Monday, 6 August 2012

First bass of the season

After hearing reports on a well-known local forum that my favourite bass mark had not fished well the day before, I wondered what my first trip of the year would bring me.  The weather forecasts were excellent: calm, nearly windless, most importantly, overcast.  I don't like fishing in bright sun, especially if the water's clear, as it can often kill the fishing completely.

The overcast conditions were definitely a factor in the day's success.  As the sun started to get brighter towards lunchtime, the fishing likewise got slower and slower and eventually I stopped catching.  Before that though, there seemed to be plenty of fish about.

This time of year is still a bit early for bass.  You can catch them, and with persistence you might come home with several.  But you don't get the best sessions until later in the year, when the fry have grown in size and the bass have started to become very aggressive in hunting them.  This latter part of the season is when the hard lures really come out on top.  Particularly lures such as Megabass Zonk or Xraps, that feature very heavy side to side vibration (much like the way small mackerel swim), can sometimes provoke the whole shoal into a feeding frenzy.  I've tried soft lures in such cases and they've not caught well, if at all.

But early on in the season, it's a very different story.  The fish are more cautious, and it pays to use the more naturalistic soft lures rather than a hard lure.  Don't get me wrong, you will catch on both.  But I believe that I catch more fish now early on in the season because I use soft lures.  Later on, literally in a few weeks time, I'll switch to hard lures as the bass get more aggressive.  But for now, soft lures seem to always outfish their hard counterparts.

The great thing about soft lures is that they are not generally expensive.  I'm a great fan of Savage Gear's Sandeel, in both the 25g and 42g models.  I particularly the natural colour, but the blue variant also works.  Over shallow waters, particularly if you are trolling the lure behind you, the 25g is the best general choice.  You can still cast it pretty well (though nothing like as far as good hard lure), and reeled in just quick enough to keep it off the bottom it can entice some big bass.
Another fantastic Yorkshire sea bass.
Unfortunately, the pictures of that day's catches are all a bit blurred, as I had several goes at trying to get a shot of the bass fighting under water.  I had some moderate success:
Bass heading off in the opposite direction.
In the heat of the moment, I forgot to clean the sea water off the lens of the camera, resulting in every shot having the same great big blurs across it:
But this is a minor matter - I was just happy to be catching bass in good numbers.  I probably hooked about 8 and landed 5.  Plus a pollack and a mackerel.  Bit of a mixed bag, but I'm not complaining!

The real highlight of the day for me was seeing an otter come swimming past the end of my kayak.  I was eating my sandwiches, when what I thought was a baby seal swam past within about 20 metres of me.  To be honest I didn't realise what it was until it dived and I saw its tail and hind legs.  I did think it was a strange seal to be swimming along with it's head on the surface!   It's first for me: the Yorkshire sea otter - who needs to go to California to see them?  ;-)  No idea where it came from or where it was going.  The nearest river on that stretch of the coast is at least 20 miles off.  Great animal to see though, and along with a seal that showed me where the fish were in the first place, and various diving birds all round me, I had a quite safari to contend with!

Tight lines to all.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...