Friday, 31 August 2012

31/8/11 Cuttled Bass

Things have not been easy recently ,in fact, i needed to catch a fish.I'd had a short session mulleting at Tesco's with Dave where I blanked (Dave scored a nice three pounder) and yesterday, in strong winds, I had probably my only trip of the year to the mud flats where again, i failed miserably with the mullet.
The mud flats, and mulleting used to be a big part of my times have changed. I doubt very much if I'll reach double figures with mullet this year something that hasn't happened for over ten years.
Today, I grabbed an opportunity to get out in the boat although the weather conditions weren't particularly good. A strong Northerly made things quite uncomfortable out there and Mick (Pinchers), who had joined me for the run out,decided to call it a day shortly after we'd arrived.
Mackerel were very scarce indeed .I only managed to pick one up before deciding not to waste any more time and settle at anchor but, after Alan's success last time out,I'd brought along some frozen cuttle.
Mark#6 seemed barren apart from a plump pout, although something very small was constantly picking away at my big baits(4inch cuttle strips on a 6/0 circle) intended for the 'spikey ones'. Over on Kingmere Dick and Neil reported sport with reasonable bream to a pound and a half and I did consider motoring over to them but, time was limited so I decided instead to relocate to the general vicinity of Alex's mark.
Surveying the area on the sounder showed me a raised section of reef about ten feet shallower than the surrounding sea bed so I methodically laid the pick down so that my baits fished right on the spot and in very rough terrain.
Again the tiddlers showed and despite turning one rod over to bream gear, I never did find out what they were.I suspect bar-be -cue bream.Soon a  proper run materialised , i immediately recognised the culprit from the fight, and up came this rather nice plump bass(4-5lb) to save the day.......
I had considered staying out over low, but the bumpy conditions had taken their toll on me and satisfied that I'd achieved my target on a difficult day, I decided to 'call it'.
The cuttle bait had worked well,being tough enough to withstand the attention from small stuff yet still be attractive to the bass. Must get some more.
6.0m tide
Fishing time 4 1/2 hours

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Alan's Day.

Alan's a very good friend and neighbouring boat owner at the marina and has a wealth of experience with our local boat fishing.I've learnt an awful lot by talking fishing with him and we often stumble across each other 'out there' and regularly share marks.
My last 'blindin' bass session saw Alan only a few yards away where he fared less well losing a double figured bass at the net.
Today the tables were turned somewhat and it was definitely Alan's day-in fact, it was his best ever day's bass catch in decades of fishing and I'm pleased to say that i was there to witness it from about thirty yards distant.
I'd started the day at stupid o'clock with the intention of lure fishing on the shallow reefs off of Bognor. In short-it was hellishly difficult going and I couldn't find the bass.Three hits on surface lures with only one small bass landed and even a local bass maestro had to venture further afield to find some fish.
Approaching mid day, i'd had enough of chucking plastic although it was very interesting seeing the inshore reef gradually appear as the tide retreated even if i did feel a little nervous of bumping my precious hull on the gnarly rocks.
I relocated to 'tbm' where Alan, the only boat, was already anchored up. He reported missing a couple of bass takes and has also said how difficult it had been to locate the mackerel bait which didn't bode well.
I had to work hard searching for my bait, but eventually had a dozen for the session and had also brought up a very pretty gurnard on the bottom 'feather'.
By the time I'd returned to Alan an hour or so later, he'd had his first bass on board of about 8lb and it wasn't long before, having anchored slightly south of the mark, I had a couple of average sized fish myself.
Unfortunately my only good sized bass of the day once again, failed to stay attached though ,made it's presence and size felt by some hefty thumps before letting go.I had suspected my 'circles' were at fault but both Alan, and Ted lose just as many as I do and as I like to return nearly all my bass (much to the consternation of some) I'm sticking with the circles and their 'lip hooking' ability.I'd certainly rather lose a few than have to kill deep hooked fish.
Whilst all this was going on Alan managed to build up his catch of four bass-an 11 pounder and three around the 8lb mark.The 'eleven' was his first ever double making catch even more significant and at least three of the fish fell to a cuttle bait.Back at the pontoon, I was delighted to be able to take a few shots  and see the look of satisfaction on his face even after all these years of fishing-well done mate


Sunday, 19 August 2012

19/8/12 Mixed Fortunes........and a P.B

   A very short trip this one as it was between my night shifts.

