Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Lunch time bass - 7th November 2011

Monday was another lovely sunny day, too nice to be stuck indoors working at the computer. The urge to head out for a lure session got too great to resist so by Midday I decided to head out for a few hours - an extended Mediterraean style lunch break!!

I went to an East Cork rock mark that will almost always fish well if the conditions are calm and the water reasonably clear. However, when I arrived the sea was choppier and the water more coloured than I expected. I made my way on to a finger of rock and cast a large Slug Go into the surf. Large waves were breaking onto the rock so I moved further along the shore to a small bay that was more sheltered. I tried a range of soft plastics and a Tide Minnow but there was no interest. Pat, another regular at this mark, was fishing the opposite side.

I then made my way to the other side of the bay. There is a gulley here that has produced good size bass in the last hour and a half before high tide. Sure enough after about 15 minutes I had a strong bass take a giant Xlayer. I had been using weedless SPs but switched to an Xlayer with a 12g lead head to get lower in the water column as I reckoned there might be bass scouring the bottom of the gulley for crabs and the water was probably too cloudy for them to see shallow diving lures. The fish stayed deep most of the way in but when it broke the surface I could see that is was a decent size. It made several breaks for freedom, stripping some line, before I eventually eased it in close to my feet and lifted it out. It was a well fed 66 cm bass with a weight of just under 6.5 lbs.

I fished on for a little longer - then Pat had a mishap!!! I won't go into that, other than say his fishing was cut short and he went home rather damp!!!

I packed up shortly afterwards at about 3 pm and headed back to work. If only every lunch break was like that.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Another window of opportunity - 6th November 2011

Fishing over the last couple of weeks has been dire. The storms a few weeks ago left the beaches unfishable due to vast amounts of drifting seaweed. I headed out for about 5 bait sessions but had to abandon each after no more the three casts as huge clumps of seaweed accumulated on the line. One time I had not even had the chance to place the rod back on the rest before I could feel the drag of the weed. So with a favourable forecast for last weekend I was anticipating that finally I might be able to do some fishing. Saturday was a lovely calm sunny day but I reckoned I better do some gardening first. I headed to Youghal at 4.00 pm for an attempt at cod fishing. The tide was ebbing at this stage so not ideal but I knew of a mark that fished well last winter on a dropping tide so reckoned that was my best bet. Seaweed was still a problem and all I could manage over 3 hours were two small codling - a very poor result compared to this time last year.

Sunday was another great day, blue sky and little or no wind. I thought the conditions would be good for lure fishing and headed to a West Waterford mark that had been fishing well in August and early September. I wasn't sure if the water would be clear after all the stormy weather but as I made my way down the slope to the shore I could see that the water was crystal clear.

I started fishing a shallow bay that was now been filled by the tide. But there was no sign of any fish activity. I made my way eastwards, reached some deeper gulleys and fished into them using a variety of soft plastics and deeper diving lures but still nothing. I decided to work my way to the western end of the bay and headed back to where I started to collect my bag. I was just about to move on when I spotted a splash near where I first started. It was about 35 m out, but as it was very shallow ground I was going to have to use weedless soft plastics. It was too far to reach with the normal Slug-Gos and Xlayers but fortunately I had a couple of the extra large Slug Gos. After a few casts there was another splash but closer this time, about 20 m away from me. I continued fishing with the Slug Go then suddenly it was grabbed by a bass between some boulders in very shallow water only about 6 or 7 meters from the rock I was standing on. It gave a good fight, thrashing about on the surface and stripping some line before I coaxed it in through the rocks and on to a flat ledge. It was a 51 cm fish and weighed a little over 3 lbs. My first bass in about three and a half weeks!

That gave me some encouragement so I continued fishing in the same small bay. About 20 minutes later I moved about 20 m to the right and cast the same Slug Go towards a deeper gulley, after the lure hit the water I let it drop, gave it a few twitches as I began to retrieve, and instantly the lure was grabbed by another fish. This time it stayed deep as I worked it in and only broke the surface about 10 m out. It felt a much bigger fish and put up a stronger fight, especially when I got it in close and stripped several meters of line as it made one last surge for freedom, before I eased it on to the rocks. It was a fine chunky bass of 5.5 lbs and a length of 58 cm.

I fished on for a little longer but as the tide began to drop I decided to pack up. I was very happy with that session, it is just a shame that we didn't have some weather like that in September!!!