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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).
Bass at last.
Like all anglers I have my good and bad spells - recently it has been the latter. My pal Bill had a decent catch of bass a couple of weeks back but none of us have been able to repeat his success since and I've simply blanked. However, there have been a couple of interesting events worth mentioning.
I went with Bill on a fairly rough day and neither of us did any good. It was round about high water and the waves were pounding the beach. When this happens the beach hoppers (Talitrus) 'take to the hills' and in order to escape being washed into the sea and presumably eaten by bass, mullet, etc. they migrate up the shore and even climb the cliffs to safety. There were so many that I thought it was worth a couple of pictures. Anyway, it wasn't until I looked at the pictures on the computer that I noticed the presence of large slaters (Ligia) among the scurrying hoppers. These huge 'woodlice' make decent baits when suspended under a float and this would have been a good opportunity to grab a bagful. As a matter of interest I've never found either of these crustaceans in the guts of bass or mullet although I'm sure that they MUST be eaten given the chance.
My next interesting trip didn't produce any pictures. Following a futile session, with three pals all armed with the spinning and fly gear, in search of maggot feeding mullet I went on my own the next evening. On the first trip the maggoty weed had been seperated from the maggots by a band of fresh, maggot-free kelp. On my lone trip the tide was a bit higher and the sea was calmer. This time as high water approached a two metre wide band of floating Coelopa larvae lined the edge of the sea. Every so often one or two good sized (6-7lb) bass would rise and gulp in a mouthful of maggots. The fish were feeding within inches of the edge in the breaking waves and weedy, dirty water - very difficult to fish. I tried spinning with a range of soft plastics and fly fishing with both maggot flys and Delta eels. No joy apart from a couple of tentative plucks on a weedless Redgill.
My third and last trip, this morning, was again solo. I arrived on the shore just after 04:30hr just as light was beginning to show in the east. I broke with my current 'bait fishing' strategy and decided to try spinning with the weedless Redgill. Immediately I had a bite on the first cast. Things were looking up! I cast again and after a few turns of the handle 'bump! bump!' another couple of knocks. On my third cast I was into a fish of a couple of pounds which managed to wriggle off the hook before I could beach it. I continued to get (miss) a bite a cast until I eventually hooked and landed a tiddler of just over a pound. My first of the year. Nipped up and grabbed the camera to record the event for posterity and began to fish again - nothing! I put down the spinning gear and spent the next three quarters of an hour free-lining a sardine without a sign of a fish. Ah well, at least it was a start.
As I mentioned at first Bill had a decent morning session a couple of weeks back. Here's his report:-
The first place I tried looked crap - not much weed, clear, bitterly cold in the east wind. Fished for an hour then went for a walk, fished for the best part of a mile of rough, rocky shoreline. Got to the end and thought that's it I'm going home. One last cast (at 09:00) and had one hell of a bite and landed a cracking 61cm fish after a good scrap. Very fat - didn't look spawned out 'HOORAH!' After photographing the fish I had another bite two casts later.....another heart in mouth fight and an even better fish on the beach. 71cm! 'DOUBLE HOORAH!' I wanted to weigh this fish out of curiosity but my scales are f*****d can anyone recommend some good digital scales? According to the BASS weight v length chart a 70cm fish is 8.4lb and a 72cm fish is 9.17lb so I'll take 8.75lb :). Of course I fished on for an hour - no more bites. On the way back to my car I came to a small bay and it was alive with fish - I could clearly see the tails, not pointed top and bottom like mullet but slightly rounded like bass...I had one cast and hooked a fish and it was yet another beauty at 69cm\8lb!!!! 'TRIPLE HOORAH!' After I'd landed the fish the rest disappeared but I stayed for an hour just in case. Another run of the mill fishing trip.
YOU WISH! As I said none of us have been able to repeat the exercise!
Beach hoppers and slaters trying to escape the waves.
One of Bill's big fish. Mine might have made a bait for it.
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