My Bass fishing Year (Part 3 of 3) – 10 photographs and the story behind them…
Being a Bass fishing guide amongst the wild, remote and captivating countryside and coastline of South Devon is truly remarkable when I sit and really think about it… I am very lucky that I grew up here, and even luckier that I can live and work in such a beautiful place.
Add in the chase, the thrill and the amount of satisfaction I get out of catching and seeing others catch what is a magnificent sporting species – the Bass, and it is no wonder that I am a happy Man.
I hope that these pictures tell a story of my Bass fishing and guiding exploits – wow, it’s crazy to think I only started all of this on the 17 July… So many memories made in less than 6 months… It seems happily, so much longer and is therefore indicative I guess, of the amount of pleasure it brings me.
1. Exhilarating sea
It’s very exhilarating being out on the open coast, especially when the sea is rough. You need to have your wits about you granted, but it’s hard to beat the smell and taste of the sea when it’s this close to you. This picture was taken early one morning in November and captures a famous landmark (Prawle Point) and the Horses Head – Someone said to me “You shouldn’t give away your marks” when they saw this picture, but anyone who knows this stretch of the coastline will understand that I’m giving nothing away here, as you need to know, very specifically, where to fish to catch Bass in this area.
2. Walking on water
It isn’t a mystery where this and similar photographs have been taken. This particular image wasn’t taken from a boat, but actually in about 3 inches of water at the mouth of the River Avon (Bantham). This is a well-known Bass fishing mark, so again I’m not giving away any ‘secret’ information. It was extremely cold on this morning also in November – cold enough for gloves and a wooly hat… Winter is coming I remember thinking…
3. The perfect fish
This was the first photograph I added to my very first blog post back in July. The Bass was caught early one morning from a beach in June when it was quite rough, with a large swell rolling up the shore… great Bass conditions! They always fight extremely well when you hook them very close to beach; in the last turning wave almost. The shock of that YANK on the rod tip is something you never get tired of! The perfect fish on so many levels – cunning, power and beauty all rolled into on package.
4. The storm breaks
Taken at the end of a long, wet and windswept days fishing back in October, in which I later worked out I’d walked 7 miles for 1 lure caught Bass – that’s dedication! However, the fact that I’d caught one from a mark that I’d been eyeing up for quite some time, coupled with being in the right place to capture this image, made it all worthwhile.
5. Sheer delight
Not a large Bass granted – but when you’re a very good angler (James above) in your own right, yet you’ve struggled to catch a Bass on a lure from the shore for years, it can become a little disheartening… This photograph really does depict the satisfaction, relieve and renewed confidence that feeling that WALLOP on the rod and the fantastic fighting qualities of a Bass can bring.
6. Sunrise and solitude
This photograph is firm favourite of mine and was taken back in September, during an early morning guiding session. For me, it just sums up those early mornings when you’ve dragged yourself out of bed to go fishing and you’re stood there during these sort of moments thinking – this is what life is all about… My client here was fishing a surface lure over a reef system some 20 yds from the beach, but unfortunately the Bass were conspicuous by their absence during this session – which just goes to show that there are no ‘guarantees’ when it comes to fishing..
7. Thank you Mr Henry Gilbey
A top bloke and complete Gentleman, who is thoroughly helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about everything fishing. Angling journalist, writer, Sea Angler contributor and expert photographer Henry Gilbey took a real interest in my business right from the start. He offered to come up from SE Cornwall in order to take some shots and this was the one that he placed on Facebook (Luckily I’d joined 1 week previously!). The reaction and my website hits exceeded all my expectations and I am truly grateful to him for endorsing my guiding expertise – Thanks Henry.
Sometimes you just know it’s going to be good day – You’ve scoffed an early breakfast and downed your coffee as you’re literally skipping out the door and on your way to the first mark… That feeling of anticipation, excitement and sheer happiness that you’ve got a few hours to go fishing is amazing! This is the main road (lane) where I live and even though I was desperate to get out onto the rocks fishing I just couldn’t resist taking this photograph as it was the start of what turned out to be an excellent morning’s fishing.
9. Does it get any better than this?
It isn’t a good picture, or an interesting one. There isn’t anything in the background apart from what looks like a fake image (it isn’t), my feet are missing and I look (fat) fed up… However, just look at that Bass – it is stunningly beautiful! Well over 4lb and caught from a very remote stretch of coastline – where a lot of the best marks are of course. I was chuffed to bits with this one as I had to endure a long (but safe) climb in order to fish another mark that I’d been hoping to fish for some time – very satisfying indeed.
10. The power of the surf
This is a beach where I used to catch Bass as a teenager…and many more since. The memories of this place kept flashing across my mind throughout the entire session. Standing in the water – the power of those waves, the undertow and the side current pulling on your waders on such a gorgeous day in some of the most majestic surroundings that South Devon has to offer is very special.
Thanks for reading/looking.