Client Catches – Temperature rising…
What a difference a week or so makes in bass lure fishing. Just over a fortnight ago I was bemoaning the fact that summer hadn’t really begun, alongside highlighting the fact that if we received a heatwave (or at the very least a couple of days of +20ºC temperatures) that it would help to ‘switch things on’ somewhat.
Well, I am happy to report that bar those couple of days when we experienced those strong-gale force easterlies, the bass appear to be inshore and feeding avidly here in south Devon. It could be a coincidence, but I believe the 1.5ºC+ increase in the sea temperature over the past 10 days has definitely encouraged some of the larger (and quite possibly still spawning fish) into the shallows…
So with my woolly hat now safely stashed in the very bottom of my bag (where I hope it’ll remain until mid-October!) either side of my most recent 3 Day Package here I had the pleasure of guiding a really lovely gentleman by the name of Paul. A keen all-round angler, he had been well and truly been bitten by the bass lure fishing bug since we meet almost two years ago – which is why I was so please that he managed to hook and land such a special bass, and one that was thoroughly deserved.
Although nudging 70 years old, you would not believe the energy and enthusiasm this guy has not only for fishing, but for life in general – it really is a total pleasure to be in his company. During the course of his sessions with me, we traipsed over hundreds of metres of rock, weed, sand and shingle, in addition to climbing hills and navigating various gates, fields and fences…
Nothing deters him, and with his shiny new Shimano Stradic Ci4 3000HG reel (courtesy of the excellent Osborne and Cragg in Plymouth here) attached and ready to be christened, he joined me for a guided night fishing session from a small shingle cove that leads directly onto an exceptionally jagged reef.
There are very often moments, or periods in most guided sessions that are consequential – such as the Sun setting, the Moon rising or becoming obscured, or indeed, the wind increasing/decreasing/changing. Moreover, the turn of the tide, or more particularly, it reaching a certain stage (high or low water and most noticeably the period when the velocity is at it’s greatest during the 3rd/4th hours of the flood or ebb) can and regularly does see the bass appear.
As depicted in a recent ‘Client Catches’ post that I wrote here, if you keep very accurate records, you can, to certain degree, ‘predict’ when the bass are more likely to turn up. Of course, it’s not an exact Science by any stretch of the imagination, but boy is it satisfying when you hear a client shout “Marc, got one!” or ‘Fish on!” within the period that you’re more or less expecting it to happen…
Better than average
So, in conjunction with the venue and the state of tide encompassing darkness within this session, in addition to him catching a bass or two, it was my hope that the warmer air and rising sea temperature would see Paul hit into something larger than the average size of the bass on this mark – which has historically been in the 3lb range.
Rather interestingly (as it isn’t the first time this has happened on this and very similar marks) when the little schoolies aren’t in attendance and therefore, aren’t whacking the surface lure or weedless soft plastics, as soon as it becomes dark you just sense that the bigger bass are moving in. What’s more, if you are catching them regularly, if it becomes eerily quiet 30 minutes before darkness then, more often than not, this has resulted in a client (or me if I’m fishing on my own) catching something more significant…
I am going to save the full story for another project that I am considering writing (a big hint there!), but he certainly did catch something significant in the form of a 66cm ‘personal best’ bass! And it was the magic white Wave Worm Bamboo Stick that did it again! Fished quickly for the first five turns of the reel’s handle, before transferring to a slower ‘one turn per second’ retrieve – the bass hitting the lure shortly after the more rapid style/movement.
With Paul’s fishing limited to three weeks in June, and two weeks in September (when he holidays in south Devon) the moments when the fish was hooked and being landed were exceptionally special. Paul is not only a respected client, he has also become a good friend who brims with great stories and life advice, therefore to see that tear in his eye as he held the bass aloft meant a lot to me too.
To cap off a great session, Paul latched into another bass (at around 3lb) 30 minutes after returning his PB, and within minutes we’d decided to call it a nigh, as I don’t think he could’ve taken anymore excitement (his words not mine!).
I have limited copies available of my recently released book ‘The Lure of The Bass’ that isn’t for sale anywhere else at present. Independent reviews of this publication (including one from the Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society) can be found here. If you would like to purchase a copy please utilise the PayPal facility below or you can contact me directly via the form at the bottom of this blog post.
Book – ‘The Lure of The Bass’ by Marc Cowling
A modern approach to catching European Sea Bass on lures by Marc Cowling.
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