Flooding tide last cast bass

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I have been looking forward to getting back out onto the rocks after a bass on the lure and today I made my first foray. It was great to once again scurry across the rocks as the tide dropped to low water timing my arrival to coincide with the bottom of the tide.

Water clarity was great and I was full of confidence as I searched the water starting off with a Patchinko surface lure and alternating through shallow divers and soft plastics. I gave each of my favourite spots ten minutes or so before moving along the shoreline as the tide began to push in over the boulders.

Despite a lack of interest in my lures confidence remained high and even if a bass did not intercept my offerings it was good to be out in the warm sunshine taking in the splendid scenery. A pair of peregrines swooped above beside the steep cliffs hunting an unfortunate pigeon that was I believe lucky to escape on this occasion.

I had reached my final rock and as the tide rose it was  to time to go as I had stated I would be home at around 7.30pm and it was now 6.30pm. One last cast! I had just changed to a shallow diving plastic; as the lure came close to a boulder ten yards out a savage take was followed by a screaming reel and a bent rod. A bass of around five pound battled for cover and won its freedom as the hook hold gave way. I recast to the same spot and to my surprise had a repeat performance as another bass hit the lure hard. After a spirited battle a three pound bass was brought to hand and on this occasion was destined to arrive on our dinner plate pan fried with new potatoes and fresh salad just over an hour later. I only take two or three bass for the table each year returning the vast majority especially any fish of over 7lb.

The catch raises a couple of questions. Was it the result of a change of lure or just being in the right place as a shoal of bass happened to arrive where I was casting?

Earlier in the day I had visited Danny Watson at High Street Tackle and selected a couple more lures to try out. On this occasion it was an old battered lure that had done the trick. I tend to rely on half a dozen lures, a couple of hard plastic shallow divers, a couple of soft plastics and a couple of surface lures. The lures I take will to some extent depend on the chosen venue.

Bass and ray shore sport!

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Its been very quiet from the shore over recent weeks with poor weather deterring many anglers from venturing forth. The water temperature is up for the time of year and this could encourage a few fish close inshore to start feeding. Ollie Passmore found success landing this fine small-eyed-ray of 10lb 4oz. His good friend Kody Chugg also succeeded landing a fine bass of 8lb that was carefully released after a quick picture.

BIg tope on Bluefin

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(Above)Paul Bloomfield with 40lb tope

(Above) A fifty pound plus tope for first timer Colin.

Bluefin will be running fishing trips out of Ilfracombe throughout the winter months at present there are still a few tope being caught and bass from the reefs. With the new that anglers can now retain one bass per day trips to reefs will be popular with option to keep the occasional fish for the table.

Time for bass and mullet

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John Shapland landed this fine thick lip of 4lb 4oz on a recent trip. The next couple of months are without doubt my favourite time to get out fishing with a wealth of fish to target. Bass and mullet have to be close top of the wanted list and reports would indicate that there are a few about.

2 BITES TODAY!!!  Johns exciting report.
“first pulled the tip around hard and kept on going took the rod from the rest and into the water!!! time I got to it I lifted into nothing!!! heart beating like mad and shaking like a leaf, rebaited and re-cast then bang!!! tip right around and fish on!! followed the fish down stream but my landing net was miles away by now, a great scrap ensued with some awesome runs. I managed to beach her on the shallows and carried back to the landing net for a rest then release and weighed in at 4lb 2 oz
most happy with this old warrior.”

Rob Scoines enjoyed a session at a local rock mark ctaching several bass to 4lb 2oz and a small bull huss.

Time to catch a bass

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September and October have always been prime time for the bass angler with every chance of that fish of a lifetime showing. If water clarity is good lure fishing could bring its rewards though a big fish bait anchored off a beach is a method with a well proven track record. Don’t rule the estuary either as big bass often prowl into areas that many consider the home of flounder and school bass.

Recreational anglers will be delighted to hear that the total ban on retaining bass is to be lifted from October 1st 2018 with one bass per day to be allowed for the table. Whilst the majority of anglers return the fish they catch most will be pleased that they can take the occasional fish for the table.

(below)Ali Laird enjoyed a successful session on a local beach beaching two small ray a brace of bass of 3lb to 4lb and this fine bass of 9lb 12oz.

(Below) Tony Slade won Appledore Shipbuilder’s Bass Competition at Westward Ho! with a bass of 7lb 4oz.

(Below) James Atkinson took second and third with bass of 3lb 5oz and 2lb 12oz.

Bass from boulder strewn shores

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First day of autumn probably the finest season for angling. One more try for a bass in Combe Martin SAC’s lure competition.

As I walk to the shore a few family’s are enjoying time beside the sea as summer fades. Its a balmy air as I make my way across the familiar boulder strewn foreshore. I arrive perspiring just before low water and make my way out onto a favorite  rocky promontory. The sea is calm, clarity good and I feel confident as I clip on a patchinko surface lure and launch it 40 yards or so out onto the water. After searching the water for ten minutes or so without any swirls behind the lure I clip on my favourite candy coloured shallow diver. After two casts I feel that electrifying jolt through the thin braid as a bass slams into the lure. The rod pulses in my hands as a bass of a couple of pounds fights for freedom. I relish the sight of the bass as it swims on a tight line in the clear water.

A couple more casts and a repeat performance as bass number two hits the lure.

As the tide pushes in I hop off the rock before getting trapped by the rising water and move fishing from boulders flicking a surface lure into the shallow water. There is a swirl behind the lure and I pause momentarily before twitching the lure and get an immediate response as a small bass nails the lure hard. I lift the bass from the water and on grabbing the fish impale my finger on a flying treble hook. Bass on one hook finger past the barb on the other; Ouch!!! I really should carry a small first aid kit..

A wash off in salty water and its time to resume fishing. I search the shoreline finding three more bass as I relish the calm water and the splendid scenery. I love fishing these shallow boulder strewn shorelines and the exciting encounters as the bass appear in the clear water sometimes smashing the lure just a few feet from the edge.

I end the session as the evening sun illuminates the steep cliffs pausing as I walk back to enjoy a hot coffee from my new drink pod.

The next few months are an exciting prospect for the angler with bass, mullet and tope on the sea angling agenda.