Posts tagged: bass

Slow Night At Seaford

By , 28 September, 2011 13:28

After some recent appalling sessions at Seaford beach that have not been worthy of a report, I decided to give it another go on Monday night. Bait was in short supply and could get no fresh worm locally but managed to get a few ragworm from ‘Tools and tackle’ in Newhaven, along with some squid.

So after finishing work that evening, I shot home, packed the car and was down on the beach by about 8.30pm. I opted to fish by the boats, just along from the Martello and was surprised to see that it was empty down there. In fact the only other lights I saw were further down to the West.

There was a slight (very) South westerly breeze but wasn’t really enough to put a lot of movement in the water, just the odd wave but generally calm. Sky was overcast and it was quite warm out. Sea looked relatively clear and free from the dreaded ‘sea salad and noodles’. I intended to fish what was left of the flood tide, up and over the 11pm’ish high water.

I set up one rod with a simple paternoster, with a single 5/0 hook but hair rigged with a size 4 baited with worm. The intention being to hook a small pout or whiting and leave it out as a live bait. The other ‘bass’ rod was set up with a long link running ledger and 5/0 pennel baited with whole squid.

It wasn’t long before the live bait rod was rattling away, signifying that it had done its job and the bait was now sat out there at distance awaiting the interest of any passing predatory fish.

After a long wait until about two hours before high water, the fist ‘proper’ fish of the night turned up, a small school bass of about 1½lbs which took the squid at around 20 yards out. It was quickly returned and another squid sent out to approximately the same distance but I had to wait another hour and a couple of bait changes before the next one obliged and that was a similar sized bass which conveniently spat the hook just as I landed it, so it was simple process of just nudging it back into the waves.

About an hour before high water and just after the change in the current direction, big floating rafts of tangled, slimy ‘sea’ noodles’ started passing by at about the distance I wanted my big baits. The stuff must have been backed up against the wall at Splash Point and then washed back Westwards with the ebb current. I couldn’t believe it, going from completely free to almost unfishable in just a few short minutes! Anyway, I carried on but it became a real nuisance and there wasn’t much point in continuing – I could see that there was still tons of the stuff to come by, so packed up the bass rod.

None of the live baits were touched at all and never really showed any signs of being worried about being snaffled. To be honest, the thought of trying to bring any sizeable, fighting fish in through the floating masses gave me a bit of a shudder.

… and so, I packed up all my gear and thought about getting back there in a day or so, when hopefully it would have cleared.

Martello Pick ‘n’ Mix

By , 3 September, 2011 14:34

It was back to Seaford beach on the bass hunt again last night, although this time I moved a little further East and fished a spot between the Martello tower and ‘The boats’. At 7.30pm – an hour and half before low water, I met up with fishing pal, Phil – well I think it was him, I couldn’t really see much of him through the thick fog that had blanketed the area. After confirming his identity and having a quick chat, we decided that we’d stick it out until the 3.20am high water, which would maximise our time with bait in the water and to fish the spread of a whole tide.

The sea was flat calm with barely a ripple apart from the small wavelets at the waters edge, which was hardly surprising, seeing as there was bugger all breeze to ruffle it. Did I mention the fog? It was foggy. In fact it was more like a drizzle and it wasn’t too long before our clothing was getting a bit damp through. What was surprising, was how warm it was, so warm that it was down to just a ‘T’ shirt under my floatie trousers.

On to the fishing! The plan was to fish live baits throughout the tide if possible, with the backup of big squid baits if no suitable pout of whiting were forthcoming. So the first thing was to set up the scratching rod with the usual size 4, two hook flapper baited with small sections of lugworm and flung it out while I set up the bass rod – long link running ledger with a bead above the running swivel. Doing it this way meant I could either clip on a trace with the pennel for using a squid, or leave it off and then use a slider for a live bait – two rigs in one.

The first couple of pout that came in really were a little too small and although, I could have used them, I would have preferred something a bit larger, so out went the worms again and the squid stayed on the bass rod. As Darkness proper set in, the bites stepped up and soon we were getting the whiting, although not as many as we would have got further West along the beach. I could have used these as livies but I really wanted pout.

Next fish was a snotty eel which swallowed the hook, luckily though, I managed to cut it free before it caused too much damage to the rig, so I got away with only having to tie on a new hook. A few more whiting came in to me, while Phil was getting whiting and pouts.

The fog seemed to get thicker even though a very light Southerly started to come up and was enough for me to have to add another layer over the ‘T’ shirt just top try and keep the damp out.

