A few weeks ago I went down to South Devon for an intensive 3 days fishing session with Marc. I am a passionate angler since childhood but relatively new to lure fishing for bass. My objectives were to sharpen skills, understand better the fishing environment (and how to adapt to it) and, above all, to have a good time away from the stress of the city.
Marc was amazing in delivering on all of that, with his expert guiding and friendly approach. I learned a lot and enjoyed every bit of it. Marc knows the area so well that you can be sure if there is a bass around he’ll definitely put your lure onto its mouth. Expect to immerse yourself in a amazing wild landscape where you can listen to the elements of nature, observe wildlife and fish over a really wonderful stretch of coast.
Thank you Marc for doing your work with such professionalism and for your contagious enthusiasm for the art of fishing…look forward to seeing you next spring to go together after some Devon beast…”
I’ve just come back from my first fishing trip with Marc and he was fantastic! He was by our side the whole time, he didn’t fish, his sole aim was to put us onto them. Always willing to teach, impart wisdom and share ideas, fishing with Marc isn’t just about chucking lures out aimlessly, he really gets you thinking about what you’re doing and more importantly what the fish are doing. We had 5 bass between us and will absolutely be returning for another trip in 2019.
In early August this year I had a half day with Marc Cowling… South Devon Bass Guide. I have been a Salmon and Seatrout fisherman for some 20+ years. Fished for Bass with a fly and then migrated to lure fishing. Caught some fish up to 9lbs when I hit it right.
The session with Marc was fished on one of his local rocky marks, a lovely summers evening. Bit of a swell but the water was clear as a bell. We went through a variety of lures, settling on one of my favourites a Seaspin Pro 120. Casting as directed by Marc around some serious big rocks I had a schoolie to start with and then a bit later a very feisty 55cm fish.
I’m not in the game of making this a long and detailed report….but, what is certain, my catch rate following my evening with Marc increased significantly, his fine tuning and tweaking certainly paid off for me. Thank you Marc
Went on an 8 hour guided session with Marc recently. Marc worked hard to find us some great conditions on a relatively calm day, even changing the mark to find exactly what he was looking for (and this was communicated perfectly). The day was split into 2 parts to take in the best tides and show us what we were hoping to learn. In the first part Marc took us to a great set of marks, which we moved through during the session as the tide ebbed. Each new spot looked so promising but unfortunately delivered no fish. Besides that Marc did a great job of explaining why we were fishing certain spots, and I felt I learnt lots.
For the second part we changed location to fish into darkness. This is where Marc’s attention to detail became very clear, positioning me in the exact spot I needed to be in, and explaining why that spot was so important. Sure enough midway through the session a huge bass grabbed my lure and took off, landed safely it has totally smashed my PB.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day, I would certainly recommend Marc’s services even if like myself you consider yourself a decent fisherman already. I think Marc’s methods could improve most people’s fishing skills!
I’ve been a Fly angler for many years but wanted to catch Bass on the Lure. Marc was my guide for 8 hours (day/night). I was asked what equipment I needed and this was provided. He wanted to know in detail what I wanted from the experience and the session was tailored and delivered in a very professional, enthusiastic and friendly way. His knowledge of this predator, the shoreline and its use in identifying Bass marks is second to none.
The session covered the lures/retrieval and identifying the right lure for the conditions, what to look for on the ground to find a right mark. Booking the session was easy and hassle free, thanks to his website. Communication throughout the process was excellent. Thanks Marc for a fantastic experience. I learnt so much from this session and I haven’t stopped casting the lure since!
Just to say many thanks for an excellent trip yesterday. I have been bitten by the surface lure bug, so much so that I had to go out today. Bought a new surface plug (could only get a savage gear version) but taking your advice chose a light grey natural colour. I then headed to out to a similar mark on an ebbing tide, cast uptide as you said and wallop in on second cast, larger than yesterday but still not huge.
If I hadn’t been out with you yesterday would never have gone today, I now truly believe in lure angling thanks to you and now have a great new method to explore. I wish you success with your guiding business and cannot recommend you highly enough!
