I first started catching bass on metal, most notably the choice was either the Abu Krill or Abu Toby. The reel I used was a DAM Quick 440N and it was loaded with 12 or 14lbs BS mono. I learned quickly to terminate the line with both a link swivel and a normal swivel. Things improved dramatically when my father bought me a 10’-0” Berkley Buccaneer spinning rod. This longer lighter rod replaced a solid glass rod my grandfather had given me earlier, the Berkley was pale blue in colour and had complex wrappings at the butt, with black foam handles, I loved its oversized rings. It changed my bass fishing life at the time and I fished with it for many years.
On a summer strawberry pickers salary, I learned to be careful and clever with the gear I had. There were days with many fish, days with few and lots of days with none. With the Berkley I would also use simple light terminal tackle, paternosters and ragworm or crab, rolling and watch leads. But spinning the Krill and Toby were always for me what I enjoyed most. I had two types of fish to catch the easy ones based in and around Wexford harbour and the difficult ones based south on the coast at Kilmore and Rosslare. Difficult because it involved a 15-mile cycle, twice!
Over lots of time I developed different skills with each of the lures. They fished differently of course and I felt I could catch fish on most occasions with what I had learned. Any of that arrogance of competency was destroyed early one morning in the company of Clive Gammon at a reef near Rosslare as I stuck a Krill in a rock on the first cast, the least said the better!
I fished then with the attitude that the fish were always in front of me and it was up to me to catch them. I believed they were there swimming, hunting, waiting. If I was fishing and not catching it was because I wasn’t good enough or the fish didn’t want what I was using or they saw it too frequently or whatever.
I still fish like this today, I believe they are there. But now I believe that in many situations rightly or wrongly of course, that if I’m fishing and not catching that I must ‘fish’ less and spend more time waiting before I cast again. In some instances I’m impacting the fish if I continue to simply cast.
So I stop casting and I start fishing…