There”s no two ways about it, its been a tough season with catches way down on previous seasons. Why ?, well the main reason i would say on my North Devon coast has been the conditions. Constant summer swells and winds have all helped keep coloured water in charge on my coastal marks, which is pretty much the kiss of death for lure fishing. The marks i then turn too for better clarity have been hit hard by intense inshore netting leaving zero confidence on fishing these marks.
Well thats the doom and gloom done with !, the recent settled weather we just had ( the first i would say since April !) allowed me a good chance to blow out some cobwebs and get into some hard fighting solid Autumn Silver. With the sea at 17 degrees i can never resist some topwater fun so the Patchinko brothers have been put to good use with fish up to 69cm falling to there charm..
Bumping soft plastics has generally been less sucsesfull than of recent seasons, but again its more down to the conditions than anything else, i have had good sucsess with the one up slug,i shad tail 4.8, geecrack gyrostar and the trusty favourites the tt shad and keitech easy shiner all attatched to either a iwashi jighead or gamakstu bottom knocker…
So here”s looking forward to some windows in the weather to enjoy some quality Autumn Bassing….
After a pretty disapointing June with limited fishing down to conditions and work its great to get things swinging again. The water temperature is now up to 16 degrees and with it the fish are more active.I spent alot of my June fishing sussing out new marks, with the basic thinking of i may as well blank somewhere new and start understanding when the fish are there etc. Some of this new ground is based around sight fishing which is something ive been dying to do, i love following the french site Fishing Victim and take my hat off to Bertrand for the dedication and results he gets. I had plenty of small fish and lost a better fish, but this new chapter is now open.Its been an eye opener just watching the fish moving and foraging for food, alot of the time the rod is put down and the contentment comes from just observing ..
90 percent of the fish ive had recently have been off the top caught on the small patchinko and his big brother, all these fish have been in tip top condition and are fighting fit..
Last week i had a cracking session that was hatched last season with ideas of how to fish a certain mark.The tide,wind and clarity of water needed to be bang on and on this evening it was all systems go !.I havnt used the larger patchinko for years and tend to use his little brother to great effect.This mark determined on being able to get a lure 80 yards plus and kick up a fair bit of commotion to get the fish up, the big patch is perfect for this.To cut a long story short i ended up with 5 fish to 70 cm, all beautifully conditioned fish 62cm,64cm,66cm,69cm and 70cm, as ever all these fish were returned and all swam off strongly. It sure was a magic session, my back ached like hell loading up the casts and working the patch hard on retreive but my adrenaline was on overdrive and breathing stopping now and again as yet another fish would slam into my lure, the biggest fish estimated 9 pound plus somehow managed to miss the lure !, great to get the mojo working again and who knows maybe sometime this season i may be lucky enough to fish this mark again…..
Simply unpredictable pretty much sums up how the fishing has been through May and just as you think the bassing is rolling nicely the weather goes and chucks a few curve balls at you and its back to square one. But this is early season Bass fishing and any good sessions are a bonus.
The above fish from early in the month at 70 cm has been the jewel so far, caught in the flow and putting up a great fight, it was definately time to trust your knots and give it some welly ! For this type of fishing i tend to use a long flowing trace (10 to 12ft ) and depending on the clarity 16 lb, 12lb or even 8lb flurocarbon attached to the braid with a gt knot, the drag is set on the tighter end of the scale. A fast action rod with not too much give in the butt is my preference, my Apia Flow Hunt works a treat.
Simply dropping the strength of the leader can often make the difference between catching and not im sure.Ive been trying out plenty of new soft plastcs in the 3 to 4 inch range, rigged with some different jigheads looking for that killer combo and plenty are working fine, more to follow.
The water has crept up to 12 degrees .
Having had some sucsess through March its great to see the sea temperature start to rise, 10 degrees and with it the Bass becomming more active. Its a great time of year, the arrival of the swallows and the sea pinks flowering always make me think of one thing – Bass !!
High pressure and easterly winds havnt been ideal but theres always somewhere that will produce and with the hours i put in im always confident of some sucsess, picking the right tides and conditions as ever.
And so bumping down a tt shad rigged on a gamakstu 21 gram bottom knocker i was feeling as though it wasnt my day having just lost a fish, but the tide was hitting the sweet spot and sure enough a good knock and it was fish on !. The fish stayed solid in the flow and it was a short while before i got a glimpse of a good looking fish, 62cm result, a few shots and then the pleasure of getting her back in the water watching my prize as ever with some kind of awe..
A few days later the wind finally shifted round to a south westerly and i had a chance to fish one of my low water marks, great conditions nice and overcast and with some excitement i started searching the shallow rocky ground with a ima komomo sf 125 and sure enough a slice of North Devon silver jumped on it and scraped hard for its size to the shallows.