As a returning client I was really looking forward to getting back out fishing with Marc. I originally did an 8-hour session with him in 2017 to introduce me to using lures to catch bass, something I’ve always wanted to get into and I learned a huge amount in that one day.
My plan for returning and opting for a three day package was twofold, firstly to learn more about different types of marks and which lures to select on the day, and secondly and just as important was to catch fish, and I’m pleased to say I achieved my aim on both counts as well as having the pleasure of fishing with two other great guys and watching them catch bass too!
As I hoped, we fished a completely different mark on each four-hour session allowing me to see bass caught using different lures and different methods. I had a great three days, great company, great fishing and loads of knowledge gained which has since resulted in me landing some beautiful fish thanks to new skills learned.
As I met up with Marc for my second session my expectations were high after the previous days excitement. I started with surface lures then sub surface but no joy. As the light started to fade Marc suggested this was the time for the surface lures again, good call Marc, second cast I saw the fish breech as it hit the lure, and another four followed before the light forced us to leave.
Marc took me to another spot and as the twilight turned to darkness another fish hit the lure, followed by another two. Then a time of quiet and stillness as the wind dropped and the clouds parted to reveal the glorious heavens above, stars, shooting stars all making a time of fishing that much better. Then out of the blue like last night Bad Boy Two arrived, what a take!!! The rod bent and the reel sang its song that it was giving line to a big fish, I called to Marc who came running (he was answering a call of nature!) and I gained some line before the reel sang it’s song again ‘I’m giving line’, by this time Marc was on station and his torch illuminated a big fish, under Marc’s guidance I steered the fish between two reefs along a sandy gully, ‘that’s easy 5lb’ Marc said.
And this is where the script didn’t run to plan, Marc was in the gully and grabbed the leader…the fish then shook the hooks….Marc attempted to grab the fish but it was already on its way back out to sea…this Bad Boy wasn’t hanging around for an encore. We were both gutted Marc more so than I. For me I had fought the fish and seen it, it was on the beach if only for a short time so I’m happy to say that’s fish number nine in a 5 ½ hour session and a total of 15 fish over 16 hrs fishing.
It’s only my second time lure fishing and the investment in booking Marc was well worth it. It would take me ages to learn what Marc has taught me over two days. Top guy who oozes passion when it comes to lure fishing for Bass. My two days with Marc have been truly awesome in every way. This event is etched in my memory for ever – thanks Marc, I’ll definitely be back again. If your thinking of booking Marc he does some great packages, accommodation at Chillington House B&B is first class.
I have been an angler for over half a century and have been fishing for freshwater coarse and game fish all over the U.K. As I get older, the challenge for me now is not about catching large numbers of fish or even necessarily large fish. It is now about catching totally wild fish in a beautiful setting. With this in mind, I booked a three-day guided session with Marc Cowling which allowed me to target a fish that meets the criterion of a totally wild predator in the waters of the Devon coastline.
Having never fished for any sea-fish before, I was obviously a total novice regarding the techniques required to land a bass. Marc swiftly had all three of us clients using the techniques required to outwit and successfully land our quarry. This included me landing my first ever bass which is an experience I will always treasure.
Marc is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, which of course rubs off on his clients. He provided me with the skills I needed to continue my new-found passion for bass fishing, which has since resulted in some personal success using the techniques he taught me. If you fancy learning how to use successful lure fishing methods for totally wild and beautiful fish with some stunning coastal scenery as a back-drop, I would strongly recommend booking a guided session with Marc. Personally, I can’t wait to go back. Very highly recommended!
I booked an autumn session with Marc to try to learn more details about lure fishing for bass than my intermittent efforts had allowed; basically I wanted to pick an experienced anglers brains and, luxuriously, be told where, when and how to fish to be in with the best chance of getting a fish! (In an odd way it is very relaxing not to be the one deciding where, when and how to fish…)
It was very much worth it; Marc is good company, a fine host who looked after me well throughout the session, and very knowledgeable. I learnt lots through the session, using techniques that while not new to me were not the way I would have chosen to approach the conditions and venues. Now just a matter of applying such knowledge when I get a chance to get out. And fish were caught too!
