The anual pilgrimage to the Eddystone marks the beginning of my ” True Bass fishing season . This year was a game of cat and mouse with the constantly changing weather , Days were lost to high winds but we did strike Gold on a number of occasions ,we managed to get out there most of the time . Most seats were taken by zen2 regulars and those that I now regard as friends . The locals were not surprised to see us out there and were quite friendly . Fishing the ”Stone ”can be quite 2 dimensional at this time of the year , 10 days of doing the same short drift is enough to drive any man insane and by the time were done Im aching to get back to my hidden coves and reefs of West Cornwall . When you look at the fish finder you have to rub your eyes and make sure your not dreaming. These fish are not there to feed , if they were we would land 200 a day , if they were they would be decimated in no time . We play a long game , not disimilar to a carp angler in his bivvy , we wait for the green light when the fish feed and endure the hours in between . The lake is crowded with other Carp anglers too !
Its a very different game to my normal mode. The water is busy with boats , both commercial and recreational . One thing that I did find rather disturbing was the number of Bass being retained by so called recreational anglers . The new 3 fish limit wash being openly ignored , we kept a tiny number of fish . I think the local commercials are quite cool with Zen2 for that reason . I tread carefully and treat the fishery with respect and understand the way the place works . I always take the long route up tide to start the next drift . I do what I can to avoid spooking the shoal (even if some the other guys just steam over the top of the fish and fry them with 800 Hz fish finders ) Theres always the potential for something special to happen on the Eddystone , it has a an allure an mystique quite unique and for that reason I will no doubt be back next May . Nick C fishes the Eddystone commercially and knows every boil and contour after so many years out there both above and below the water surface . He has a generous nature and warm smile and has a lifetime of Bass fishing stories to share. That warmth makes my arrival out there that bit more welcoming . These guys that fish full time have an incurable addiction , something I see in myself !
I think the highlight of the Eddystone campaign has to be Macs Big Bass . Macs my most loyal customer . He lost a big bass at the net last year when we first started fishing together . Ive been trying to make it up to him ever since . My normal net died I ordered a new one online and had to wait a few days for it too arrive so I used a short handled Kayak landing net in the mean time . I could not get the net under the fish quickly enough and we lost the fish . 10 trips later he had his revenge and i had made it up to him.
If Im honest Im glad to kiss goodbye to June it was tough month for me . June does have the potential to bemuse and disappoint and this year my fears were confirmed. Each day I would look at the temperature gauge on my Fish finder and hope and pray for more than 12 degrees . It was a cold spring and we paid the price on the water .Guiding is a Zero to Hero existence , Zero to Zero for 10 days straight is a bitter pill to swallow and it does takes it toll on my spirits . On the positive side the Pollock fishing during June was incredible.
I am Bass obsessed but I have never seen so many jumbo Pollock in 40 to 60 foot of water , at times as close as 200 yards from the shoreline . A client who lands a 15 lb Pollock on a light lure rod will never forget the experience . Those big ones pull so bloody hard , Its something that shocks me every time .
Bait is a four letter word
One spin off from my light involvement with commercial fishing on Stargazy has been the use of Livebaits . Catching Launce on Sabilki feathers and fishing Portland rigs is a whole now chapter .Its been really good fun and my god thoose big pollock do love to follow those eels back up through the water column . I killed my Daiwa Ryoga doing this ! I have an AVET MXJ 5.8 reel that I purchased from Rok Max a couple of years ago , that reel is a workhorse and continues to winch those pollock up and take the salt spray . Fishing live baits is something I never thought I would find myself doing. I assumed that my customers would turn noses up at . I was so wrong there .I love the long drawn outhook ups , the missed bites. Its all part of the fun of live baiting .
200 miles of possibilities
Theres nothing more exciting for me than finding epic new locations to fish. Falmouth Bay , Lizard and Mounts Bay are my mainstay but there is so much more out there . Its early days but the May / June run of bass just didn’t happen in Falmouth Bay. The Coverack boats netted thousands of Kilos of Bass this January. Will this impact on my fishing ? Its too early to tell. I will know by November . I have been fishing down on Lands end launching from Porthleven . We have to choose our days carefully the scenery is breath taking on the big toe of Britain. I see mountains of bait , birds and fish on a good number of my trips down West . I will be doing more and more fishing deep West over the next year. Likewise the North Coast between St Ives and Sennen is another whole new adventure awaiting me. These places make me rather nervous at times , your on your own down there . Safety always comes first !
Bring on July
The water temperature is rising nicely , we have a mini heatwave approaching . I think the mackerel will finally arrive very soon. Last July was just the same and the Bass fishing was excellent . Last year I was fully booked , every year is different and i have only 15 days in the diary ? Perhaps I will get to go surfing or down the park with kids this Summer or better still take them fishing !!