Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

Why the hell is lure fishing so stupidly addictive?

There are many kinds of anglers, and then there are many of us for whom the whole fishing thing is a part and parcel of the very way we live our lives, but as into fishing as so many of us are, it has struck me for a while now that lure fishing might just be the most addictive form of fishing there is. OK, so I may be a little biased perhaps, and for many years the whole bait fishing thing was a monstrous addiction that had a serious hold over me, but there’s something about this lure fishing thing that I think perhaps gets hold of anglers in a bit of a different (more addictive?) way. Why though? What on earth is it about chucking artificial creations at fish that is so stupidly addictive?

If you live in the UK or Ireland it quite simply cannot be all about the size of the fish, because as much as we might love bass, pollack and say wrasse, you’re most likely going to catch larger fish if you fish with bait for congers, ray, huss, cod etc. Of course the mix of scrapping fish on balanced tackle is a big tick in the lure fishing box, and on much of the lure gear we might use we get good scraps off some of the fish we catch. A 6lb bass in a run of current on a 10-30g lure rod is an entirely different fish to one of the same size caught on a beachcaster off a beach, and I for one have seen some of our saltwater species in a somewhat different light after catching them on lighter gear.

For me a large part of this lure fishing addiction is the fact that it’s such an involved way of fishing - you’re always doing something. I’m walking, wading, scrambling, looking, thinking, casting, retrieving, casting, retrieving, moving, looking etc. all the time when I am out lure fishing, and I suppose this appeals in a big way to a lot of us. OK, so I want to catch plenty of fish if at all possible, but even lean sessions can be a huge amount of fun just because I have done so much fishing related stuff.

I love how it’s just so easy to go lure fishing. Granted, I live close to the sea and I can quite easily go fishing a lot, but beyond that is how simple it is to actually get out lure fishing. No bait to think about, no great big seat boxes or massive rucksacks to cart around, and no sodding rigs to think about. Check the weather and tides, my rod is sitting in a rack, ready to go on the rod holders on my car, grab my lure bag, camera rucksack, get into my waders, and I can be out fishing in no time, and short, sharp sessions can be really worth it.

I also happen to think that some part of this addiction to lure fishing is all wrapped up with the actual tackle side of things. Sure, some of us may well be considered tackle tarts, but as with the whole lure fishing thing being so involving, to me the tackle is as well, as in there’s so much casting and retrieving involved with lure fishing that you can’t help but think that little bit more about the rods, reels, lines and of course lures. Some of you may have little interest in the tackle side and I understand that. I used to be very interested in regular shore fishing gear as well, but not as interested in it as I am with the lure fishing tackle. It fascinates me.

I liken it to fly fishing in the sense that you’re holding the rod and reel all the time and as such it becomes such an integral part of your fishing. Bait rods tend to go in tripods and be left alone for periods of time, whereas of course you’re not actually fishing in lure fishing if your rod and reel setup is not in your hairy mitts. The rod becomes almost an extension of our arm and the reel handle fits as naturally in my hand as a knife or fork, and because of this the whole lure fishing tackle thing is part and parcel of this addiction if you ask me. Every single thing about the whole lure fishing experience for me is part and parcel of it, and then when you actually hook a fish it’s like an extra jolt to what I find a very adrenalised form of fishing anyway. And then of course there are the lures. Holy cow I’ve got issues, but then that’s the whole crux of addiction is it not? Grabs a hold of you, won’t let go, and it gets worse. Wow I can’t wait for spring!

A big thanks to the organisers of the excellent Irish Angling Expo show last weekend - what a blast, and I was honoured to be asked along to it. As always it was a profound pleasure to get to speak with so many anglers. I am amazed at how much interest there continues to be in lure fishing, and long may this continue. As ever I came away with my head spinning about how there’s so much coastline over in Ireland that rarely if ever sees an angler, and that the opportunities for sport fishing are almost endless. And on the subject of Ireland, have a look at the video above that the Absolute Fishing lads put together of some pretty epic lure fishing last year on the south coast. When it fires, it fires! Trying my best to be over there for the Irish Bass Festival in early July, see here for details. It’s all stupidly addictive……..