Monday, 30 April 2012

Last bass of a dreadful month - 28th April 2012

I headed out on Saturday evening for the last session of April as the weather for the last two days of the month looked to be too grim for fishing. There was quite a strong cold northeast wind blowing down the beach when I arrived. I had fished nights in Jaunary that were warmer! On the positive side there was a nice surf, not too big, just the size of surf that can produce good results on this beach.

I set up two rods; one baited with crab, the other with rag/razor on 4/0 pennel pulleys and was fishing by 7.30 pm. First cast I had a good tug on the rod with the crab. It was a 49 cm bass.

That was a good start so I was hopeful of a great session. However, it was not to be. The rod tips remained motionless. As the tide pushed in the weed became bad for a while but then cleared a couple of hours before high tide. But there was no improvement in the fishing. The only other bite I got for the remainder of the night was a small coalfish.

I packed up at about 11 pm. The one bass I caught brought my total for the month to 14 which was rather disappointing compared to 37 bass in April 2011 , After some very good results in the second half of March I have been anticipating some excellent fishing in April. This is normally one of my best months for bass fishing but the dreadful weather with persistent cold northeasterly, northerly or northwesterly winds ruined any chance for a repeat of the results of last year. One would expect some respite from the cold weather and northerly winds over the month but the warmer south/southwesterlies never came. The nights were very cold all month, some were even frosty, so it wouldn't surprise me if the sea temperatures were lower at the end of the month than they were at the start.

Last year at least half the bass I caught in April were on lures but this year all were on bait. I had a few attempts at lure fishing but didn't see a hint of a bass never mind catch one. So over the last week I focused on bait fishing as I reckoned that gave me a better chance of getting a few fish. I am not sorry to see the end of April 2012, let's hope May is a better month.

A few small bass - 27th April 2012

The weather was not too bad on Friday afternoon so I finished work a little early, went to a local estuary to dig some rag worm, then headed to the coast with some nice big king rag and a couple of packs of razor. There was a nice surf, but mounds of kelp on the beach. Fortunately the weed ended just before my favourite mark. However, there was a cold northeasterly wind blowing across the beach which did not bode well for fishing. I set up two rods, one with a 4/0 pennel pulley baited with rag, the other with a 3/0 two hook flapper with rag and razor, and was fishing by 6.45 pm

Shortly after setting up I had the first bass, a 41 cm fish taken on the pennel pulley. Then I realized I had forgotten my camera. I took it out of my tackle bag intending to charge the batteries, but forgot to put it back.

It was quite for a long time after that, but maybe an hour after the first fish I had a second bass, this was smaller, about 38 cm. It was taken on razor on the two hook flapper.

There was another long period of inactivity and it was after dark before I had another bite. This was an even smaller bass of barely 36 cm. It was taken on the pennel pulley baited with rag. I packed up shortly after that. It was a poor enough session considering how well this beach was fishing in March.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bass after a dry spell - 24th April 2012

I have been very busy with work over the last few weeks so was not fishing as much as usual, plus the weather has not been ideal. I had a few lure sessions at the weekends but the bass, if present, were just not interested. I also had a couple of bait fishing sessions but the results were poor, just a bunch of dogfish.

However, the conditions yesterday looked more promising. The morning was calm and the forecast for the evening was for light southerly wind veering to strong easterly closer to midnight. I planned on doing some lure fishing but brought along some crab as a backup. But when I got to the coast there was a much bigger surf than I expected and the water was the colour of milk chocolate. It did not look promising, so I had a change of plan. Fortunately I had also brought along the beach casting rods and reels so headed to a nearby beach where I could be almost sure of a few bass rather than waste my time firing out lures into the cold murky sea.

There was a good surf on the beach, I made my way to a favourite mark and was set up by 6.30 pm. I had a 4/0 pennel pulley on one rod and a 3/0 two hook flapper on the other, both baited with crab. Shortly afterwards I had a strong bite on the first cast of the rod with the pennel pulley. It gave a good fight and after a few minutes I hauled a gleaming silver bass out of the surf. It was a 53 cm fish.

About 20 minutes later I had another good tug on the same rod. This was not putting up such a strong fight. It was a 42 cm bass, but quite plump.

15 minutes later I had another bite, again this felt to be a small fish, this time a 41 cm bass. It was taken on the two hook flapper.

About an hour after starting, around 7.30 pm, I had a fourth small fish, a 36 cm bass, again on the two hook flapper.

After that the shoal moved on. It was very quite over high tide, no more bass bites, although I was getting flounder nibbles and eventually hooked a small one of 22 cm.

I was hoping it would pick up again after dark on the ebbing tide. But around 9.00 pm the wind began to swing to an easterly and gradually increased in strength. It looked like the cold easterly was putting the fish off. I was thinking of packing up, then had a very strong tug on the rod with the pennel pulley but by the time I got to the rod the fish was gone.

