Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

You can almost feel this coastline really coming to life

Anybody I know who has fished or fishes around here on the south coast of Ireland would say that this has been one up and down year as regards the bass fishing - but then look at the weather we have had and personally I believe that explains a lot. Most anglers I know and talk to were not all doom or gloom though, not one bit in fact, and the feeling always was that it might just kick start that bit late - which it seems to be doing just now. Honestly, it's like this stunning coastline is really coming to life with the amount of activity going on and I just hope for the anglers that live around here or have plans to visit that the fishing keeps on getting better and better.........because it's pretty good right now.

We have fished a particular spot a few times over the last couple of days and I just can't remember seeing that much food around. It's almost ridiculous. Whitebait/sprats etc. being pushed around by mackerel that are then boiling nearly all the time somewhere on the surface, and all in incredible numbers. This trip we are seeing birds working and diving virtually every single place we go. Enormous fat seals cruising around looking very happy (every time I see seals out here we catch bass - go figure), and although we have been catching pretty good numbers of bass, in reality I reckon you'd catch plenty more again if they were not so intent on gorging themselves on all that free food. The place just feels alive and it's great to see.

It has been rammed home to me a few times on this trip that although I am getting more "comfortable" with my knowledge levels of the bass fishing around here, in truth I am only just starting to get my head around it all. Talk about nearly making completely the wrong call the other evening !! We were about ten minutes ahead of Ger and the spot looked horribly coloured and weeded out. As Ger got out of his car I said that perhaps we should move somewhere else and not even bother fishing here, but the guy advised that we should head up around the corner to find clearer water and fish. Which we did, and also that although the water looked coloured, it was only the massive tides picking up the old weed off the beach, and that there would be bass in amongst it. Which there were !! We had a fantastic couple of hours and smashed the fish - proving that my near-call was completely wrong and that you just can't beat solid local knowledge from a massively kind angler who has most likely forgotten more than I will ever know about the fishing around here. Thanks Ger.

I don't know what it is about the IMA Salt Skimmer, but from time to time it seems to produce almost GT-like surface hits from the bass. I took a nice fish out of a spot that almost breathed big fish yesterday evening - you know when you are almost nervous casting out because you feel that any second a big bass might hit you and then try to do you on any one of the hundreds of rocks sticking out of the water ? That was it yesterday evening. I hooked and landed a fish around 5/6lbs on a Daiwa Shoreline Shiner R50+ SSR (killer shallow diving lure) and then a little while later clipped on my Salt Skimmer and whacked it out. Within perhaps the first four yards of the retrieve and the sea literally came alive with the hit. I don't want to dwell too much on the sheer size of the smash as the bass hit the surface lure because it might haunt me, but the rod slammed right over and the fish went right very quickly - and then the hooks pulled !! You can guess at the tension I had on the fish because my lure was at range and then the hooks came out it was not far away from hitting me in the face (another great reason for fishing in sunglasses - nearly took my head off with a white Wave Worm the other evening when the hook came out !!). If we landed every fish we hooked then there would never be that buzz that we all thrive on so much, but your head then starts wondering about what might have been. I had a take like that last year on the Salt Skimmer but I messed up on that (big) fish by thinking too far ahead about where I was going to land the fish before I had actually beaten it.................

We have bumped into a fair few visiting anglers around here - it seems that these September spring tides will always be popular for bass fishing. I managed to net a 7.5lb bass yesterday for a nice guy called Steve Richardson. I love seeing anglers out and about and buzzing about this wonderful country, and yes, there are a few local spots that are well known and often have anglers on them, but on the flipside this is one big coastline with I dread to think how many well hidden bass marks that rarely if ever see any anglers. We have fished some spots on this trip that I never even knew existed and in truth there are probably countless more that could throw up a monster bass. Pat is a local friend of ours who has a spot right almost right below where he is living for example, and the other day he had the biggest bass he has ever seen right beneath his feet until a wave came and turned it over and broke his line. Does anybody else fish this mark ? Nope.

Henry Gilbey6 Comments