Posts tagged: bass

Wet….. Again

By , 8 August, 2011 12:04

Picture of bassAfter the success at Seaford beach a few nights ago, I thought it rude not to try again, especially as seeing the sea was nice and lumpy with a brisk South Westerly wind. So armed with some squid, I trotted over there last night to fish the last half of the ebb tide, over low water and a few hours up.

I was surprised when I got to the mark, to see that the sea had flattened out and the wind was near non-existent – bloody typical! There was still a bit of movement but it was more of a residual swell than anything else, ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It was forecast to rain and I could see some ominous dark clouds not too far off and heading my way. I noticed one good thing – that there appeared to be a distinct lack of weed visible, now that was a bonus.

I quickly set up the one bass rod with the standard long link running ledger and 6/0 pennel and it wasn’t long before the squid bait was out in what little waves there were. It was about now that the first drops of rain appeared and was my cue to get the waterproofs on. Within seconds, the drops became torrents as it literally chucked it down and nicely accompanied with some striking lightning and thunder – looked like it was going to be a moist evening!

The lightening and thunder stopped but the rain continued to cascade down. I endured the next couple of hours with nothing to show for it until during a brief respite about half an hour before low water, I had a cracking take and then loads of slack. I wound like crazy until I re-connected with the fish, which was beached shortly after – a nice little 48cm 2lbs 12oz bass. Right, that was number one, now to get the others. Sadly, that was the one and only bite all night.

Whilst standing out (looked like I was the only one out there) on the sodden beach, the rain continued, the only differences were when it changed from light to heavy. Did have a another brief rain free spell from about 2am until 2.30 and then again from about 3am but by then, I had lost interest, was somewhat damp and a tad disappointed that there had not been more fish, so packed up and set off home for the task of hanging everything up to drip dry in the garage.

Breezy Seaford Bass

By , 5 August, 2011 13:22

I’ve been out of action for a little while with the back absolutely screaming but looking at yesterdays forecast and seeing some nice South Westerlies breaking up the recent calm, I just couldn’t resist a visit to my old favourite hunting ground. So dosed up on painkillers and with my trusty beach chair, I set off for Seaford beach.

With a low tide predicted for about 9.45pm, I arrived at 8.30 to a blustery beach, opposite West View. It was blowing a good ‘un, with a big surf running and I suddenly had a feeling off déjà vu – surely it wasn’t going to be another nightmare! Always game for a laugh, I set up anyway, using only one bass rod rigged with a long link running ledger and 6/0 pennel to be baited with whole squid.

First couple of casts resulted in line getting clogged with weed and being dragged along the beach – this was going to be fun! I persevered all the way through low water and the first couple of hours of the flood, when it seemed to improve, with the weed lessening and the water losing some of its energy as the wind started to drop. Still no fish but at least I got to spend some quality time in my chair.

At about 1am, I had a huge pull down of a bite and was briefly connected to what felt like a reasonable bass before it spat the bait – at least I knew there were fish in the vicinity. 1.30am, I had another pull down and this time the fish stayed on and was soon beached, a plump little 42cm, two pounder. Couldn’t get a picture, as the camera came up with some cryptic warning of a ‘card error’, which later turned out be that the card wasn’t seated properly and easily remedied.

It wasn’t long after this that I had a chat with a guy that was fishing just along from me and who I’d seen earlier while he was walking his dog and had stopped to ask what the conditions were like. Anyway, he tells me he reads these pages often, so I thought I’d mention him – although embarrassingly, I didn’t catch your name (sorry).

Picture of bassIt was coming up to 2.30 when I seriously thought about calling it a night – but as always, I decided to carry on until the bait ran out, besides I was quite enjoying myself in my little chair watching the quite numerous meteorites.

At 2.30ish, I had a cracking take, which had the rod whipping round as a fish picked up the squid bait, turned and shot back out through the waves at a rate of knots. This felt like a better fish and after a short but spirited fight, my shining prize was on the beach a lovely 54cm four pound bass.

I re-baited with a larger squid and lobbed it out to roughly where I’d had it before, about twenty yards out in the turbulent and now thankfully, weed free water. I let the bait settle, before turning to have a sit down and a coffee. It was a long sit, as it all went a bit quiet, with just the rhythmic nodding of the rod tip, as the waves broke over the line. 3.20 and time for a fresh bait, so I retrieved, selected a particularly fat and juicy squid, mounted it on the hooks and lobbed it back out.

