I've had a long standing ambition to catch a decent bass from the Arun and preferably from my boat.Tales of BIG Arun bass have been around for ages.The Arundel crew get a fair few on livebait and prawn methods and Tony Lee in his article in 'B.A.S.S on bass' did very well some years back using big squid and mackerel baits in the lower river.
Smaller fish tend to be caught quite regularly on lure methods,with the occasional good fish on shads, but that's not really my bag so I'll be mostly concentrating on big bait methods aiming for the bigger fish.
I don't expect instant results .It's going to be a challenge and take some time and effort with a lot of luck thrown in,but I'm sure with patience,eventually It'll pay off.
I'd promised Andy a trip out in the boat for ages so after I'd finished work we set off from the slipway at about 7 p.m with the intent of fishing around the top of the tide which was nice and small at 4.5m H.W 2240.
.I wanted to show Andy how the boat handled ,and also the huge holes under the various bridges on the fish finder so we motored up to Ford.Our big squid,sardine and mackerel baits were hammered by eels from the off, and eventually i did hook one at about a pound and a half on my 4/0 pennel.
As the tide was beginning to get slack we relocated downstream,under the A259 bridge anchoring next to one of the buttresses, and casting our baits into the deep mid river depression but, only eel and crabs made themselves present.Finally we tried under the red bridge in mid channel,with Andy chucking around a surface lure but,again no luck,so we pulled off the river at about mid night.
Despite really enjoying ourselves out in the boat in the eerie darkness for the first time,on this occasion we had no bass but, we learned an awful lot.Smaller tides are going to be essential so we can anchor up close enough to those holes and have a reasonable time to fish.The crabs and eels are going to be a constant issue but it may work in our favour by creating a ground bait effect.T.L felt this to be quite important although it does consume a lot of bait.I'm going to work on a sunken float pat rig for next time as maybe this will help keep the bait out of their reach.Andy reckons he can score some live smelt so perhaps this could also give us an advantage but we'll see. If a five plus comes aboard this season,I'll be happy man.