Thursday, 4 August 2011

Bank holiday bass - 1st August 2011

After a poor session on Saturday at what is usually a reliable East Cork mark I decided to try an area in West Waterford where I have had a few bass recently. I got there at low tide. There was a light southeasterly breeze and the water was clear. At the low water mark there was an extensive carpet of kelp (growing on the rocks not loose) in front of me so it was only possible to fish with weedless soft plastics. As the tide began to rise I switched to surface lures, in particular a Patchinko which I could blast out a good distance against the wind. I fished around the first mark for close to two hours. It looked an ideal spot for bass to move in with the tide, a narrow gulley floored by loose rocks and some sand with plenty of kelp for cover, but there was not a sign of a fish. There was also no sea bird activity, a couple of weeks ago gulls were constantly diving not far out to sea but this time the few that were around were just sitting on the rocks. So it didn't look too encouraging.

I then moved a few hundred meters along the shore to another likely looking spot. I had a few casts directly out to sea with a Patchinko across several barely submerged ridges. Then cast diagonally along the shore, first cast the Patchinko was struck by a good bass about 40 m out. It fought strongly, dived and broke the surface again. I worked it over the shallow reefs in front of me and eventually eased it onto the rocks. It was a 57 cm bass weighing 4.25 lbs.

I fished the same area for a while but was pushed back by the tide. I moved a little further along the shore but had no more bites. High tide was at 6.30 pm so by 6 pm I decided to walk to the opposite end of the mark and try an area which I had not fished before. Access was easier here, the rocks flatter. As the water was deeper I switched to some shallow diving lures such as the Feed Shallow and Megabass X-140 but there was no interest. I moved about 30 m further along, and put on a weedless Giant Xlayer first to check the terrain for snags before using the diving lures. I had a couple of cast, then on about the third cast the lure was grabbed by strong bass. The drag was set a little loose and it stripped some line before I turned the fish. It gave a good fight for a few minutes before I landed it. It was a 55 cm bass with a weight of just about 4 lbs.

I stayed on a little longer but there were no more bites. So not a bad start to August, let's hope the fishing picks up from now after a rather slow July.

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