Ian Laird was targeting gilt head bream with crab bait when this handsome bass seized his offering!
It’s been a good season for bass fishing so far with both bait and lure anglers enjoying success. There have been good numbest of quality fish too with plenty of fish in four to six pound range. As the summer moves towards autumn bigger bass normally show with double figure fish expected. Big mackerel baits anchored out in the surf are often successful.
Kody Chugg enjoyed success with bass tempting three bass over 4lb the best 6lb 4oz during the past week. All taken on large fresh mackerel baits. . He also tempted a small eyed ray off k]just under 8lb from an up channel mark.
Dan Welch enjoyed an action packed lure fishing session in rough water conditions bringing nine fish up to 55cm ( Approx 5lb) to the shore.
With a boat trip off Ilfracombe cancelled due to a brisk wind I decided upon a short session with the lure rod in the hope of a bass. I timed my arrival at the mark two hours after low water as the flooding tide pushed over the shallow boulder strewn shoreline. The shallow water was a little murky with more suspended weed than I would like but if the lure can be presented I felt sure bass would be there. I had a Megabass spindle worm clipped the end of my line from the previous trip in similar conditions. This lure is weedless and can be fished nice and slowly in the snaggiest of water without fear of losing tackle.
I started searching the water close in where weed was not so prevalent and after a couple of casts there was a swirl and knock as a bass snatched at the lure. The next ten minutes were non eventful as I peached the mark carefully. A cast to an area of slightly clearer water brought a big swirl and an all too brief encounter.
My confidence was now high and as the tide pushed in my confidence grew. I followed the edge of the tide up and was rewarded as a bass hit the lure with thump. Line was ripped from the reel and the thin braid burnt my finger as I applied heavy pressure as the fish thrashed about in the weed. After a spirited tussle the bass was secured and at around 5lb despatched to take home for tea. I only take the occasional fish for the table returning any fish over 7lb and any under 4lb. Pan fried bass fillets are delicious!
I continued to search the shallow water and enjoyed another spited tussle with another bass of identical size that was slipped back into the shallow water. The fish swam strongly away and I hope to encounter the fish again in ten years time when it will perhaps be a double.
Combe Martin SAC member Dan Welch has been enjoying some superb fishing from both the boat and shore. Early morning images, bass, mackerel are all the essence of summer sport on our beautiful and rugged coastline. Many thanks to Dan for letting me publish his stunning images.
“loads of mackerel tonight haven’t had mackerel like that for 10-20 years” Dan told me
Lure fishing enthusiasts are enjoying some superb sport from various marks across North Devon with baitfish starting to show the next couple of months are the peak of the lure fishing season.Combe Martin SAC member Mark Jones enjoyed an action packed session tempting over 30 bass several over 4lb the best 60cm and just over 5lb.
Paul Hutchings and Andrew McKenna enjoyed an early season lure fishing session on the estuary and caught a brace of 55cm bass.
Ross Stanway has taken the lead in Combe Martin SAC’s lure fishing competition sponsored by High Street Tackle Ilfracombe. He tempted a fine bass of 70cm that was estimated at 8lb 8oz. The fish was caught from a rock mark using a Black Fiiish minnow.My biggest bass to date 70cm exactly. Ross said ” Unfortunately I didn’t weigh it as I’ve taken to not carrying scales whilst lure fishing. But I estimated it at between 8-9lb. And theres a length to weight chart on uk bass that suggests a 70cm averages 8lb 8oz. It was a brilliant scrap in some pretty challenging conditions. Stiff nwly winds and a fair swell running. After a few quick snaps I slid it back in as quickly as I could. It was awesome to see it swim off. I’m over the moon to have caught what is definitely a PB for me. A little bit gutted that it happened when I was on my own but on the other hand it was a magical moment that I’ll never forget. Also landed 5 smaller ones around 2lb mark.”
Several members have been targeting the bass with Dan Welch landing several from local rock marks.
I fished a shallow and rocky beach mark in a brisk North West Wind to tempt a pleasing bass of 62cm (estimated at 6lb 8oz). The bass took a Mega bass spindle worm in water of no more than 18″. The soft plastic weedless lure enabled effective presentation in the weed strewn shallow rocky water.
Ross Stanway enjoyed a successful lure fishing session last week landing five fish with some reasonable ones amongst them. 44cm, 45cm, 53cm and 55cm. It was a fairly wild night with some crazy squally showers with thunder and lightning mixed in! The catch bodes well for Combe Martin SAC’s Lure fishing competition for club members that casts off on July 1st and is sponsored by High Street Tackle of Ilfracombe.
( Below) Fellow club member Mark Jones banked this beautiful bass of 65cm.
A tree creeper flitted up and down searching the bark for morsels of food. The tackle was ready a favourite lure hanging from the rod. I enjoyed the quiet in anticipation of a couple of hours fishing ahead imagining the tide as it pushed into the boulder strewn shoreline below.
James duly arrived and we chatted as we descended to the beach. A gentle breeze wafted the smell of the sea as we approached, the sweet decay of drying seaweed and salty water. I paused to breathe in the air pleased to be released from a lockdown of a couple of months.
A scramble over weed and barnacle encrusted rocks brought us to the waters edge where we chose our ambush points. It was a delight to once again send a lure out watch it splash on the surface before settling into the rhythm of searching the water. The water was clear and calm; James glimpsed a good bass ghosting past along with several mullet.
I searched the water with both my lures and my eyes full of expectation. Thoughts of a troubled world erased temporarily from the mind. Gradually I became immersed in the location the vast waters that are the Bristol Channel. Pleasing cloud formations, sunlight on calm waters and the gentle lapping of the waves on the shoreline. The expectation of that electrifying jolt down the line as a bass seized the lure gradually faded as the early tide pushed inevitably in.
We walked back to the car talking of the next trip as we paused to admire the wild thrift that decorated the cliffs.