Picture of soleAt 11.30, Phil and I were having a chat, when I saw my rod tip rattle a few times, then fall still before a lovely little pull down a short time later. I lifted into what was obviously a fish and soon, I had a double shot on the pebbles – a whiting on the top hook and a gorgeous sole on the bottom one – so that was lunch sorted, Anna would be pleased – she do like her soles. This was actually my first sole of the year and I was beginning to wonder whether I would manage to bag one or not. I have to admit, that I really haven’t targeted them as much as I have before but you can normally bank on one turning up by ‘accident’ while fishing with worm. In the photo, it looks a bit like it’s raining or that there is crap all over the lens but that was ‘the fog’ (reminds me, damn that was a good film).

It wasn’t that long before Phil was in with a possible sole, until that it is, it turned out to be a white plastic bag – an easy mistake. Mind you, it was a particularly striking looking bag (Sorry Phil, couldn’t resist it mate).

Next up for me was a bass but alas, it were only a tiddler of a schoolie which had picked up the worm. Phil meanwhile, had brought in a small ray. He also caught a small pout that looked like it had gone through the wars, fins all ragged and deep lacerations down both flanks, so something had taken a fancy to it but I guess we’ll never know what it was.

The hours went on and nothing else of any note came to the shingle apart from more whiting (one of which was a keeper for me) and we got more and more damp from the fog. Phil called it a day shortly before 3am and as is usual, I just had to stay, even if it was just see over the high water period.

Just after Phil left, I had another double shot but this time it was a whiting and a small bream. Woohoo – I then had two double shots of suitably sized pout which were added to the bucket for use as live baits. So that I was prepared, I dismantled the scratching rod that had now done its job and packed it all away. I then put a pout on the slider rig, sent it out, sat back, poured a coffee and watched through the gloom for signs of predatory activity. After about 20 minutes, the rod tip started rattling away like crazy, so I stood by the rod, with hands resting on it gently and patiently waiting….bang! Just one hit… but no follow up, no dramatic pull down….nothing. I left the bait out there for another ten minutes before deciding to bring it in – it was dead and looking the worse for wear.

Next pout was slid out into the gloom and I sat and drank the last of my coffee. Half an hour went by and … bang!.. again one hit and nothing else. Another dead pout brought in and the substitute sent out in its place. That was to be the last bit of action as nothing else happened until I eventually admitted defeat and headed off home at about 5am.

So, no decent bass but an enjoyable session anyway, along with six species and the added bonus of a tasty lunch.

I Am So Hacked Off

By , 16 August, 2011 17:36

….Oh yes I am! Went for another session yesterday in the hunt for the ‘biggun’. Yet again Seaford beach was the chosen venue and the plan was to fish from low water, up and over the 01.20 high water. Arrived at my first spot – the ‘hump’, just West of Edinburgh Road and got myself ready.

I hit the beach and set up the bass rod with the familiar rig and bait. I had also brought along another rod which I set up with a size 4, two hook flapper. I stuck a couple of lugworm and hurled it out into the moderately lively water. I only did this because I fancied seeing if I could up my species list while waiting around.

Weed was again, a problem, nothing too dramatic but enough to be a pain while fishing close in with the big bait. It was even more troublesome with the distance rod and worm as the weed collected on the line and required leader knot clearing on each retrieval before taking on the main task of clearing the crud from the terminal tackle.

The next big cast obviously found some underwater obstruction as it snagged solid and all the rig was lost along with the leader. Not sure what is out there at about the 100 yard mark – mussel beds maybe? Anyway, I decided to forget the species hunt and packed away the spare rod, to concentrate on the bass rod.

By now it was dark and I was expecting some interest in the squid bait but it was proving difficult as it had to be brought in on a frequent basis to clear the weed. I sent a text to ‘Fishyrob’ to see if he was turning up along with another friend, Steve, as planned – when he called back, it turns out that we both had different ideas as to where we were supposed to meet. As it happens, I had decided to make a move further east anyway, so we decided to keep each other updated via text if we had any news.

With about 2 hours to go before high water, I set up again at the next spot, just up from the Beachcomber and within minutes I had a bait in the water. Virtually as soon as the bait settled, it was nailed by a bass which was soon up on the beach – only schoolie of about 1½lbs but at least it was a fish and it saved the blank.

Re-bait and cast and within seconds, the bait was on the beach in amongst a ball of weed so heavy, I had to hand line it up the shingle. Minutes later, I had it all sorted and back out again but it wasn’t long before the whole boring process had to be repeated. Pardon my French but this fucking weed is becoming a nightmare within a nightmare and is seriously hacking me off. All this lovely turbulent water unfishable due to stinking piles of worthless crappy weed. Are we going to see weed clear sea at any time in near future? I do hope so because I am on the verge of losing the plot – I have already found myself talking loudly to myself and to the weed and the stones and to the gulls and foxes and anyone or any thing that will listen.

And then, just to really piss on my strawberries, it started to rain – I mean, as if this weed isn’t slimy enough to start with, do we really need to add more water! It’s just occurred to my that I might have typed the word ‘weed’ more than any other word so far this year… hmmm.

