Saturday, 27 April 2013

A few more bass - 23rd - 25th April 2013

23rd April 2013
I headed to a regular beach after finishing work to fish the ebbing tide. I was set up by 7 pm. There was a good surf breaking on the beach, and a SSW breeze was beginning to increase in strength and it was overcast so the conditions looked good. The previous Saturday I found that bass went for bait on smaller hooks and ignored my large clump of lug on a 4/0 pennel pulley. So this time I set up two rods both with size 1 and 2/0 circle hooks baited with lug. Less than 20 minutes later I spotted a subtle knock on one of the rods, picked it up and waited for a stronger bite then lifted into the fish. It felt to a small bass and a few minutes later I hauled a 38 cm bass out of the surf.

I rebaited and recast. Shortly afterwards I had another bite, a strong tug on the same rod. I grabbed it and began to retrieve. This felt a slightly better fish. It was another small bass just over 42 cm in length.

That was a good start, two bass in less than 30 minutes. However, the bites then died off. It was quite until 9.15 pm before I had the next fish, the third small bass of about 41 cm.

As the light was beginning to go I put on my headlamp and turned it on but there was only a dim flicker and then it went totally dead. It must have got switched on in my bag and the batteries had run down. As it was a dark night with thick low cloud I quickly dismantled the rods, packed up and quickly headed back across the beach while there was still enough light to make out my way. I was kicking myself for not bringing a spare set of batteries.

24th April 2013
I had plenty of lug left over from the previous session so headed to the same mark, this time with two sets of fully charged batteries!!

The surf as quite a bit weaker compared to the evening before, there was little or no wind and it felt a lot warmer. I was set up and fishing by 7.30 pm. There was not much happening for the first hour; then at about 8.45 there was a strong tug on one of the rods. It was a small bass of only 37 cm.

I had a second strong bite just 10 minutes later, this time a 41 cm bass.

I was anticipating a good session after that but then it went very quite and it was about an hour later before I had another bite. This time it was a small coalfish. I had another three coalfish after than and it was not until 11 pm before I had another bass, another 41 cm fish.

This was followed by a bunch more small coalfish but no more bass. I stayed on until 1.30 am and packed up shortly after the tide began to push back in.

Several of the bass I had on this session and the previous one had net marks. Some of them may have been old marks but one fish had what looked like fairly recent marks and its scales had not yet grown back.

25th April 2013
It was a clear night with a bright full moon. It looked a nice night to be out so I decided to venture out again. I had some lug left over from the previous two sessions but they were mostly small. I decided to try a West Waterford beach for a change.

Unfortunately the wind had switched to a northwesterly during the day which had flattened out the surf, so it didn’t look too promising, especially as I find this beach doesn’t fish well unless there is a big surf.

Despite the northwest wind it was still mild enough and hardly needed my headlamp as the beach was bathed in bright moon light. Unfortunately there was not much happening. The first bite was a small Shore Rockling.

This was followed 20 minutes later by a coalfish, a bit bigger than the usual ones that have been showing up on the beached recently so for a few moments I was hopeful it might be a small bass until I had it on the beach. This was followed by two more much smaller coalfish about an hour later. By that stage I had used up all the bait, so packed up and headed home.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Bass at long last!!!! - 20th April 2013

The incessent east/northeast winds have finally come to an end. I was hopeful the southwesterly/southerly winds would bring an improvement in fishing - well it couldn't get much worse. The last time I was fishing in mid-March I blanked despite a nice surf on a regular beach which normally provides excellent fishing in March.

Saturday was a nice sunny day with a SSW breeze so I headed to the same beach, arriving just before low tide in daylight. Over the winter the beach geometry had changed significantly, the beach was steeper and now there was a sizeable sandbank just above the low tide mark.There was a good surf but the water was still very cold, so I was not too optimistic about getting any bass.

I initially set up two rods on the crest of the sandbank with 4/0 pennel pulleys; one baited with lug the other with lug and razor. After a few minutes there were little tugs on the rod with the lug only. I retrieved, the bait was gone. I cast out again, same thing happened. Probably small flounder stealing the bait. So I put on a two hook flapper with size 2 hooks to see what the bait robbers were.

About 15 minutes later just as the tide was starting to push in I had a sharp knock on the rod with the two hook flapper, struck, felt a fish on the end. A few minutes later a hauled a small (46 cm) angry bass out of the surf - the first bass of 2013!!! That was rather later than last year when I had the first on the 4th of January. But better late than never.

About 15 minutes later I had a second bass, this was smaller and scrawny, barely over 40 cm.

Shortly afterwards I had a small coalfish. It was quite for about half an hour before I had a double of another coalfish and a five bearded rockling. The tide then began to push over the the sandbank so I made a retreat, the depression behind me was already knee-deep in water. I was hoping the fish would move into that area with the rising tide. But there then followed a prolonged quite period of about an hour before the fish began to feed again. I had a couple more coalfish and another rockling. The flounder then showed up, they were small and I had four over the next hour, the last and largest was about 27 cm.

After that I was about to pack up, when there was a strong tug on the rod with the two hook flapper and the rod tip bent over - another bass!!! I grabbed the rod and stuck. It was indeed a bass, not big, but still putting up a bit of a fight. It was a 44 cm fish. There was a small five bearded rockling on the other hook.

I stuck it out for about another half an hour in case there was a shoal of bass moving in but there was only one more bite from a 21 cm flounder.

So while the fish were small it was a definite improvement on the last couple of months with a total of 17 fish (3 Bass, 5 Coalfish, 5 Flounder and 4 Five bearded rocklings).