Marc took me and my friend out for a 8 hour session. The session was split into 2 so that we could fish in perfect conditions. All day Marc gave us confidence that we were going to find the fish and catch them. And he didn’t disappoint! Marc even managed to find my mate his P.B! Great guy, honest, very knowledgeable and an absolute bass god! (P.s Marc has a book coming out soon!!!)
Not only is Marc truly knowledgeable in his craft but a thoroughly great person to share the experience with.
Forget becoming a You-Tube ‘expert’ and spending hours wasting your holiday with ‘here-say’ and google jargon, call Marc. He will happily share his watercraft skills and guide you in the most efficient way to catch a Bass. Don’t be mistaken into thinking you can learn it all in one session though. Marc’s dedication, commitment and pleasure that comes from catching this amazing species has taken decades to accomplish and I applaud his success. Grab some time with him and experience what he has to offer, you won’t regret it!
We spent an excellent evening with Marc. I caught my first night time lure bass and it felt epic! The whole session was obviously well planned and Marc provided us with a lot of information on the entire process. We both learnt an awful lot that we will be using in our future fishing. We are not complete novices and nor experts but I would suggest that anybody with any level of experience would gain a lot from spending their time on a session with Marc. Thanks again!
I fished with Marc on a 4 hour morning session and we had quite a few Bass on surface lures which was new to me and great fun.
I would defo recommend him as a Bass fishing guide and i will hopefully be fishing with him again in the next few weeks.
Marc gave us a cracking day catching well over 30 bass, very knowledgeable and friendly, would definitely recommend!!
Having fished with bait for years I decided to take the plunge into lure fishing for bass. Experiencing our wonderful coastline and countryside (I am from South Devon also) is a passion and things like watching gannets diving and those early mornings with the Sun rising all play an important part along with finding those secluded places to fish is what makes every single session special. However, could I catch a bass on a lure? No!
Having met Marc on the coastline on a cold and wet day I was blown away by his enthusiasm and friendliness therefore, I booked myself a session with him (I have another one booked with a friend later this year). As I am a local and could fish at short notice, Marc said he would wait until the best conditions occurred as I wanted to fish in the day and night time.
What can I say! The learning that took place in that session probably saved me hundreds hours of wasting my time. Marc showed me marks and talked about the reasons why bass would be there too. Into the night I caught a 63cm bass on an Albie Snax from the very place we had stood at low tide – it doesn’t get much better than that! Thank you so, so much Marc, can’t wait for the nest instalment!
J. Reckless July 18
We had a great time and learnt lots. Thanks for the effort you put into the trip and helping me catch and land a lure caught bass. Best of luck in the future!
S. Greenwood July 18
Marc has a real passion for bass fishing and combined with his excellent local knowledge and contacts (he introduced a great B+B) he is undoubtedly the best guide you could possibly hope for. He put us onto fish the first evening which was meant to be a practice run! All I all, I cannot recommend him enough and you won’t be disappointed – a rare find and yes Devon is glorious, stunning scenery and unbelievable coves and bays that only Marc could seek out! The highlight of the break was night fishing in a full Moon lit bay with Keith catching a 4lb+ bass and me with a 2½lb fish. Unforgettable!!!
N. Self/K Pimblett June 18
I booked a session with Marc on the 5th July 2018. Marc stayed in touch from the time of booking to the session itself even re-arranging the venue to suit the conditions. I’ve not used a guide before but Marc’s website and professionalism secured my booking. The session itself was a revelation, we walked the venue in the light and Marc pointed out the holding spots and when he expected them to fish and then went through the lures. There were a lot of mullet around during the light with little signs of Bass and Marc primed me to expect action as it went dark. How right he was , I hooked one and lost it and thought my chance was gone and then right after high water I was nailed by a real beastie, a hooped rod and screaming reel followed, then the sight of easily the biggest Bass i’d ever hooked on its side waiting to be landed, the pictures are on the blog and what a fantastic time I had. I learned more about Bass fishing in that session than I would have believed. All I can say is believe what you read in the blog .Marc is patient, enthusiastic and an excellent guide and if you are serious about learning how to lure fish for Bass a session with Marc is essential. Don’t hesitate, book him he’s that good! Can’t wait to get down to South Devon again. Thanks Marc Cowling.
