Bideford Angling Club 24 hour results
1st Antony Smith bass 7lb 3 1/2oz 103.125%
My good friend John Avery caught this stunning bass of 7lb 12oz whilst fishing for thick lipped grey mullet using bread flake presented on a size 8 hook and quiver tip tactics.
I often consider the options for fishing for bass using smaller baits and tactics. Whilst the larger baits work well there are occasions when a more subtle approach can work even for big fish. It is not unusual to catch bass on bread-flake but It is not a first choice bait. Float fishing with live prawn can be very successful and would imagine sea slaters could work. Taming a bass on 8lb b.s line and light float rod is not too difficult and is certainly exciting.
Rob Scoines had a weekend to remember landing two personal best fish whilst fishing in the clubs pairs match with only one fish counting per angler his second fish did not count in the competition but a thick lipped grey mullet of 4lb 7oz did and combined with my meagre dogfish of 1lb 13oz won us the pairs competition. Rob also secured the individual best fish prize with the mullet.
(Below) Mark Jones landed a fine brace of fish including a smoothound of 9lb 2oz and a thornback of 10lb 6oz.
(Below) David Jenkins enjoyed sport in the estuary landing a brace of bass scaling 3lb 5oz and 3lb 2oz.
( Below) Ali Laird and his brother Ian Laird enjoyed a good session outside of the club match landing bull huss, conger, a codling and a bass. Best fish of the session was a bull huss scaling 10lb 1oz to the rod of Ali Laird.
Stormy weather that stirs up the water is not ideal for the lure angler but is often a blessing for the bait fisher. Fishing as the storm abates is often productive with big odour oozing baits fished on big hooks likely to attract a specimen bass. Distance is not an issue with fish often found right in close feasting on food dislodged by the surging waters.
Safety is obviously paramount during rough conditions and marks must be chosen with care. Always look for somewhere with a degree of shelter and never fish where there is no chance of safely landing the fish you hook. Study the tide, weather charts and google maps. Wear a life jacket, do not fish alone and allow a sensible margin of error between you and the sea. Don’t linger as the tide pushes in. Use strong tackle to ensure you can bully a big fish into the net. Take a long handled landing net to allow netting without getting too close to the water.
(Below) Rob Scoines tempted this beautiful silver flanked bass from a North Devon rock mark using launce.
(Below) Rob is about to release his prize back. If you want to keep a bass fish of 4lb to 5lb make great eating bigger fish are best returned alive after a quick picture.
(Below) Paul Saunders tempted this bass during a stormy session at Ilfracombe.
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.