Winter silver….

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After a recent cold spell in November the water temperature has dropped off to 11 degrees, ive managed a few sessions recently with some sucsess, any winter silver is a bonus so im more than happy to have connected with a few.

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Due to a prolonged period of solid swell the water clarity hasnt been great so i have concentrated on fishing shallow water over reefs to improve my chances. The above fish was one of two taken drifting a tt shad in some flow, the fish were sat in a pocket just out of the flow ready to hit any bait that should come along.Think like a fish to catch a fish comes to mind !!

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If the conditions allow i will keep getting out through January eager for the hit, the adrenaline of the bite that keeps all us anglers addicted !.

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So here is wishing everyone who reads this blog a very Happy New Year and tight lines for 2016….

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All Bass caught by myself and my clients in 2016 were all released….

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A trusty old favourite…

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We all have lures, soft plastics that we turn to and fish with total confidence, trusty favourites that are proven fish catchers.Over the years you learn to read the conditions and select lures that you know will do the do and once youve got to know your marks its just a matter of time before you get your first hit.

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The Bait Breath 4 inch tt shad in ayu has long been a firm favourite of mine, attatched to a ecogear iwashi 14 g its a match made in bass heaven and ive caught hundreds of bass bumping it in the flow.

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The triangular tail of the tt shad is the thing that makes the difference in my opinion as it doesnt take much current to get it working and the bass just cant resist it. I tend to use the tt in clear water anything murkier i will switch to something else, like the x layer with the inbuilt rattle.

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I tend to glue the tt to the jighead to prevent slipping or general tearing. Anyhows its a sp that i trust and its always in my bag and when conditions allow its deadly, as all these recent fish prove….

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Shake rattle and roll…..

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I recently had the pleasure of guiding Dave Taylor and Matt Newcombe, two highly experienced anglers, Dave has caught more big bass than you could wish for and many of his articles in Total Sea Fishing ( for bass ) have long stayed in my memory bank. I was confident we would catch knowing the fish had been showing well, yet it ended up being a tough day on the water with only one decent fish caught to Matt on a giant x layer bumped in the flow.

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This got me thinking and im sure the difference in this soft plastic stickbait that made the difference was the inbuilt rattle.

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So for my following solo sessions i tried the xlayer bumped in the flow in comparison to other sps and the xlayer came out on top, the rattle won the day !!

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Many anglers are now adding rattles to there sps with great effect, so its no mystery that the rattle can make a difference between catching and not, the fish obviously hone in on it, anyhows from my recent experienced im now totally sold, shake rattle and roll, thanks Matt !!..

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The water temperature has now dropped to 15 degrees which is what it was in June, so i will fish confidently through November into December as long as the conditions allow. If you would like a guided session please contact me via my email joelsoul68@live.com …….

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Strings to your bow….

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A few recent guiding sessions got my mind thinking.The first session was with Graham Bass and his son James. Graham had recently celebrated his 70th birthday and this was a present from his children.Both Graham and James are accomplished anglers, earlier this year Graham caught and released a fish of a lifetime, 15lb 4 oz off the top !!, a truely amazing capture.So where do you go from there ?

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As with alot of us Grahams prefered method of catching is off the top and who can blame him !!. Graham spoke of wanting more consistency in his bass fishing. The conditions favoured us, strong winds and coloured water, so top water fishing would have been fruitless, so on went the sps to be bumped in the flow, a method Graham had zero confidence in.To cut a long story short Graham hooked and lost two fish,then landed one albeit small, the confidence was growing !!. and this fish was probably worth as much as a big double in the fact it had given him another string to his bow, catching bass on soft plastics in coloured water. Confidence is key to sucsess.

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You could say i spend most of my time thinking about bass fishing !!, whats the best method for the conditions in front of you to provide the best results.My second session was with Barry Everington, the conditions were tough with a howling easterly and coloured water. Again topwater work drew a blank but Barry bagged a new pb bouncing a 12g black fiish minnow in the flow, a cracking fish in tip top condition, catch and release as ever.So Barry too has a new string to his bow and plenty of confidence this method works and works well !!

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I had a short session recently, conditions were good with a bunch of fish topping at distance, the water clarity was good for topwater work but i couldnt get a touch, so a change of method was needed, so i put on a ima rocketbait and cast straight into the topping fish, two turns of the handle and i was in. Im sure if i stubbornly stuck to fishing off the top i would have blanked, so by just working under the surface i got a result and a new string to my bow !!

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Autumn…

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Autumn is a great season for Bass fishing, the water temperatures are still high and the fish are plump and fighting hard. Conditions can be variable but these bother the angler more than the fish !.

 

picasion-com_b76cd37e11823d0fd32d8687c020cfe1Its obvious i do alot of topwater fishing but sometimes this method can prove friutless, a howling side wind for example, there is no secret topwater lure that deals with this, so other methods will provide better sucsses.

 

picasion-com_b46cc2f9b51e6fff87621d3f29807aadThe above fish was taken bumping a illex 4.8 i shad tail in the flow attatched to a ecogear iwashi 14 g jighead, one of 3 i took in the space of 15 minuites. The ecogear jighead is the best ive used by far, perfect for presenting 4 inch size sps, the nickel plated 1/0 hook is strong, ive yet to have one bend out or break unlike others ive tried, i think with many of the other jigheads ive tried the hook size is too large, so the gape is too wide and  hook ups are reduced.

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One of the things i love about Bass fishing is the variety of different locations, estuary, shallow reef rock marks, surf beaches for example you can catch them from and all the different methods associated with these places. Ive recently started fishing some of my local surf beaches with limited sucsses, but im devouring information and new knowledge like you wouldnt believe !!, its refreshing and exciting, you can never stop learning !!,watch this space…

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Off the top all the way !!…

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With the water temperature at 18 degrees the fish are at there most active and at certain marks the only way to catch is off the top, which is a shame as its my favourite way of fishing.

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The lures that have been doing the business have been the xourus frosty,asture and tackle house vulture. The fish are often present for a short period but the sport can be manic and exciting.

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And long may it continue !, i have plenty of availability for guiding in October, so please get in touch…

 

Smiles all round….

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I have been guiding Neil and his son Harry ( aged 12 ) for a fair few years now, making there way down from Yorkshire for there summer holidays here in North Devon…

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We always find some fish though not always the largest, but a fish is a fish and each year there excitment grows with the buzz of catching some silver bars, especially when conditions allow and we are topwater fishing, its the visual hit that gets the adrenaline pumping.

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Its so refreshing seeing a young lad like Harry so into his fishing, he kept asking me if there were any big fish that we might catch and sure enough in the space of one session had broken his p.b twice !!, landing the best fish of the day off the top on the tackle house vulture, way to go Harry !!…

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So it was smiles all round with plenty of good quality fish caught and needless to say we are looking forward to seeing each other next year….

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