Sunday, 22 July 2012

Tough month - July 2012

I havn't updated the blog for a few weeks, partly since I have been busy with work and partly as there was not much to report.

I focused on lure fishing but have very little to show for it. The best fish was a 58 cm bass on a waveworm caught on the 8th July.

I had a number of lure sessions after that in various locations without a bite. I then decided to return to bait fishing last Wednesday (18th July). I fished a beach where I expected to get bass but just had five dogfish and a plump 32 cm flounder. There was no indication of any bass about.

On Friday I headed to Tramore for Absolute Fishing's Bass Festival, picked up my ID number and special ruler and headed to a Copper Coast mark, arriving at low tide. The location I was fishing looked like a superb bass mark, a gulley lined with kelp which led back into a broad depression in the rock platform. I was confident that a stream of bass would come through once the tide started to push in. But after 4 hours I had to admit defeat and move back to more familar ground for high tide. But again nothing!!

After the disappointment of the previous day I headed to a more reliable mark on Saturday. The weather was very calm and sunny in the morning which was good for this location as the water can become highly coloured if there is even a moderate onshore breeze. The water quality looked good, not totally clear, but clear enough for fish to be easily able to see the lures so I was hopeful of a better session.

Shortly after the tide began to push in I was fishing on a ledge into water about 2 m deep and saw a bass slowly swim up to a waveworm and then move on. I tried a variety of other lures but could not interest it again.

I moved further east along the shore to a location of very shallow water that can produce bass early on the rising tide. I put on a red and black waveworm and first cast was hit by a bass. It fought well and I was surprised that it was only a 53 cm fish, although it was a stocky well fed one.

Shortly afterwards I had a bit of a mishap. The tide forced me to move back, but as I was crossing a deepish sand floored gulley the side collapsed and I slide into the pool and water filled my waders. I was totally soaked. But that didn't stop me fishing. I took off my clothes, emptied the waders, put them back on and continued fishing. I could see several fish in very close, they looked very like bass but showed no interest in any lure I fired in their direction. It is possibe they were mullet but I think they were bass which were just not interested in feeding on anything other the crabs which they seemed to be foraging for under the bladderwort.

I moved to the eastern end of the bay. I had a couple of bass follow a Feed Shallow but as the lure approached the shore they turned away and that was the last I saw of them.

As the sun set below the hill behind me I was beginning to feel cold since I was just wearing waders so I reckoned it was time to pack up. I made my way back to get my clothes which I left drying on a rock. Then as I was leaving a large fish lept out of the water about 30 m out. I had to stop and have another go but again it was not interested. I could see fish splashing about in the shallow water but could not tempt them. The final straw came when one lept clear out of the water just 3 m in front of me and I swear it was looking straight at me and laughing. Time to go home!!!!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Back to bait - 2nd & 3rd July 2012

After a few fruitless lure session last week and over the weekend I decided to return to bait fishing.

2nd July:  All I had for bait was frozen razor but throught I would give it a go as I did not have time to dig fresh bait earlier in the day. I headed to a beach which produced a couple of nice bass two weeks ago and would be fishing much the same stage of the tide. There was a good surf and low cloud totally blocked out the full moon so I was hopefully of getting a few bass.

These was a lot of fine weed in the surf close to the shore so I had to cast out further than I would have liked. Shortly after setting up I had a good knock on one of the rods, at first I was convinced it was a bass since it was pulling strongly but as I retrieved the fight weakened. A few minutes later I hauled a large dogfish out of the surf. That was followed by a rather plump coalfish. I have never caught coalfish in July from that beach - probably an indication of how cold the water is, well below the average July sea temperature.

As the tide began to push in more strongly I had another dogfish. Again it was a large one which fought well and had me thinking it was a bass until I had it on the beach.

Another coalfish followed. Then I had a sharp tug on one of the rods, I picked it up and could feel a strong fish on the end. It was pulling hard so I knew it was definitely not a dogfish. As I got it in close I could see a good fish splashing about in the surf and was sure it was a bass until I had it on the beach - it was a Bull Huss!!

That was a bit of a surprise, I have never caught one on this beach before and dont think I have heard of one been caught there either.

I fished on for a bit longer but had no more bites so packed up about half an hour later.

3rd July:  I dug some rag worms at lunch time and that night returned to the same beach but fished a different location further to the west. The surf was much weaker compared to the previous night but it was relatively weed free. I cast out one rod and was setting up a second when I spotted some tugs on the first. I struck and began to retrieve. I could tell from the way the initial fight died off that this was another dogfish.

Another two dogfish followed. Then I had a fish which was putting up a much better fight. This must be a bass I thought - but I was wrong - it was another Bull Huss, smaller than the one I had the previous night.

The tide began to push in after that but there were no more bites. I fished for about another two hours with only a few gentle nibbles which were probably small fish pulling on the bait.