After many years of trying ive finally caught a February Bass, having had some sucsess through January it only seemed right to keep going ! As ever i narrowed down my efforts to small areas that have produced fish for me in the past and kept it simple fishing one shad the baitbreath tt shad 4 inch combined with the trusty ecogear iwashi jighead in 14 grams, the only thing i varied was the colour of shad to suit the clarity of water. It was a case of me doing some homework in relation to the colours used, you can never stop learning…
So what ever the weather chucked at me i was there, hard frosts, scraping the ice of the windscreen, hailstorms, sleet, howling winds whatever, if there was a chance of some silver it would surely warm me up on the inside.
Sometimes it just felt like going through the motions casting to areas and slow retreive, then again, then again, always content and at one to just be fishing, then a good pull and fish on !, comming as some kind of suprize. The water is around 8 to 9 degrees, it will be interesting to see what March will offer, watch this space as i aint stopping now !!….
Its always great to get the first fish of a new year under the belt. Ive had a few sessions in January but generally the conditions havnt played ball and i successfully blanked, but during one of these sessions in some dirty water i had a proper good hit on the soft plastic, but failed in a hook up. So with this glimmer of hope i returned to the same mark, conditions were far better with a better water clarity in the 10 degrees sea, giving myself some extra time as the tide slipped out i set about casting upstream with the tt shad mounted on a iwashi jighead, letting it sink slightly then retreived nice n slow.
It wasnt long before i had a good hit and was playing the first silver of the year, result !, not a big fish but more than welcome in the cold conditions. in the next half of an hour i had a further three fish, the best going 54cm, the fish were obviously hold up in a pool hitting what they could on the outgoing tide. I fished on without any further sucsess, my leaking waders letting me know it was time to get home and get warm.
So Autumn has slipped away and we are definitely in winters grips. I’ve had a few sessions over the last week or two and at the end of the day this time of year you need to just get out there and get stuck in !. Bear in mind the water temperature is 12 degrees which is what is was in may and early june, this always gives me the confidence that overides the cold conditions.
As always you need to time your tides and conditions to maximize your chances, so with a window in the weather and a nice lightish sw wind i hit one of my banker marks, getting into some fish early on up to the 3lb mark fishing a green baitbreath tt shad on a 14g iwashi jighead nice n slow across the current. Things were looking good but it took me a while to find another fish, but it was worth the wait.
The usual method of bouncing the ttshad down in the current was what i was pinning my hopes on but i hadnt a sniff and the cold was beginning to bite, then tap tap bang and the clutch sang as i raised into a good fish. As usual with decent fish from this mark they start moving upstream so it was just a case of keeping a tight line and some patcience. And it wasnt long after some good splashing about i was holding a beautifull conditioned fish in the 7lb range, a few shots and back she went.Result !..
Hopefully il be able to get a few more sessions in before christmas, but if i dont this a great way to round off another Bass year…
Had a couple of sessions last week, concentrating on some of my favourite shallow rocky shores. I must admit this is how i love to catch bass as the tide floods in over some tasty ground imagining the bass following in on the hunt, placing shallow diving lures in the likely looking areas and waiting for the hit, magic .
Over the two sessions i had three fish up to 55cm, with one better fish estimated at 7lb plus lost !, all these fish were caught on the ima komomo sf 125 fished with the rod up high to deal with the shallow ground, its a killer lure. The water temperature is 13 degrees and dropping so im hoping for some good fishing over the next month, i love this time of year, all the fish are fighting fit and feeding hard.
Had a session last week and it was a case of searching for some clear water, my intended marks were coloured from the recent autumnal swells and winds. So it was pleasing to find some doable conditions on a mark i hadnt fished for some time. I found a small bay area sheltered from the 2 to 3 ft swell that was pushing through on the incomming tide. A steely grey sea with plenty of fizz, ideal and figured i had a about half an hour to play with before the bay got battered.
Clipping on one of my favourite lures for these conditions the ima nabarone in copper candy, wrasse imitation ?, anyhows i felt pretty confident something would happen and just as i was finishing my retreive i had a good hit and a good tussle later i had a bristling north devon silver around the 4lb mark, result. As the swell pushed through my window had gone, happy with my one fish and glad i found some clear water !
There is every chance over the next month to find a fish like this one from a previous season, as ever you just need some decent conditions and that the Bass Gods may be shining down on you !
Well autumn is certainly here with some proper swells pushing in and both air and water temperature dropping, this should lead to some decent bass fishing as the fish start feeding hard. I had a nice guiding session with David Cowell last sunday, Daves best fish went 4lb and he lost few other good fish that came unstuck on his fish minnow.
Ive managed a few sessions inbetweeen the weather, again the fish have been falling to the Baitbreath tt shad, sea temperature is now 15 degrees
Conditions are paramount this time of year and its often a case of grabbing windows of opportunity, but i must say its often the best fishing of the season