I was off to a slow start with the bass fishing this year. As I was very busy with work I did no fishing at all apart from a short session in early January. The cold weather was not too enticing either. Having cleared the work backlog I had some free time coinciding with the big tides a few weeks ago so made my way to a beach that usually produces bass at this time of the year close to high tide given the right conditions. I arrived about three hours into the rising tide but found that the northerly wind had totally flattened the surf, there was hardly a ripple on the sea. That, combined with bright sunny day and hardly a cloud in the sky, did not seem too promising for bass fishing. So I started off with small hook (size 2) three hook flappers baited with freshly dug lug to target flounder.
After about half an hour I noticed a large splash out about 50 m. Then a few minues later a fish arched out of the water. Could it be a bass or sea trout I wondered. It was unlikely to be mullet as the water still felt very cold. I changed over to my usual 4/0 pennel pulley rigs and cast one rod out to roughly where I had seen the fish activity and cast the second in the direction of a submerged depression which would be a likely bass foraging spot.
Maybe 20 minutes later there was a sharp knock on the first rod, I grabbed it, struck as a fish burst on to the surface. It put up a good struggle as it thrashed about on the surface before I glided it into the shallows and on to the beach. It was my first bass of the year, not big, about 2.5 lbs, so I was delighted particularly as I had not been too hopeful at the start of the session.
About half and hour later there was a strong tug on the other rod, the one that was targeting the gulley. Again the fish broke the surface as I began to retrieve. This looked a bigger fish and was certainly putting up a stronger fight, pulling strongly to the right as I tried to land it on the beach. It was indeed a bigger bass, a well fed stocky fish just under 5 lbs.
I continued on fishing for another hour and a half but the bass had moved on. I did have one strong tug but the fish wasn't hooked. But after that it got quiet so I packed up just after high tide.