Saturday, 28 July 2012

27/7/12 Could Have Been Better.

 Not a particularly productive trip this one but at least I did finish up by getting my target bass, though not that impressive a specimen at about 4lb.
Mackerel baits weren't exactly plentiful but i did get a few and tried the usual half bait technique on the reef with little to show for before once again trying s.p's. A couple of pollack came up but it wasn't exactly electrifying, so I finished the session with a return to my original mark,which is when this bass eventually showed.Hard going.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

24/7/12 Another Cracking Bass...............and a 30lb Conger!

I worked a day shift today and mentioned to my mate, and work colleague Ian, that i was heading out in the boat that evening in search of bass  and would he like to join me.
The idea obviously appealed as just before finishing work, I received a telephone call confirming that he could make it.
As you can see from the pic,the sea was 'mirror' calm and we left the marina at about 1830 picking up plenty of mackerel on the way out to my intended mark. I was able to position the boat 'bang on the numbers' and, as the tide was just beginning its ebb, at exactly the 'hot time'.
Despite not mentioning to Ian for obvious reasons, with the mark's recent form,I felt pretty confident that i could put him on to a decent bass, but knew that chances would be few and far between.
Ian's done a fair bit of angling but very little from a boat so after a bit of coaching on using the lever drag on the Avet ,and what to do should a take occur, he sent down his half mackerel bait.
It didn't take very long at all-the ratchet sang and he did exactly as he was told-let the fish run a little on slack line, then hit it-absolutely perfect.

A good fight from a good fish resulted in this cracking 9-08. The biggest bass Ian had ever seen by far and the man was chuffed to bits.....I was pretty satisfied with the result as well!
Unfortunately very little else showed to our big baits until, in complete darkness, my ratchet slowly clicked away signalling a take from a nocturnal predator of a different kind.A very dogged fight on the 12lb class rod ensued, with dives and line stolen, but eventually out of the black water came a conger-my second decent sized one,of around 30lb.
I think Ian might be considering getting his own boat now. Good fishin' with ya mate.


22/7/12 Soft Plastics

.A day of struggling, trying to come to grips with s.p lures with very little caught apart from small pollack  but...........compensation indeed came along in the shape of my first sighting of a porpoise which was breathtaking.I'd caught a glimpse of it surfacing in the corner of my eye whilst at Walderons, and proceeded to follow it west for a half mile or so.

A big animal with a very dark back but i've really little hope of correctly identifying which specie it was.I did let Dick,skipper of Lynander who was close by know of its whereabouts to which he rather amusingly replied that he wasn't really interested in catching on of those!!!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

20/7/12 Poor Fishing

Usually I can catch something when out fishing in my boat.In fact,I've only ever actually blanked on one occasion these past eighteen months and I believe that was the first 'try out' trip that me and Andy did way back when. However, there are days when very little shows up especially when you're targetting certain fish....i.e reef bass.

With the recent break in the weather I had to get out and figured that with it being a week day,I'd have mark #6 to myself and decided to head back to my hot spot of a couple of trips back.

It didn't take too long to secure some fresh mackerel and i was soon anchored in the spot...but all that showed up for me w

as doggies.......I didn't even get a ray.

Alan had decided to join me and he did indeed bag one bass of about 5lb but in general, everybody was having a slow day including the three main charters Spirit, Lynander and Jennifer's Pride who's crews did pick up the odd spikey,but the general mood on the 'wireless' was one of disappointment.

C'est La Vie.

I'll be out again tomorrow to try again.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

6/7/12 A Quickie.

Brimming with enthusiasm from yesterday's bassing, I nipped back to the same mark today to have another crack ,but with little success.The timing of the tide meant that I wouldn't be able to be out at the 'hot' time and I think this made a huge difference.

Alan spent most of the morning from the early hours out there, and scored a couple of small spikies but others in the area fared less well.I did try a move over to #5 and made the mistake of trying to anchor too close to a buoy marking a nice piece of jagged rock-snagging it in the process.Lesson learned.

It wasn't entirely unproductive-- nice thornback turned up but, that was all, and I ended this quick trip by investigating mark# jigging heavily weighted soft plastics  for half an hour - a new method for me..

The big 6.1 m tide made entry back into the river somewhat interesting especially as I'd chosen to return at half ebb. The full strength of the flow, no doubt assisted by some floodwater from upstream, combined with the cross flow of the ebbing tide, and a sudden increase of wind from the south made the entrance very messy indeed.Of course the boat handled it otherwise I wouldn't be sat her typing this, but it did feel at times as if I was trying to tame a bucking horse-another lesson learned.

Friday, 6 July 2012

5/7/12 Bassquest.....Progress.

