But I find myself standing there in the middle of the night casting and retrieving say a white senko, and for some strange reason I absolutely love it……

Is it that very reason that you can’t see very much at all that is a big part of the reason why? Take away a sense such as sight and it seems as if your other senses try and make up for the loss by jacking themselves up - if you chuck lures around at night, do you get the sense that say the whole feel thing is that bit more heightened? I love it when I’m straight retrieving a senko and out of the blue (black?) I feel a gentle tap on it from a bass, and I am convinced my awareness of these gentle plucks is that bit greater because I am seeing so little - my sense of touch feels like it’s on overload. And yes, I do of course prefer it when a bass simply hits my lure so hard it hooks itself, but wow is the anticipation of the tap or hit that bit more increased because my visual parameters have been removed.

A few years ago I couldn’t really imagine myself actively looking forward to heading out there at night so much to chuck lures around, but as ever, if there’s one thing this lure fishing has taught me, it’s never to say never. When I was bait fishing all the time, going night fishing was as natural as going  daytime fishing, but night time lure fishing has gone and crept up on me in a big way. Yes, it fries my brain that I am not able to properly show it off as I feel I can with my cameras during daylight hours, but then I do wonder if just the pure fishing thing and not also thinking about the photography of it is also helping to concentrate my mind on simply being there and feeling so intently for any interest in my lure that feels so tenuously linked to me by some scarily thin braid.

OK, not quite dark yet, but at least it lets me do something photographically.........

OK, not quite dark yet, but at least it lets me do something photographically.........

And of course there is the whole argument around night fishing being arguably more productive than daytime fishing for bass, or might it often be that flat calm conditions which usually aren’t remotely conducive to chucking lures around during the day (are estuaries mostly exempt here?) are now a whole lot more appealing to the bass angler who is prepared to ply his or her trade at night when it’s like this? Without a doubt the whole lures at night thing requires a dollop more confidence, and I am sure this is mostly because we as human beings are naturally sceptical that fish can so easily locate lures (which like say a senko are doing so little in the water) when it’s dark, but if there one single thing that has made the whole night fishing lure thing click for me the last couple of years is that I stopped treating night lure fishing as some big thing, and instead started thinking of it quite simply as lure fishing - day or night it seems that a predator like bass can just as easily locate lures, and for me it’s another fascinating aspect to a side of fishing that I just never imagined could be so seemingly infinite…….