Seabass fishing with John Willems

Seabass fishing with John Willems

It's the 15th of August. John Willems from invited us to join him on the boat in the hunt for seabass. John is a very experienced angler and is a seabass fanatic. Besides that, he is a very lovely guy too!


We met John around half past 5 p.m. in the harbour of Ijmuiden. He got his boat all set up perfectly and his rods were prepared for business. I had the feeling of jumping straight into the boat and hook some fish! But before we set sail, John asked us about our experience at sea and told us it might get a bit rough. As we dutchies are not made of sugar we told him we could handle quite some conditions. When he asked us about our expectation, Silvian immediately replied: I never have an expectation..!

'That's the right answer', John replied.

Somehow that really set the mood, starting us with the feeling of going on an adventure rather than just going out to catch some fish. It was time to set sail so we loosened the boat from the docking and left the harbour. 


Meet John Willems. One of the kindest people we met so far!


We set sail to a wreck which isn't that far away from the harbour. We had to go through the rough inlet of the harbour to find out the sea was pretty calm that day. John told us the fishing was good at the moment, so we got excited as we closed in on our first spot of the day. John anchored the boat using a Minn Kota fronttroller. For those who are new to it: it's an electric engine mounted on the bow of the boat, keeping a GPS-position. This way you don't have to anchor the boat with a conventional anchor, and scare away the fish. 

John explained the way he catches the seabass near the wreck. He throws his lure upstream/ uptide and let is sink to the bottom. Once it hits the bottom you lift your lure up with two strokes and let is swim very slowly above the bottom. I gave it a try and.. I think it was my second or third cast.. BOOOOM!!


Straight on to the fish! And what a strike, seabass doesn't mess around!


Just started and; fish! The smile on John and Silvian their face was priceless, and so was mine. Can you imagine; going on a boat, on water which stretches to anywhere in the world, and at that particular spot and place you hit a fish right away! 

By it's behaviour John was able to tell it was a good fish on the other side of the line. He was totally correct when after some rough fighting the fish finally appeared at the surface. 


'Grab the net John!' 



YEEHAA! First fish in!



A beautifull seabass to start the evening with! 


What we didn't realise yet; the party was about to start! After this kickoff we really started to get more bites and catch more fish. The best way to fish was with a heavy soft lure between 20/40 grams, close to the bottom at 14 meters of depth. I think it didn't take longer than 2 minutes and I had another fish on!

 A lunker of a seabass arised from the depth, giving us a glimpse of it's beautifull strong and silver body. I think I'm going to sell all my freshwater tackle, guys.. I'm sold!


The hard strikes, the power, the appearance.. Seabass is such an great fish to target. It might be really challenging to find them. But once found, it all comes down to your experience and tackle to land it. And the seabass doesn't just give in..  

The master himself into business! 


As the time went by we had moments of laughter, joy and deep talks and thoughts. We enjoyed the weather, water and the surrounding. A moment of escape from a world that is constantly on! Relaxation and reflection at it's purest. 

Most of my fishes were on a GT-BIO Kamaleo Sandeel. The fish just digs this bait! I have tried the bait several sessions, and they all paid off big time. If you want to catch fish, go get yourself some!


GT-Bio Kamaleo Sandeel. Something they just can't resist.. 


As the evening went on, we managed to catch around 20 to 25 Seabass in total. A huge amount of big ones, as we noticed. They were all heavily build and all heavy fighters

Doesn't matter which age; when it comes to fishing they are all happy as a kid! Something which makes the fishing a whole lot of fun and connects everyone. (No John, i'm not saying you're old!)


The evening came to an end and with the last ray of sunlight we docked the boat back in the harbour. John; we cannot thank you enough for this memorable experience! 

If you are interested, you can join John on his boat and experience seabass fishing yourself! Visit for more information. 


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