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).
Three days of fishing.
My tide table indicated that it was the first spring tide big enough to reach the old rotting weed middens. The wind was about force three from the north east so there was only a slight swell and there were tonnes of maggoty weed piled towards the high water mark. When I started to fish the sea was calm with fish right in the edge – bass at first then more mullet later on the tide.
I fished at the crack of dawn (from 03:40-05:45) starting with a white, weedless, EvoStix lure and only managing one or two tappy bites without hooking anything. There was no drifting weed to foul my lure so I switched to an even larger Evo Redgill and the bites stopped. What to do? I decided that the bites must have been from small bass (I could see fish taking maggots at the surface) so I picked up the fly rod, even though there was a slightly tricky cross wind. Using a tiny, white Delta fly, in the next half-hour I caught 4 bass to 3lb and a single mullet of about 3.5lb All the fish were caught on the Delta plus several missed or lost, the most spectacular was a mullet that jumped 6 times (?could have been hooked up the arse?)
That evening I went again with my pals Bill and Nigel again to fish the high tide. It was a bit windier than in the morning and the wind had gone round to the south. The fish were still there but they were not keen. Bill managed one small bass on his Slug-Gill, I had a similar one on a little Rapala and Nigel also caught one on his fly gear using a Delta. Nigel hung on after we left and said that there were still hundreds of fish feeding even as the tide dropped - but he couldn’t induce them to bite.
The next evening there were four of us in action. As usual Bill and Nigel arrived first and by the time Phil and I turned up they had already caught lots of fish. By the end of the evening Bill had six bass with the best 56cm; Nigel landed a total of fourteen with two or three of them over 50cm and the biggest just a shade bigger than Bill’s. I only had a single bass and a mullet of 3lb, while Phil also had 1 bass? This time there was a 3ft swell and it seemed to make all the difference. Most of the fish were caught on various plastic eels. Clearly it didn’t pay to be late arriving.
The following day another pal, Rob, went on his own to fish the evening tide. Again he said the sea was rough with a biggish swell and a strong WSW wind. He tried a variety of lures and altogether he landed ten bass up to 3lb and a big mullet of 5 to 6lb? The tide was still a little off the weed on arrival but he had a bass of 2lb within 15 minutes on a big black minnow then he missed a couple more bites so tried an Xrap and hooked another of a 1lb. Now, as the tide came up to the full, the mullet and bass really started to show on the surface. There was too much swell and weed to fly fish with the streamer fly so he switched to the 90mm black minnow and had 4 bass in almost successive casts missing several more bites. The next bass took the tail off the 90mm minnow and switching to the bigger minnow only produced missed bites. Mullet were going mad at this point so despite the conditions he had a crack with the maggot fly and after a few missed bites managed to hook a fish, He thought it was just a small one as it came in very easily but on seeing it in the surface he realised it was a bit of a beast. After a little tug of war in the edge he managed to land it. He says “Typically the batteries in my scales were flat so I couldn't weight it but it was easily up there with the biggest I've caught.” Not surprisingly he persisted with the fly after that and had a couple more missed bites until eventually he lost the fly to a good fish.
He bashed on and managed another bass first cast on the small 70mm minnow but again it lost its tail. Finally he had one more with the big minnow and a couple on the Redgill as the fish thinned out. Then he hooked and dropped two more in the edge before he packed in, it was pretty rough and he was soaked but not surprisingly chuffed with his catch.
The tide is just starting to reach the weed middens.
Feeding bass - even when it's calm you need to get your eye in to see them.
My early morning bass on the Rapala.
I'm in and the fly rod's well bent.
Another bass on my Rapala plug.
Nigel into one of his fourteen bass.
Bill took this picture of one of Nigel's bass ready to be landed.
One of Bill's bass on an eel fitted with a Texposer hook.
Bill was happy with this one.
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