Posts tagged: bass


By , 18 July, 2015 09:49

Weed in the surfLooking at the conditions yesterday, it tempted me into hitting the shingle once again, in search of the silver spikey one. The plan was to get setup at low water and fish the tide up and over high water, which was a little after 1am. One rod, one bait and hopefully target achieved, the prospects looked promising.

I was on the shingle bang on low water and although the sea conditions looked great with a good amount of surf churned up by the gusting South Westerly breeze. What I didn’t like was the amount of weed in the water, big clumps of the stuff just where I wanted my bait to be. Not to be deterred, I set up with the familiar long link running ledger, ending with a 6/0 hook loaded with a whole squid. I sent this out into the turbulent water and settled in for the wait.

Lovely sunsetFrom the off, this was a battle of the weed. No more than a minute or two after casting a bait out, the line looked like granny’s washing line, lumps of weed clinging on and dragging everything down and along in the current. I spent more time bringing in clumps of this shit and clearing it than I did actually fishing. There was the ‘orrible clingy muck that’s like wet cotton wool and then that nasty, slimy ‘Seaford spaghetti’ type, stringy stuff. Thankfully it did ease off throughout the evening but was always there. At least there was a gorgeous sunset to cheer things up in this weed festooned, fish-less period.

SmoothoundFirst fish didn’t arrive until the sun had gone and darkness had fallen. At around 9.45 I had a half arsed attempt at a pull down bite which resulted in a very brief tussle in the waves and weed followed by a smoothound pup of around the 3lbs mark up on the beach. Not a massive fish but at least it was a fish – another on the plus side was that the dreaded blank had been avoided. A quick photo and then the unavoidable lower leg soaking while putting it back.

It was not long after this that I had a visit from one of the local beach foxes that was taking an interest in my bait bucket. Didn’t last long though, it obviously thought there were better offerings further along, as it scuttled off pronto.

BassAnother two hours of line clearing and general annoyance followed before I felt a distinct tapping through the rod, I lifted into it and…..nothing… arse!! I left the bait out and as quick as you like, more tapping and this time it was fish on. Through the waves and up the beach it came, it nicely proportioned school bass of about 1½lbs. Not big but a bass – target species caught. Quick photo shot and then more lower leg wetting while releasing it.

Sadly, that was the last fish of the night, even the ‘golden’ period following high water produced nothing. So surprisingly, it was a very quiet session in what should have been very productive conditions. It’s often like that though – it promises everything but in fact delivers very little.

Ah well, I seem to be back in the swing of things now and I’m looking forward to the next stint, wherever that may be.

Sea Mistress

By , 21 July, 2013 08:21

Picture of pollackSunday morning a couple of weeks ago, saw me down on the slipway at Newhaven, waiting for boat owner and fellow angler, Terry Hill, as we were going out on the hunt. The plan was to hit some wrecks and hopefully find some cod before heading West in search of bream.

Once supplies for the day were loaded, ‘Sea Mistress’ slipped out the port and we headed to the first mark. We stopped en route to stock up on fresh mackerel, which were duly plonked into the live bait tank.

After a not too long steaming time, Terry found one of his favourite marks and set up the drift. The rods were rigged with running ledger with a six foot hook length. Live joey mackerel were hooked and sent down to the bottom to work their magic.

Picture of pollackAlmost immediately, something hit the bait and although there was a fish on, it could only have been small, as there was no fight. It was brought to the surfaced and I was gob smacked to see a pout fairly hooked in the mouth and no sign of the joey. The bloody pout wasn’t much bigger than the bait and had no business being there!

Anyway, a fresh joey was sent down on the next drift and both our rods arched over as the baits were hit. Two fine pollack were boated, mine going 8lbs, terry’s 13lb – a nice start.

My next catch wasn’t so good as I got got snagged in the wreck. I wrapped the braid around a stern cleat and hoped for a pull out or a break. Unfortunately, the braid slipped on the cleat, pulling the rod tip onto it and snapping it clean off… Bollax!!

Terry loaned me a rod for the rest of the trip but the words.. “you can christen this one, it’s hasn’t been used before” made me shudder… no pressure then.

Picture of black breamWe boated a further two pollack on this wreck, both just under the double figure mark. On the way out, Terry had told me of some fish that had been lost previously on this mark, strong, fast fish that smashed tackle up. Could be big coalfish (coalie), maybe even tope or similar sharky things. I was to experience this myself when something below grabbed my live joey and took off like a bat out of hell. With the drag set as hard as I dare, the fish just stormed off and snapped the 30lb mono leader like cotton. I guess we still don’t know what the mystery fish is.

Picture of black breamWith not much else happening, we moved off West to fish Kingmere rocks, a reef just off Littlehampton known for its black bream fishing. Once there, Terry dropped anchor and started to fish. I used a two hook flapper baited with strips of cuttle and was almost immediately in to a bream, albeit a small one. Although most were small, I did manage a few keepers, while Terry had the best individual fish of the day at 2½lbs. He also bagged the one and only bass of the day.

Later in the afternoon, with the wind starting to freshen, it was decided to call it a day and head back to port. I had a fantastic day in good company and with a few fish fillets for the freezer. The only downside, was the smashed rod with a good 12-18″ lost, I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with it – a stubby boat rod maybe. I guess it means having to go shopping for another – shame 😉

Tea time was nice, lovely fresh bream fillet gently fried and served up with a crisp salad… yumm.