Picture of bassI had just put the rod in the rest, so I could dig out a spare tip light, when the rod tip slammed down and the butt slipped out of the cup and shot skyward. I made a grab for it and could feel a hard fighting bass on t’ other end, I felt sure that this going to be a cracker! I gently but firmly steered the fish through the breakers, letting take line when it wanted – I did not want lose this one! I go the timing just right and I let the next big wave carry it up the shingle, where I was surprised to see it was smaller than I expected; nevertheless, it was still a reasonable bass of 60cm and 5lbs 1oz.

Picture of bassBy now, I was down to my last couple of squid, so stuck the larger of the two on the hooks and cast it back out and waited. Twenty minutes later, there was a plucking on the rod tip that was out of sync with the waves, so I felt the line and there it was again – tap, tap and then wallop! Tip down, fish on and shortly after, it was fish on the beach – another 42cm, two pounder. The last squid was hooked and cast out and then I set about clearing up around in preparation for moving off. I then sat and finished the last of my coffee before deciding that I’d had enough for the night and desperately needed my bed.

So, it was another successful session at my favourite spot with some nice fish – I know that my elusive double is there and waiting and that this is all training for that night – fingers crossed.

Busy Seaford Session

By , 20 July, 2011 13:42

Although the recent South Westerlies have subsided and the seas have calmed considerably, I thought I’d go anyway and have a bassing and scratching session last night. Armed with a couple of boxes of squid and some ragworm, I headed over to Seaford Beach. I arrived at about 8pm – an hour or so before low water and found a calm sea with a few gentle breaking waves to stir things up, virtually no wind, just a light breeze and a slightly overcast sky.

To start with, I set up the scratching rod with a size 4, two hook flapper baited with the worm and sent that out. I planned to start with the bass rod just after low water and into the dusk, so I set it up in readiness with a long link running ledger with a 5/0 pennel.

It wasn’t long before the scratcher showed signs of activity and the first retrieve brought in a double shot of a small dab and a micro smooth hound. I re-cast and within seconds, it was on the go again, only this time, it was small school bass of about a pound. In the following hour or so, I had another four similar sized bass and another dab.

At about 9.30, I deployed the bass rod, just lobbing the bait beyond what breaking waves there were. I kept the scratcher out as well, which brought in a few small pout to add to the tally.

Bang on the stroke of 11pm was when the squid was hit hard, hooping the rod over and after a spirited little fight, a plump bass was on the shingle. It went around 2½lbs and 46cm. A quick re-bait and cast and just in time to see the scratcher rod tip pull down which resulted in a small thornback ray hitting the beach. At this point, I decided to abandon the scratcher and concentrate on the bass rod. After packing the rod away, I saw that there was a huge slack line on the bass rod and after a frantic wind in, another bass of about a pound was on the beach.

Half an hour later, the bass rod trembled in my hand and then the tip slammed down hard and the fish shot off to the right, then out before spitting the bait, leaving the squid in tatters. Another good bite was missed, some twenty minutes later while distracted with my coffee.

Picture of four pound bass1.15am and just over four hours into the flood tide there was a repeated tapping on the rod tip before a good pull down and it was another fish on. There wasn’t so much spirit in this one just some dogged tugging and dead weight – until it was on the shoreline, when it took off a bit before being gently slid up the shingle. A better fish this one at 54cm and 4lbs on the nose.

Re-bait, re-cast and re-coffee while awaiting the next one – hopefully. By now, it was actually quite warm and a really pleasant night to be out. The sea had flattened out even more and I wasn’t expecting much else to happen, when suddenly, bang! The rod tip went over and another fish was on but as quick as it came, it went, leaving another shredded squid.

Picture of three pound bassWith about half an hour to go before high water, thoughts of packing up were in my mind, when out of the blue I had another take and shortly after, a three pounder emerged out of the wavelets and onto the beach. The last squid was impaled on the hooks and lobbed out, where it remained untouched until it was time to go.

This turned out to be quite a night – especially when I hadn’t expected so much action. Just goes to show that sometimes, fish don’t always conform to the predictions on times, states of tide and weather. The next trips to this beach will be purely bass in an attempt to get that allusive ‘double’. It’s there and it’s waiting.

Eastern Promise – Not Delivered

By , 12 July, 2011 16:16

After the drenching I got the other night, last night was a complete contrast – in weather and in results. With the calm conditions looking promising, I felt like having a go for a bass down on the East arm of Brighton Marina, so got down there about 8pm with the intention of bagging some mackerel for bait over high water and then to do some scratching until the early hours and fish mackerel head and guts over the 3am low water period.

It was a warm, clear evening with no wind and a flat calm, clear sea; as said completely different to the other night. It was nice just wearing a t shirt and jeans instead of the clobber I had previously worn and positively thrilling to have dry hands.