Enough was enough, high water came and went – along with my enthusiasm and so it was time to call it a night at around 2.30. I’m going to give it a break now until all this crap has been blown away and hopefully, we can get back to fishing not gardening.

PS. I promise not to use the ‘W’ word again for the rest of the year!

Slow Night

By , 14 August, 2011 19:44

Yet again I was at Seaford beach last night, a place that seems to be in danger of becoming my main home from the amount of time I’m spending there. Anyway, I arranged to meet Nigel, a fishing fanatic and member of another web forum I belong to, South Devon Fishing, who was up on a visit from sunny Devon. We planned to the flood tide up to and over high water in an attempt to hit some decent bass.

Picture of sunsetThings looked very promising, a South Westerly breeze still blowing but nowhere near as strong as the last few days. There was still some swell being stirred up by the wind and at least there were waves breaking on to the beach, although these were weak compared to the crashing dumps of a couple of days ago. The weed seemed to have dispersed a bit and although still there, it certainly wasn’t as bad as previous nights and was certainly more fishable. The sky was cloudy with the sun shining through and giving a lovely display in the sunset.

Picture of sunsetI set up the bass rod – you know the rig by now – long link running ledger and 6/0 – 4/0 pennel baited with whole squid. All baits were soon in the water and we waited for the tell-tale signs of bassy activity; unfortunately, this turned out to be a long wait, as the fish seemed unaware that they were allowed to feed. To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting much until at least it was dark and probably not until nearer high water. My low tide success has come when it coincides with darkness and has never produced during daylight.

As I wasn’t being hampered with the filthy business of dealing with fish, I took the opportunity to get a few shots of the sun setting over Newhaven. I’ve put two here above but the rest (all three of them) are in my Flickr collection, viewable through the ‘Photos’ section of the site.

Picture of Nigel's bassWe were later joined by fellow fishy person, Clive, who had his bait in the water pretty rapidly and soon, it could almost have been a scene from ‘Last of the summer wine‘ with the three of us firmly ensconced in our seats, waiting and watching.

It took up until around an hour after high water before the first fish of the night hit the beach and that was a school bass that fell to Nigel’s squid bait. I had to wait for another half an hour before it was my turn for the action, when I managed a bass in the 2lb region; not a big fish but it was the target for the evening and it saved me from the dreaded blank – a result which sadly fell to Clive. Picture of my bassHe tells me he’s never done well at Seaford, so at least his consistency is good, although he is a demon when it comes to fishing Brighton beach

Nigel packed up at around 2am as he had to be in London this morning, while a disappointed and disgruntled Clive and I stuck it out until about 2.30 before calling it a night. With a rapidly dropping tide and a flat calm sea in a flat calm, windless night., it became obvious that there was going to be no further fishy action in this session.

Rough, Weed and Bass

By , 13 August, 2011 15:01

To use up the bait I had left over from the previous day, I headed off to Seaford beach again last night, hoping that the weed had subsided just enough to fish. I got there at about 7pm and could immediately see that there was still a lot of weed but nowhere near the amount of the day before. The sea was again rough but had calmed quite a bit in comparison. The plan was to fish the flood tide up and over high water which was predicted for about 11.30pm.

I set up the bass rid with the now usual long link running ledger and 6/0 pennel. I should point out here that I’ve been experimenting and modifying this rig over recent months having found that all the fish I’ve had have come to the top hook and in an attempt to reduce the amount of dropped fish, I now use a 4/0 circle as the top hook. So far this has proved to very effective and all fish have been securely hooked in the corner of the mouth with a firm hold.

The first few casts ended up in the familiar leave for ten minutes then have to bring it in to clear the weed which was hanging just about where I wanted to put the bait – just behind the breaking waves.

I was soon joined by another fishing fanatic, Clive, who set up just along from me and soon had his bait in the water. We spent the time in between retrieving balls of weed, having a chat and mulling over the usual things that you do on the beach.

Picture of rough seasThings were very quiet and there was no indication of any fish interest until about half an hour after high water when I saw the rod tip pull down and bounce back, which I initially thought was weed again but while holding the rod, I felt a couple of tugs and then the rod tip pulled down again and I was soon into the first fish of the night. A short while later, after negotiating the incoming waves, I beached a nice plump bass that measured 48cm and weighed in at 2lbs 12oz.

Half an hour later, the rod tip twitched a few times, pulled down and I was into my second of the night. This was a lot smaller and I reckon was around the pound mark, maybe a bit bigger. That was it then, as the tide dropped, the wind kept the weed firmly inshore and again it was difficult to get a bait in the right place for any length of time.

We gave it a while longer on the ebb before both deciding that it was unlikely we’d have any more luck and opted to call it a night.

I’ll be out again tonight in the hunt for that elusive ‘double’. Just hope that the weed may have subsided to make the fishing a bit easier.

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