Well done Terry for putting us in the right place and many thanks for the loan of the rod.

Insomniac At Seaford

By , 5 July, 2013 12:48

On Monday, I decided it was time to get out on the beach and have an evening ‘blow away the cobwebs’ session. I knew the tides were short but was going to go anyway.

I stopped in at ‘Tools and Tackle’ in Newhaven and picked up a box of frozen squid. I was only going to be bassing, so need of any worm baits.

Later in the day, I decided against going, as I really needed to try and get some sleep. For a while now, I’ve had no problem getting to sleep, it’s just I can’t stay asleep. Anyway, I unpacked all my stuff, checked it was all ok before re-packing my bag ready for next time.

After a relaxing evening, I headed for bed and as usual and dropped off quick as that. Midnight – awake – bollox! Wide awake, I grabbed my bag and the now soggy box of squid in the sink that I’d forgotten to put away in the freezer.

Half midnight, I was on Seaford beach opposite West View. One rod, simple running ledger, single 6/0 baited up with whole squid and lobbed it out just beyond the waves.

Conditions weren’t too bad – on shore breeze and a small but decent surf and about two hours before low water. I had a hit almost straight away that had the rod bouncing like a good ‘un. Turned out to be a schoolie of around a pound. Fish returned, hook re-baited and chucked out about the same distance, The long wait began… and went on… and on…

It wasn’t until just after low water that I had the next hit, which was a lovely pull down – again another schoolie that could have been the twin of the one before it.

As the tide rose, the breeze dropped until there was nothing – and along with it went the ‘surf’. The sea went calm and apart from one rattle which could have been a pout worrying the squid, there was no other activity.

I stayed a while longer and was entertained by two of the local beach foxes squabbling over whatever scraps they were finding. They then split up, with one trotting its way further along the beach, while one remained and sat not too far away from me, obviously interested in the smells from my bait bucket.

I left the beach as the sun crept up and made my way home, hoping that the fresh air would have done its bit and I would get a decent kip.

2013 and I’m Back

By , 10 March, 2013 11:22

Picture of small bass and rocklingTo pop my 2013 cherry, I hit the shingle at Seaford last week for a rare (for me) daytime session. Was on the beach and setup by about 9.30am on a rising tide. Water was dead calm with a hint of colour. Breeze was from behind the beach and the sky overcast. High water was going to be around 1pm.

Decided to use just the one rod, wishbone rig with blinged hook lengths and baited with lug and squid tipping.

The only thing that was going to ruin the day were the shingle shifters re doing the beach profile as part of the sea defences annual maintenance. Big trucks up and down the beach delivering the shingle and the bulldozers doing the profiling. Got a bit too close at one point and almost engulfed the guy fishing to my left!

First rod tip nodding of the day resulted in a double shot of fakking rockling and the smallest bass I have ever seen on the beach.

Picture of small dabNext up was a single dab about quarter of an hour later. From then on, it was small dabs with a handful of rockling. I was hoping for plaice and maybe a flounder for the species hunt but it wasn’t to be.

By about 12, I was done in, my back was screaming and I had to pack it in. Shame really ‘cos it was not long before high water and I’m sure, I’d have had better results then. Anyhoo, it was great to be back out again, even for a short while and started off this years species hunt with three in the bag.

2012 Bass Account Opened

By , 28 April, 2012 12:16

Picture of bassOver the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a two or three sessions at Seaford beach in the search for bass. As I’ve had little success (except for a few doggies), there really hasn’t been much to write about. I tried at the venue the other day, but the on shore breeze was pushing loads of weed in close and after a few hours of pulling the crap off my gear, I jacked it in.

Last night, I was drawn to the beach yet again and as I’d not had a chance to have a look beforehand and considering the high wind the day before, I took a sturdier rod than I would normally use, as I was expecting at the very least, a heavy swell and rafts of weed. How wrong could I be! A gentle swell in the otherwise flat, slightly coloured sea – and no weed! I had arrived about two hours before 10pm low water and the plan was to fish over the low and maybe a few hours of the flood tide.

I set up just opposite West View, a simple long link running ledger with a 6/0 – 4/0 combination pennel baited with whole squid. This was lobbed out into the gentle swell and the wait began.

Two guys popped over for a chat – if you’re reading this – nice to meet you Sam and Steve. It was just going into darkness when Steve pointed out that there had been a bite on my rod. Once brought in, it turned out to be the usual doggie. After the guys had left (hope you had luck wherever you went), I settled in, concentrating on the rod.

The rain came in and although not heavy, it was enough to start getting everything soaking. Good job, I’d packed the waterproofs; I’d almost left them behind, thinking I wouldn’t need them.

Another doggie hit the beach just before low water but apart from that, there had been little to stop the feeling of pessimism, that was starting to creep in. I started to think about packing in but decided to sit out my plan and at least fish an hour or so after low water.

Half an hour after low, the was a series of trembles on the rod tip before it was plucked down and I was soon into a fish. I wished it had been on the bass rod instead of the heavy gun I was using but anyway, I suppose it didn’t really matter. A short tussle in the small swell and the prize was on the shingle, my fist bass of 2012. A lovely conditioned fish, it measured in at 60cm and 5lbs 2oz on my berkley scales.

I soon had a bait back in more or less the same area, about 15-20 yards out. Apart from another doggie that took the bait, there was no further action and come midnight, enough was enough. My back was killing me, everything was soaking and I longed for the comfort of home.

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