Unlike last time I fished the marina, I had made provision this time and had taken some frozen joeys with me, in case the mackerel didn’t show. Just as well really, as the buggers were conspicuous by their absence and the only fish activity I could see on the surface were probably scad.

Anyway, I set up the scratching rod with a size 4 two hook flapper baited with lugworm and chucked it out and almost immediately had a knock which resulted in a small dab – blank saved. Re-baited and then set up the bass rod with the usual long link running ledger, size 5/0 hooked through the snout of a mackerel head and guts which I lobbed out and sat back.

By about midnight, a brisk easterly picked up and made it feel a bit chilly in comparison to earlier – certainly enough to put an extra top on. The good thing that came with it was a bit more in the way of cloud cover.

The only action coming my way was on the scratching rod, with a few small bream and then on low water, lots of school bass taking a shine to the worm. There was one half hearted attempt at a run on the bass rod about half an hour before low which had the tip buried down for a brief few seconds and then nothing.

I gave it until about an hour after low before tiredness set in and I had an overwhelming desire to have a good kip. Looks like Thursday and/or Saturday will be my next outing when I’m hoping for more promising results.

Seaford Downpour Bass

By , 9 July, 2011 11:15

Last night was one of those ‘Do I or don’t I’. Do I go to Seaford and fish in the wind and rain or do I sit at home and watch the TV? No brainer really, so armed with a couple of boxes of squid, I headed over to Seaford beach, where I was greeted with rain, a South South West wind and plenty of surfy action to the water. The only downside was the amount of weed in the sea – great rafts of dark floating stuff. Undeterred, I decided to give it a shot anyway.

The plan was to fish the last three hours of the ebb tide, over the midnight low and a couple of hours of the flood, using just one rod with big bait, in the hope of a bass or two in the surf. I set up the bass rod with a long link running ledger, ending with 5/0 pennel to hold the squid bait and cast it out just behind the breaking waves and in front of the weed. From the off, weed was a problem, soon collecting on the line and rig causing it to break out, so for the first hour or so, it was cast, breakout, retrieve and re-cast.

All the time, the rain was getting heavier and I could see from the colour of the sky in the distance, the was no sign of it letting up. I got pretty pissed off with the rain and the weed and a couple of times, I almost thought about packing it in – now I don’t know why but I had this inkling that if I cold stick it out, I would be in with a chance of a half reasonable fish.

As low water passed, the weed eased a little and I was able to keep the bait out for longer periods until it got top the stage that the weed all but disappeared – even the rain stopped a couple of times, albeit only for a few minutes before it fell in buckets again.

About an hour after low water, I had a tentative take, which then shot off, slamming the rod down in my hands. A short while later, a bass of around 4lbs was in the surf and up onto the shingle – briefly before it shook the hook and was washed back in the the next wave. To say I hacked off would be an understatement; what could have been the only fish of the night lost when so close.

By now, my waterproofs were no longer that waterproof and water was finding its way into various crevices. I again thought about jacking it in but thought better of it and so I stayed, although just a bit damp around the gills.

Picture of bassTwo hours after low water, I selected the biggest of my remaining squid, mounted it on the hooks and lobbed it back out. I put the rod in the rest while I had a coffee and pondered why we persevere in uncomfortable conditions and wondered if this should be my last cast. I went back to the rod, picked it up and almost immediately felt two sharp tugs; thinking it was perhaps weed on the line, I raised the rod but felt none. As I stood, there was another couple of more determined tugs and then the rod was almost wrenched out of my sodden hands and line was being taken. A few minutes of line taking and a fish was in the surf. I timed the next few turns of the reel handle with the incoming waves and the fish got closer, only to take off again – this was not going to be easy. I could see a couple of big approaching rollers, so got ready for the last few turns. As the waves came in, I retrieved and half staggered, half backwards ran and the fish was up on the shingle and out of the water. I wound in some slack and went down to the fish which was about to be engulfed by the next wave, luckily the next wave pushed it a bit further up where I was able to get a hand on it and drag it back to safety

Picture of bassA lovely dark coloured, big headed bass laid on the wet shingle. It measured in at 71cm and 8lbs 2oz. Woohoo!! The discomfort and disappointment over the previously lost fish was now but a memory, I was over the moon – target achieved and in fine style too. Needless to say, I quickly re-baited and had another chuck in the hope of a quick follow up.

In fact I stayed until about 3am or so until the bait supply ran out, by which time I was even more wet and starting to get a bit cold. A crap night weather-wise but oh so worth it! Must admit, my enthusiasm and mojo, which has been lacking of late, has been rekindled and I’m looking forward to my next session with renewed vigour.

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