Homelands , hopes and fears


After the disappointing Eddystone campaign I really needed a good days fishing so yesterday I went out with fingers crossed  . The tides are dropping out into weak neaps . I have found that the evening flood tides best suit this situation so I decided to fish 1 pm to 9 pm .  My first suggestion was we try surface lures in around 35 foot of water and the first cast of the first drift pulled a big bass straight to the top . The take was huge . This was a much needed big bass with a Patchinko in its mouth. Over the years I have learned that big fish are so often lost due to over tight drags , if you hook a bass cleanly in the top lip you can easily rip a big enough hole in the mouth that a good headshake will throw the hook, my screw up but my drag was set too tight , as I fumbled for the drag the fish pulled hard and she was gone ! GUTTED ! My diary is down this year and a big bass with a surface lure in its mouth is always good for business . The next cast produced a big boil at the side of the boat , despite the lack of fish on the fish finder there were obviously a few Bass around . An hour or two trying various spots had produced nothing more than Pollock .

A Bass on a Patchinko that didn't get away !

A Bass on a Patchinko that didn’t get away !

So it was time to move on to an old favourite of mine , the ebb tide was pretty much done and we drifted at only 0.5 knots over the ground . When we  drift large open areas I try to cover as much water as possible by long range casting in opposite directions with one guy either end of the boat . Steve was on the bow casting out into open water and Mac was at the blunt end casting towards the shore . I call this a ‘searching drift’ .  Steve soon  hooked and landed a lovely Bass on the Fiiish 150 Blue rigged with the 30 g jig head . After my tight drag screw up earlier in the day I could not have been more concerned that Steve did not suffer the same fate and I loosened  his drag twice during the fight . When you hook a fish at long range theres only so much pressure you can exert on a fishes mouth , as the fish gets closer I loosen off , I would rather spend a couple of extra minutes with a loose drag than haul hard and pop the hook. I know I am  labouring the point somewhat but this is an obsession of mine born from the school of hard knocks and big Bass escaping .

 

A nice Bass on the crazy sandal 150 mm

A nice Bass on the crazy sandeel 150 mm

I must say that everything I have read online suggests the eel requires aggressive actions to make it work , I followed the hype and did so with poor results . Its only when I started to let the eel flutter about that I started catching. Pollock go ”Crazy ” for the eel , and Im only just starting to get my confidence that it will land me bass. Im really excited by the 220 mm rigged with the 30 g jig head . Im sure it will become a house favourite over 2017 .

Crazy eel 220 rigged with 30 g , Whats not to like that !

Crazy eel 220 rigged with 30 g , Whats not to like about  that !

A further 5 or 6 drifts produced nothing more than 1 kilo pollock and when you find the Pollock that often means you have lost the bass , the two do not tend to mix well , theres definitely a bit of a feud going on between the two species . So it was time to keep searching . As I approached my next mark it was like a Da javu . A year ago almost to the day ago I found the same number of seagulls just sitting on the water waiting around in the exact same spot , as if they knew something was set to happen . Last year as the tide turned to flood Bass would arrive and start to push tiny sandeels or baitfish to the surface . It was my awareness of the calendar and the exceptional  fishing I had on this mark last year that drew me so far off the beaten track , so the sight of those birds gave an enormous feeling of pride and excitement , had i got it right ? Am I turing into a human seagull or just a crusty Cornish Bass fisherman ?

As soon as the flood tide started to show itself and the boat started to drift Northwards that was the dinner bell ringing and the birds squawked excitedly . There was certainly not the same volume of bass on the mark that were there last year but the first cast into the sqwabbling birds produced a double hook up. If you cast and rip the lure through the shoal you tend to catch the small bass , if you cast in, then clamp into the lure and let in pendulum swing  its way down  under the shoal  you will often pick up the better fish . It was the same with Striped Bass in my previous life on Cape Cod

 

Fresh shiny bass but i look rather rough !

Fresh shiny bass butI look rather rough !

 

 

Over the session Steve continued to out fish myself and Mac , Mac was not having a great day and the frustration was getting to him , once you get that no fish loves me head on its very hard to shake it and he was struggling to get his head and his lure into the zone , Pollock still loved Macs lure but Bass continued to elude him , eventually a small bass took pity on his plight and threw himself at Macs minnow . Mac makes 8 pounders look small . Mac with a school bass does not make for an epic fishing photo !

A nice Bass on the crazy sandal 150 mm

Another nice Bass on the crazy eel  150 mm

 

The light was fading and it was time to head home . All the way home I pondered just how much I love my life as a professional Bass fisherman and the fun we have aboard my boat , a welcome reprieve from my worries about my diary  for 2017 and the validity of something I have poured heart and soul into for quite a few years . I have been living the dream for a decade now and I really don’t want the alarm to wake me just yet ?

 

AG

Bass fishing Cornwall website

 

 

 

 

Author: Oz

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1 Comment

  1. I tend to agree that the clutch can be over tight and result in lost fish despite reading the opposite elsewhere. Quicker than loosening the clutch in the situation you describe is to click the anti reverse over and back-wind but I’m sure you know that. This gives a little breathing space and gives time to adjust the clutch if necessary. I actually find that back-winding gives greater control but that is just a personal preference.

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