That gave me some encouragement to stay on a little longer, Then at about 10.45 pm I had another very sharp pull on the same rod. This time the fish was well hooked. It was fighting very strongly, then surged in towards the shore before putting up a strong fight in the shallower surf. I eventually hauled a good size bass out of the breaking waves and on to the sand. It was a 67 cm fish and weighed just over 6 lbs.

I fished on for another three quarters of an hour until the wind really began to pick up and the rain started. I left just in time, as I was walking back along the beach the rain became torrential. It was good to have had a few bass after a break of about three weeks.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

1st of April Bass

After spending the day gardening I headed out for the beginning of the rising tide on Sunday evening. I had intended to dig some lug but having spent all day digging in the garden I couldn't face doing it again for another hour. I had a few crabs and took three packs of razorfish. The razor fished very well for me last week so I reckoned that would suffice.

Since there was just a light northerly breeze I expected the sea to be flat but was surprised to see a moderate surf rolling in. I set up two rods. One with a 4/0 pennel pulley bait with crab, the other with a two hook flapper (3/0 hooks) baited with razor. The tide was just beginning to push in by the time I cast out. About ten minutes later as the light was fading I spotted some subtle knocks on the rod with the crab, picked it up, felt another light tug, struck and hooked a fish. It was fighting strongly and a few minutes I had a 47 cm bass flapping on the beach.

There was then a long slack period with only a 33 cm flounder taken on the crab. About three hours before high tide I began to get bass bites but the fish were cautious, dropping the bait before I had a chance to strike. Eventually I succeeded in securely hooking a 43 cm bass on the two hook flapper.

I had a few more missed bites and then had a good knock on the same rod. This felt to be a better fish and was fighting strongly so I was expecting to see a decent size bass when I hauled it out of the surf but it was a bass double, two small fish on the two hook flapper rig. They were both much the same size, about 35-36 cm.

After that the bites began to slacken off. I was still getting the occasional knock but nothing was hooked. I had used up all the crab and switched the other rod to razor as well. A little later I had a strong tug and was convinced I had another bass but it turned out to be a large dogfish. Shortly after high tide I had the smallest bass of the night on a razor baited pennel pulley. This little guy was only 29 cm but still gave a lively fight.

So not as good as my previous session at the same beach, but with 5 bass, 1 flounder and 1 dogfish I was happy with the session, which brought my bass total for the year to 50.

Blog first anniversary

Its a year since I started this blog. There has been over 14,000 views since then which has far exceed my initial expectations so thank you to everybody for your interest and a special thank you to those that have posted comments.

Looking the audience statistics it is not surprising that most are from Ireland with the UK in second place. But more surprisingly is that the United States is in third place with almost 1,000 page views. The top ten is listed below:

United Kingdom
United States

It has often been difficult to keep it up to date with work commitments and sometimes the fishing reports might be almost a week late but I normally get them done in the end.

Thanks again to all the viewers, hopefully I will have plenty of new reports over the next year to keep you entertained.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Mullet on lures - 31st March 2012

I got up at 5.30 am to try lure fishing for bass given the calm conditions, my third attempt to get my first bass on a lure this year. It was just getting light as I made my way down to the rocks. I have never seen the sea so calm at this mark nor seen the water so clear. The sea was flat, just gently lapping on to the shore. I would have prefered to have had at least a little turbulence in the water.

I began to work my way along the shore, scanning for some sign of fish activity. Then I spotted a disturbance on the water to my right, cast a Feed Shallow across the area but after a few minutes realized it was a shoal of small mullet. However, I reckoned there might be a bass lurking about waiting to pick off the smaller fish. But after about 10 minutes the lure spooked the fish and they moved off.

I continued working my way to the east towards a small bay that has been very productive in the Summer and Autumn. I was not long there when another fish shoal appeared. I cast the Feed Shallow across them and on about the third retrieve through the crystal clear water I could see a small fish dart at the lure as it passed, it was hooked! At first I thought it must be a bass but as it lept out of the water I could see that it was a mullet. It gave a good fight for such a small fish. That spooked the shoal and they disappeared. I doubt it was trying to eat the lure as it wasn't much bigger than the Feed Shallow, maybe it was trying to play with it or just wanted to chase it off but it must have snapped at the lure as it was hooked in the mouth.

I continued fishing in the same area, tried a few other lures and some soft plastics. Then another mullet shoal appeared. I lobbed a weedless Slug Go over the shoal and as I retrieved it through them I could see five or six fish turn and chase the lure and one was hooked under the chin. It again fought well and when I eventually got it onto the rock I realized that it was a golden grey mullet.

I made my way to the opposite side of the bay. Bass often show up here about an hour before high tide. There was no sign of any fish activity, the crystal clear water looked lifeless. Then I noticed a disturbance 20 m away. I clambered across the rocks and cast towards the fish activity. It looked like another mullet shoal was moving closer to the shore. Then I foul hooked one with a Feed Shallow. This was a bigger mullet, lept clear of the water, fought like a manic until I eased it into a shallow rock pool.

I fished on for about another hour but there was no more activity. I guess the water was just too clear and still for bass to come close and maybe its not warm enough yet for them to readily take lures.