I first tried fishing when I was on holiday in Cuba and have fond memories of catching a dorado fish. Not only was the fight hard and, trying to bring this fish in it was extremely exciting, but also seeing this prehistoric and highly colourful fish coming out the water blew me away! I was so proud of myself for getting it in and determined I wouldn’t lose it. Feelings of excitement, nerves and elation all rolled into one and since then I would take any opportunities to go on sea fishing trips wherever  possible and always loved it. 

The euphoria and absolute thrilling feeling of catching a fish, to me out weighs anything else I’ve done sport wise. When I go fishing I’m transported to the most serene, relaxing and calmest headspace until of course I get a bite, then the magic happens!

I first met Paul ‘Bassman’ Gordon two years ago, when he guided me for my first ever experience of catching a bass. Paul’s warm and friendly approach put me at ease straight away and above all I appreciated that he didn’t talk to me as if I was stupid and more to the point as if I’d never fished before. We definitely shared a moment that day catching my first school bass on a soft plastic lure. I was absolutely thrilled!

I have found in some of my previous experiences, fishing on guided/chartered trips, to be intimidating and I’m not really taken seriously in being able to fish. My time spent fishing with Paul has been anything but intimidating, it has been really exciting, the kind of excitement you have as a child when it’s Christmas or your birthday, the feelings of the butterflies when you’re waiting for something good to happen, and every time we’ve been fishing they have!

My first guided fish with Paul, a nice bass

I caught a magnificent ballan wrasse weighing 5lb 4oz the second time we went out on the coast. This time, Paul knew exactly where the big fish were hiding and the fishing method was ultra light using Texas rigged prawn which was irresistible to the Wrasse! 

Both of us were really shaking after getting that fish in and that’s Paul’s genuine reaction working with his clients, feeling their excitement and adrenaline. This passion really comes across and I firmly believe that’s what makes him such a good guide!

A sensational 5lb 4oz ballan wrasse for Laura

Our latest adventure came on the conger eels. Well, I was very nervous about doing this and was stressing about pretty much everything related to the challenge but, as soon as we met up, Paul did a safety talk about the dangers of writhing eels and handling them which put me at ease before we started.

It was a very busy session with lots of small eels which kept our guide very busy servicing mine and my partner’s rods.

Eventually the magic happened! Paul noticed a good slow bite on my rod and I struck into my first proper eel! The power was next level and I was again shaking. Paul landed the eel and did all the handling. We had a nervous but fun time trying to get a good picture, again our guide took the lead and showed me how to lift the eel, it had us both wrestling with it trying to get the shot but I plucked up courage and nailed it!

Every time I’ve fished with Paul I’ve caught a memorable fish and learnt something new each time. Paul instills a confidence in you but also corrects you where you go wrong and safety is always his first call . It’s also worth noting that the best fishing guides do not fish and Paul ‘Bassman’ Gordon is no exception. All of his time is spent coaching, looking after the rigs and baits, constantly keeping you in the game physically and mentally, searching for fish and handling them with care.

To finish my review I would like to add if you are a female novice or experienced angler and fancy a guided session in the beautiful south west of Devon this multi species shore guide ticks all the boxes!

Laura's impressive conger eel

Editors notes:

We will be running a number of reviews on shore guides throughout the year and will soon have a directory for the guides we have covered. In the mean time, you can find all contact details for Paul Gordon by clicking here.

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