Saturday, 19 May 2012

His first Bass !

Once again I woke up to good signs yesterday, on opening the kitchen blind all was fairly still outside, although dull. Checking my weather resources on the Net, it seemed we would have a good chance of getting out for some fishing this evening. The only sticking point being that the wind which would be light NE for most of the day would be switching to SW for the evening and picking up slightly. As a contingency, two plans were made in the event that this would happen. If the wind remained as was, then we would head out to the back of the Island for some HRF Wrasse and Bass, however if the forecast was right, as most of our shallow north coast marks would still be heavily coloured, we would head to a Pier on that side of the Island for some LRF. Note, at this point was no heavy rain forecast...
Three o' clock in the afternoon arrived and with it came some light drizzly rain. OK fair enough it wasn't up to much so carry on regardless with the plan.
Between five and seven in the evening the heavens opened and it lashed it down! At what point was that forecast? I wondered...I also noted the wind had switched to a brisk SW...
Plan B then, and I concurred this with my mate via text. Our south coast venue involves a treacherous cliff path trek to the beach and the heavy rain ruled this out alone for safety reasons.
Hoping the rain would ease, we decided to still proceed to the Pier, we just had to get out.
As the plan had been revised My eldest Son was to accompany us as he really enjoys the LRF.
Having collected my mate, at which point the rain seemed to abate, we headed off to the Pier.
Conditions looked good on arrival, wind a little brisk but at least it would'nt be in our faces.
First drop in and it seemed there was little flow, a crucial factor when fishing the Piers both for presentation and for the fish to be feeding. I switched us over to a carolina from a jighead to see if there were any Wrasse or Scorpions about on the bottom, but strangely we remained biteless, most unusual...
After a while I suggested to my Son we try another spot near my mate, who was bait fishing off the front of the Pier, for a while until the flow picked up and we would be able to fish our present spot properly.
A few little bites from the new spot had us hopeful of a fish or two but after a while we were still fishless, but the flow appeared to be picking up and the floating weed was now beginning to move.
Back to our previous position then, but Son was getting bored and starting to ask when we were going. I told him to be patient as I was sure we would catch something....
At last a bite came, I wasn't sure what it could be at first and then surprisingly a Bass of about a pound appeared on the surface, good start !
And what a start, to a surprisingly good evenings fishing considering the slow beginning.
With a bit of coaching my Son managed to bag a small Pollock, which immediately re awoke his interest, and he began fishing with renewed enthusiasm and focus. He's been keen to catch a Bass for a while now, and I had promised him, that this year We would make sure he caught one.
By now the tide had picked up nicely and presentation was a doddle, cast out, swing with the flow and retrieve steadily. We were back on the jigheads and the good old Ecogear Aqua Strawtails In Orange were threaded on the hook. It seems that not only do Pollock like these, but Bass are rather partial to them too !
From then on the action was steady and we got plenty of bites, I organised it so that we took turns to cover the area where the fish were hitting the lure until we had a fish and then swapped over until another fish was caught. Coaching my Son he hooked into another fish, Bass on ! The little Calzante Lrf rod hooped over, with the fish taking line,  Son was very excited but played the fish nicely on the light gear and very soon he was grinning widely while posing for a picture with his very first Bass ! Yes! I was so pleased for him !
This continued for the next hour or so, with us taking turns to catch fish, I ended up with seven Bass from a pound to a pound and a half, along with a couple of Pollock, and Son managed two Bass of the same size and four Pollock, So nine Bass and half a dozen Pollock between usmade for a very good nights fishing in the end !
During this session I was using Fluorocarbon mainline fot the first time in the form of Berkeley Trilene, in 4lb breaking strain, and I have to say it performed very well. Very strong, knots well, and is thin and limp but very abrasion resistant. It was definitely less affected by the wind than braid would have been and allowed better contact with the lures. Bite registration was very good with an excellent hook up rate. So a great session all things considered, and well worth the effort of taking a chance on the inclement conditions.
Oh and of my mate who was bait fishing? He blanked ! sorry Mr B ;-)  LOL !

Still locked in attack mode!

The Blood on the Gill cover is mine..ouch! those are sharp !
Lovely irridescence along the back of the fish...

Pollock of around a pound and a quarter.

A very happy chappy !

Yummy ! Strawtails !

Note the Fluorocarbon on the spool, very impressed.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Spur of the moment Lrf session

Something strange happened today...
I opened the kitchen blind this morning, and I noticed that the wind wasn't blowing!
Seriously, it's been that bad lately. A quick check of the forecast indicated a small window of possibility, so I siezed it with both hands and once the kids were ferried to school I shot off to one of the local Piers for some Lrf fun!
Conditions on arrival were almost mediterranean. All was calm and bright and warm, and the sea was clear. Lovely!
Well, almost. The sport to begin with was very slow, in fact it took me a good hour or more to get my first fish, a small Pollock. This was followed a short time later by a Garfish, so it looked like there were some summer species around, I hoped for a Mackerel to put in an appearance as they are fiesty customers on light gear. Try as I might I just couldn't seem to muster another fish, of any species, a most unusual occurence for this Pier.
I was fishing the ebb, which my friends and I normally find to be very productive at the venue, and it was getting on towards low when I noticed some surface activity, signalling that the Bass had come on the feed and were blitzing on fry or shrimp. In quick succession I managed to finish off with two Bass and a Mackerel.  All the fish fell to the ever reliable Ecogear strawtails in various colours, coupled with 2 gram jigheads from AGM products.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A few Bass at last !

Only small, but a welcome catch of half a dozen fish to around a pound and a half. Things looked good after the warmer day yesterday and a small window of opportunity presented itself. Here's hoping this is a start to the season here, as so far things have been pretty dire on the Bass front !

3.5 " Black Rockvibes fished on 3.5grm Jigheads proving their worth yet again.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The sum total...

....of my efforts lately.

Not particularly good. I think I have blanked more times in the last few weeks than I did all of last year. The Bass are very conspicuous by their absence...
This time last year my mates and I had already taken a substantial amount of sizeable Bass ( all catch and release ),. The same venues so far this year have produced zilch. Worrying times, the Island is being heavily netted and trawled at the moment which is not good. This could well be a year to focus on the Wrasse, if the weather lets us...
Diabolical is the only way I can think to describe the conditions of late, low temperatures and high ( northerly ), winds all serve to prevent opportunities from presenting themselves, and a few small Wrasse are hardly anything to write about. I really hope things improve.