Having conjured up a few mackerel on the way out, I anchored up at my favourite bass mark with,surprisingly for a Sunday, not another boat in sight except Brian who later joined me on the mark .
The usual half mackerel baits were sent down on circle hook rigs and before long i had a couple of bass of around 3lb, followed by a very decent sized fish (7-8lb) which rather disappoint ly shed the hook at the net rim. At least I'd got a good look at him and I suspect that the circle hook had torn a hole in the bass' lip membrane especially as it had fought with some tenacity.
The next take,quite a slow and measured bite, was obviously something bigger, and,judging by the nature of the fight, I would hazard a guess at it being a sizable conger but will never know as the trace parted(was bitten through)a minute or so into the struggle.The sky had clouded over and the light intensity had reduced considerably so, I suspect that may have induced the conger to feed.
It wasn't long before another slow take ensued, and this time I managed to hold on to the fish all the way to the surface and get a good look at my biggest ever conger. It looked to me like,at least, two twenty pound pike end to end so I'm going to estimate it at 40-50lb.
I would loved to have had a picture of the beast but although i managed to get a firm grip on the traceat the side of the boat with one hand and tried to reach over to grab my camera, the writhing eel made good it's escape by twisting and breaking the weakened hook length.
Immaterial really. It was a very impressive fish and huge fun to tangle with especially on the light 8-12lb class rod.Final action came in the shape of a blistering run which I failed to stop before the braid shredded on the reef.A big tope?......or perhaps even a 'porgy'.....once again, I'll never know.
So, a day of contrasts but very excting fishing.

Friday, 10 August 2012

10/8/12 My First Ever 'Topwater' Bass.

Again,only small fish really but that's hardly the point.Today I caught my first ever bass on a surface lure which is something of a milestone in my angling career.
I've been inspired by my mate Pete's success with local bass on lures when afloat so , armed with plenty of his invaluable advice, I headed over to #16 at 0530 this morning on a flat calm sea and with the intention of just using spinning gear. I did take a bait rod along (just in case) but no bait!!!
Tiny 4.6m tide along with plenty of 'pot boat' disturbance in the area meant the fishing wasn't easy - three bass around the two pound mark and a pollack came to the boat along with a couple more lost  but, one of those bass tried to destroy my 'Patchinko' top water thingy....and that meant everything.
Pete was also out in the general area with a mate on board and their experience showed by putting fifteen spikeys in the boat.
There's a lot to learn about this type of lure fishing but i now feel that, at least i've made a start.It's also pleasant to do something different and the hits and fight are tremendous fun on the lightweight kit.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

7/8/12 The Lure Of The River.

I've decided to do a bit more lure fishing for bass,both from the boat, river and beach.
Dave's sold me a cracking 8ft 40g spinning 'wand', from his extensive collection of carbon, that is ideal for the purpose, and also i've expanded my rather meagre collection of suitable plastic things to throw with it.
Andy and me had a brief and unsuccessful attempt at the back of my house last week, and i'd also had a blank river session at the bottom of the ebb but today, I headed up the west bank of the river intent on trying out my new 'toys'.Top of the tide, and the first of the ebb was the fishing window.
I hooked one small bass on a 'one up' shad and subsequently this little chap took a shine to my 'feed shallow' at the 'prison bend' . Considering the diminutive size of this spikey fellah, the take was explosive. A couple more follows including a hit on the 'home straight' concluded an entertaining session, and a nice way to christen the new kit.
Only tiddlers really but huge fun, and completely uncomplicated fishing.