Scooby was out of the water again this morning whilst Andrew finished off the repairs to the gel coat. The results are very good and he's managed to get a decent colour match despite white being a very difficult shade to work with.
At the same time I was fitting a service kit to the carburettor which will hopefully solve an over fuelling problem which I've been experiencing of late. By lunch time all was finished and I was able, with a little help from Jan, slide her back in at the slipway and head straight out to sea to make the most of the calm conditions.
First job was to bag up on mackerel , both for bait,and for tea. The feathers didn't take long to do their job.
When I arrived at the mark #40, there were too many boats in attendance for my liking so I elected to anchor up at Alex's mark by which time the ebb was beginning to push. Big baits today. Half mackerels on 6/0 viking and 8/0 circle both ends of the fish being tried in an attempt to trap some bass.
Fishing was a little slow at Alex's although, along with a doggie, a double figure undulate turned up so i'm not complaining.Most of the boats had left #40 by the end of the afternoon to make the bar but, with Alan on Walrus still about to keep me company, I moved into position for the last of the ebb and the 'hot' period for bass -over the low water.
After a few bumps and knocks , i soon had my first run.These bass are particularly prone to dropping the bait if they feel any significant resistance so I set the Avets with the clicker on, and just enough drag pressure to hold the line against the flow.As soon as a take is suspected the drag is fully released, the clicker disengaged, and the bass allowed to take line under gentle thumb pressure with a 'strike', or when using a 'circle' just a gentle tightening occurring just a few seconds later.
It seemed to work quite well  and i don't think I missed any takes. The first bass up was a modest fish of 5-04, followed shortly by a very lively upper double figured tope which gave me a tremendous scrap on the 8lb class rod,and an equally tremendous scrap when I foolishly tried to wrestle the thing on board by tailing it at the side of the boat with my free hand.The intention was to try for a self take shot but,the cockpit battle didn't last too long, the tope thrashing it's knashers a bit too close to my bare toes for comfort, before being quickly released back into its own environment.
At slack water things went quiet but picked up again as the boat settled and the water began to move again.Next fish up was a better bass ,this time at 8-08 followed very quickly by another nice fish at 7-12 to complete a hat-trick of the intended quarry,all three fish fighting extremely hard and taking line on some pretty spectacular dives  when within netting range.
The  fish were tethered at the side of the boat on the 'Grip' whilst the self takes were set up and consequently held in the same manner until fully recovered, which did take several minutes.It was quite a sight seeing them immediately dive for the depths on releasing the trigger grip-a good piece of kit.
  Finally another double figure undulate took a mackerel head to complete a very productive session indeed.By the time the tide had picked up pace, the bites dried up and being 9-00p.m and with enough water over the bar, it was time to head home into the sunset.
I've struggled recently fishing live baits for bass and Clive, a seasoned boat basser, has also mentioned that during the main summer period, he finds them just as challenging, even choosing to switch to alternative species to target.
I'm not convinced that live baits wouldn't have worked today, but I'll never be sure.It's certainly a lot easier to settle down at anchor and fish dead baits and perhaps this is a more successful method at this time of year. Clive puts forward the theory that there is plenty of available food about which is why the lives fail. There are certainly an abundance of bait fish(mackerel) on the reefs.
Alan, Ted and Alex all pick up bass through the summer on these 'old school' and simple methods and they've had decades of experience at the game.
I also can't quite understand why the period around the turn of the tide produces instead of the usual main tide run.but it would seem to be the case and apparently I'm not alone in experiencing this.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

3/7/12 Last Minute Mullet

I was back out on the river this evening for a short two hour session before dinner attempting , once again , to tempt a mullet. The recent cold and wet weather seems to have 'put them  down' somewhat and, although there are plenty showing up in the marina, fewer seem to be about in the main river.
The rain hasn't really coloured up the water too much yet, but there is plenty of evidence of its effect up stream notably, the large rafts of debris that are gradually working their way down to the harbour.
I tend to spend more time searching for fish, than actually fishing on sessions like this and this one was no different.
The first small groups of fish that i located were easily spooked, disappearing quickly into the murk. Nearing home time, and almost accepting that i was about to blank, i stumbled across a couple of fish on one of the shallow 'points' and just as the tide was nearing slack low.
After trotting the float down, they too appeared to disappear, but persevering, a subsequent trot produced a definite bite.-they were there! Last chance!
Three or four runs down later, and i finally had a second bite that was positive enough to hit, and connection was made.Keeping the rod down low to prevent the mullet from splashing and disturbing the swim, she was eventually beached upstream of the take zone- a plump fish of about 2 1/2lb.
The following cast, now in virtually still water, immediately produced a bite, sadly missed but, time was pressing, dinner was waiting, and i'd had my fish anyway. Time to call it a night-a successful outcome.