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).