Tuesday, 24 August 2010

24/8/10 Bassquest #2 L.A east beach

The wind was 'a howlin' and despite my Initial reluctance, Andy persuaded me to try a low water evening surf session on the East beach adjacent to the river mouth to try and progress 'bassquest'.Again,it's something I'd been meaning to do for a long time,but never got around to,and even if the trip hadn't produced,just being out there in the wild conditions was fun.
I tackled up with the 11ft estuary rod,6501 and a 4/0 pennel baited with a whole squid in a Dvice.We waded out some distance before gently lobbing the baits no more than 50yds into the surf ,moving back with the making tide and holding the rod to feel for bites.My thigh waders were nowhere near good enough and I soon had a wet patch in the nether region.
2nd or 3rd cast I had, what I thought, was a bite and then a slackliner but, I missed it anyway.Next cast, a more positive nod,a weighty pull down and I was In.It came in quite easily,just a few head shakes and a bit of kiting, but looked very handsome in the water as I led it the 100yds or so inshore to dry land,all the time feeling a little nervous that it would slip the hook.
Andy measured it at 55cm with a 30cm girth so we settled on 4-08- a modest fish by most standards but my second biggest caught by design(the biggest at 4-12 and caught on a spinner in the river in 2000)and I was chuffed to bits, as was Andy.
Fine looking fish bass- I can understand why some are so passionate about them.After the pic I released her in the shallows and followed her out for about 50yds into the sea which was a thrill in itself.
I had one more tentative bite(struck too early) which left the squid a bit tatty and that was it.We'd been fishing for just over a couple of hours and stopped as darkness fell, and the tide was approaching the bottom of the shingle bank.
A few thing of note;  I do need to learn to delay the strike a bit and even give a bit of slack line as recommended by the late ,great J.D. The Dvice is unnecessary in these conditions,especially when using squid.Andy actually had a non-release on one cast.3-4oz breakaway would be fine maybe with a clipped running paternoster rig to cut through the wind.In the future,I'll probably measure bass rather than try to weigh them,particularly in surf conditions,and finally ,most fish of this size and over, are GIRLS.
So, a bit of success on the bass front and a good start to the campaign.Must do more of this.

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