Thursday, 4 August 2016

31/7/16 Average Bassing.

 Nine pounds of Sussex 'silver' #6

I tend to prefer the bigger tides for bass fishing but , the wind speeds of late have meant that I cannot afford to be too fussy and opportunities to go afloat must be seized, or missed.
Sam Wadman had expressed an interest to come out for a day in the boat this week end and a window presented itself on the Sunday morning. The tide was, at 5.2 m not particularly spectacular but I wanted to get my mate a few nice bass so we took the chance.
The chosen mark fishes well on the ebb tide so our arrival was timed carefully with the high water slack and the mackerel feathers were sent down. They did their job very well indeed, and we soon amassed a plentiful supply of bait, both in the box, and the live tank.
The drift line was selected on past results and both of us fished a float fished live bait alongside vertically fished lures.
 Sam had brought along some home made 'bucktails' which immediately caught my attention and has since resulted in me constructing some of my own (more of which in a later entry) but most of the takes came from the usual variety of shads, including 'Fiiish' minnows, Manns etc
We took nine bass from the mark in total , some of a good size (bottom pic) but curiously, the live mackerel were left well alone.
Usually, a 'livie' will far out fish something artificial but this was not the case today, and quite why is something of a mystery, unless these bass were pre-occupied with other prey. There have been large shoals of baitfish about in the sea recently, often indicated by frantic surface activity, and I suspect that the bass, along with other predatory species are taking full advantage of the situation.
As the tide lost its strength, the bites virtually dried up and although I continued to scan the mark  , we were unable to locate any more fish.
A trip to a  bank , a few miles distant ,in an attempt to snag a turbot over a couple of long drifts proved fruitless so, as the sea breeze was by now building steadily, I opted to return again to a favourite reef mark , where bait fishing had proved so successful earlier this month. Probably because of the challenging conditions, we had the place to ourselves, which I always find preferable as it can be a popular mark with our local boats.
Mackerel on this mark were non-existent and, as we had none left wriggling in the tank, we opted to fish half baits instead.
Thankfully the wind was blowing with the tide and although it had reached well into upper double figures , we remained reasonably comfortable and were able to fish at anchor quite comfortably.
A bite off from, what I assume, was a conger (common on this mark)prompted me to upgrade my hook length to 150lb and this didn't seem to put off at least one decent bass.
The take was indeed quite 'electric', which is often the case when using big half baits at this time of year, and resulted in a fine fish coming to the net.
 By now, the quite violent rocking of the boat made accurate weighing very difficult indeed but the flickering needle on the scales didn't quite show a 'double' so I'll settle for the fish being a 'nine pounder'. Good enough for me.
That was the last fish of the session  and ,In truth, I was actually quite disappointed that I was unable to show Sam more fish but my crew seemed suitably impressed with the day so that's all that really matters.
 The best one of the day to a lure.#49

28-29/7/16 Two river sessions.

................and difficult ones at that. Actually, in truth, the second was more of an exploratory session and proved to be quite useful.
We've yet to encounter our intended target species from the baited swim and , although the bream have proved entertaining, I'm ready to give it a rest for a while and move on to something new whilst continuing to bait the swim when convenient.
Our approach thus far has been with feed that will attract all sizes of fish in the hope that 'activity' of any kind will draw in the carp and barbel. We're now considering a different approach baiting with bigger samples-pellets and boilies. Whether it'll make a difference remains to be seen but I personally think it'll still require some serious rod hours to winkle out what we want.
In the meantime, my attention has turned to trying to catch the river's pike on lures-something we've rarely succeeded with so far.
A friend and angling author has however, done very well catching predators on 'artificials' from the river although, it must be said that much of his success was realised during the warmer months.
I'm not averse to a bit of summer pike fishing especially with lures so decided to give it a try by visiting the area of river where I had my winter pike on baits.
A couple of aborted takes, and a dropped pike, proved that they were about and willing but only one tiny pike actually came to the boat. I also had a rather ambitious perch follow a shad that was his equal in dimensions from a swim that both Dave and me had thought might contain these stripey thugs.
Back at the baited swim however,  a pike did follow my lure rejecting it finally at the boat and, whilst bait fishing, a similar sized pike once again found my sweet corn hook bait attractive enough to seize on the retrieve. Sadly, after some aerial acrobatics the pike managed to free itself of the hook and escape but I think that it's highly likely that it was the same fish I landed a few weeks ago on the same 'method'.
The bream fishing was very slow with just a couple of fish over the two days perhaps because we've slightly neglected the feeding regime. I'm sure they'll return.