Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
That's more like it!
My last four fish have all been carp. I've now averaged one per trip, all on free-lined crust, with a total weight of 82lb. A good test for the bass spinning gear that I use. I hooked every bite I had. Anyway, this morning I decided to actually go bass fishing and, since I've done no good with bait lately and the tides seemed perfect, I opted to spin. The big mistake was that I neglected to take the fly gear. As I trudged along in the dark to my chosen spot I passed three other anglers who said they'd been spinning for twenty minutes but hadn't had a sniff. Not very encouraging but I pressed on anyway.
After passing the other spinners I came to some weed middens but I expected that there would be even more weed further along the beach (there usually is) so I continued to walk. I'd already clipped on a Maria Chase plug as I anticipated the water being calm, clear and weedless, which it was. As it turned out there was no more rotting weed but it was just about high water so I started to fish. I began to cast and for half-an-hour or so I flogged away without result then I decided that I ought to walk back to have a look at the weed midden. By now it was pretty light and I could see that there was weed in the water's edge. Out went the plug and it came back 'weed free' until it was close in. This was repeated several times - cast, retrieve, clean the lure, and so on. As I fished I was looking for surface feeding activity and suddenly I realised that ten metres further along it wasn't weed that I could see in the margin but feeding fish. I reeled in and hurried to the spot.
It was immediately obvious that the plug would be useless. Most of the maggot feeders that I could see seemed to be mullet and I had no fly gear with me. What to do? I rooted in the bag and found a size2, silver Mepps. In the past I've sometimes had mullet on these spinners wound in just under the surface. I clipped on the new lure and cast just beyond a dense concentration of surface skimming fish. I was in! The fish went berserk and I played it for five minutes before it came unstuck. 'Foulhooked mullet!' I thought. The fish were still there so I flicked the little lure out again tug, tug, wallop! I was in again and this fish seemed well hooked. I played it in and it turned out to be a bass of about five pounds. Fantastic! I'd like to say that it was a fish-a-cast after that but it wasn't. I lost two or three more after brief encounters and I landed two more bass, one similar to the first and another smaller one. I did, however, see one or two very large fish with their heads out of the water. At 07:15 as the tide began to ebb the fish disappeared and I packed in. Why oh why didn't I take the fly rod? I met the other anglers on my way back but they'd blanked so at least I'd picked the right spot.
One of my better fish. Rather thin bodied.
The small Mepps tempted bass from the mullet shoal.
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