As autumn descends upon us the evenings draw in and it seems essential to try and fit in those short evening sessions with the lure rod before darkness descends and many of us turn to bait fishing. There is of course the opportunity to catch bass after dark with the lure but this is something I always intend to try but tend to shy away from as I feel slightly uncomfortable wading the boulder strewn marks I prefer whilst fishing alone.
This season I have fished far more using weedless soft plastics and have enjoyed some success using the Megabass spindle worms. This 5.5 inch lure gives me confidence as it is retrieved sending a pleasing pulsing action back through the light braid to the rod. I love fishing really shallow water as the tide floods in and have discovered that the bass will move into water less than a foot deep.
Whilst I carry a selection of lures I only tend to alternate between half a dozen patterns.
I arrived at my chosen mark as the tide was starting to flood and searched the shallow boulder strewn foreshore after ten minutes a flash of silver appeared just a few feet from where I stood slamming into the lure with ferocity. After a spirited battle at close range the bass of around 3lb 8oz was beached.
I fished on confident of further success and twenty minutes later the lure was hit by a far bigger fish that made an impressive reel screaming dash for freedom in the shallow water. A handsome bass of around 6lb was admired and its image captured before release.
The autumn months can offer the best chance of the year to catch that elusive double figure bass. At one time I believed the best chance of a double lay with a big bait. Now I am not so sure and feel confident that persistence with the lure will pay dividends eventually.
Ross Stanway (Right) has won this years Combe Martin SAC Lure Fishing Competition sponsored by Ilfracombe’s High Street Tackle. Ross takes away a top of the range N- One lure fishing rod from Major Craft. The winning bass neared 70 cm and was calculated to weigh over 9lb. Wayne Thomas was Runner who won an impressive bundle of quality lures. (Middle) with a bass of 62cm estimated at 6lb.
Combe Martin SAC member Ross Stanway continues to seek out bass with lures intent of maintaining his lead in the clubs lure fishing competition sponsored by Ilfracombe’s High Street Tackle. He tells me the lure fishing has slowed down in recent days. I suspect the bass are feasting on spider crab or mackerel off-shore. Ross also enjoyed success with his family landing a 3lb wrasse whilst son Charlie enjoyed success with pollock and smelt. The below bass was 49cm.
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.
July 1st until September 6th Lure Fishing competition – Kindly sponsored by High Street Tackle, Ilfracombe, who have donated a top quality lure fishing rod for the winner. The runner up will receive a £25.00 Gift Voucher. Club members only. Club membership is £12.00 seniors. Visit www.cmsac.co.uk for contact details or pay your subs to Danny Watson at High Street tackle and leave your Name, email, Mobile number and address. All fish are to measured from nose to fork of tail. The longest bass is the winner. Please supply good quality photo with captor and measurement. New members must provide witness to capture. Enter via CMSAC facebook page or send details to [email protected]
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.
Lure fishing is I believe one of the biggest growth areas in angling with an increasing number of recruits. I guess lure fishing fits well with modern life allowing short sessions with minimal tackle enabling anyone to get their fishy fix.
The latest Lure Fishing book from Dominic Garnett and Andy Mytton is a comprehensive and informative guide to modern lure fishing tactics. I grew up in a generation that had a very narrow view of lure fishing with just a handful of predatory species targeted by most anglers. The introduction of LRF fishing and species fishing has totally transformed the lure fishing world as is illustrated throughout this fascinating tome.
The emphasis throughout the book is fishing for fun. The quest for big is not high on the agenda it’s all about the catching and the variety of species. From saltwater rockpools and blennies, ‘ minnows in brook’s right up to pike, bass and salmon.
The book is well illustrated throughout with some stunning underwater images from Jack Perks. Tactics, tackle, rigs, lures, watercraft, habitat is all crammed into over 200 pages along with a few tales to inspire and illustrate how it all fits together.
This is a must read for lure anglers whatever their experience as it is packed with tips and new angles. I am sure it will be one of those books that is frequently dipped into for inspiration on the eve of lure fishing trips. The only downside is that it will fuel that dreaded temptation to add to the ever increasing box of must have lures!
Definitely one for the Christmas List !