M. Andrew July 18
Three day fishing and B&B package.
I booked three days fishing and B&B with Marc after following him via Facebook and his blogs and this was the first time I had ever booked a guided trip. From my very first contact Marc could not have been more helpful and approachable and I quickly booked a place for myself and a friend. We were given all of the info we needed to plan for the trip and, having explained that we would put ourselves totally in his expert hands, Marc offered to provide us with all of the tackle and kit we would need along with some very handy advice on clothing etc.to make the experience more comfortable.
One of the first things Marc asked was what we wanted to learn and experience and throughout the three days he tailored the fishing around us, imparting knowledge, offering hints tips and advice and encouraging us with his highly infectious enthusiasm. We fished our socks off and Marc pulled out all the stops to give us the very best opportunity of catching whilst also showing us a variety of different techniques, lures, and locations in differing conditions whilst imparting his years of hard learned knowledge. Marc will not simply ‘put you on the fish’ he will teach you how, why and where – a very rare thing indeed. Was it fun? Look at our photo’s on the blog!
Within minutes of meeting we were laughing and joking like old friends, I came away much more confident in my own fishing and I am already looking to book more sessions with Marc.
M. Charnick June 18
Marc is one hell of a bloke. Adaptive, selfless, highly intuitive and interesting beyond all measure. If you are standing on the fence about having a guided session for whatever reason, do it. To have someone focus solely on the development of your own personal fishing style is invaluable. I wish I had had the opportunity and the open mindedness to do it sooner. Second session already booked for July with my girlfriend as well.
J. Cresser-Brown May 18
I was very lucky to be working away last week down in Devon and lucky to get a trip out with Mark, it was short notice as only down for 2 night’s.I contacted Mark and as luck would have it he had a night session, so jumped at the chance.
I arranged to meet Mark at a venue and what a great guide, he went through my tackle talking about rods and rod lengths and lure choice and loads of advise from the start.So we headed out to Marks 1st mark in the dark and I loved the experience despite a hit 1st cast nothing followed and after a few moves Mark said we would make a move to his 2nd mark and a great call as hit from the 1st cast followed by my 1st bass to the Albie Snax, absolutely magic, not a monster but a great scrap and in the dark great fun.
So we moved a little further off to rest that spot and again small knocks followed by a solid hit and fish taking 1 to 1.5 metres of line and a better fish hooked and landed, mark measured and went 55cm I was made up, quick pic and then carefully released to grow bigger, this was just magical. We carried on for a further 30 mins and lots if taps and knocks followed by 1 more small bass.
I cannot thank Mark enough for his great service loads of information the fish he put me on and some great laughs, more like fishing with a friend. Thank you and I will be back.
G. Briggs June 18
Lure fishing for bass is something I’ve had on my fishing to do list for a few years. When I found myself heading for the south coast last week I decided the time had come. A quick internet search led me to Marc’s excellent website and I subsequently booked an evening/early morning session. My usual fishing is for salmon, trout, grayling & pike on the fly in Scotland so this was a going to be a bit different.
Marc took into account my previous angling experience and was excellent in providing advice which complemented my own experience. Our fishing started at 19:00 and finished at 01:00 this proved to be perfect timing and well selected by Marc given the prevailing tide. Marc provided a comprehensive introduction to the area I was to be fishing, sorted a few tackle issues and made great lure choices throughout the session. I had a great time and the ultimate accolade is that I would book another session with Marc without hesitation next time I’m in the area.
S. Oglesby May 18
My father and I have recently returned from South Devon where we spent two days fishing for Bass guided by the knowledgeable Marc Cowling. We had booked a package deal with Marc, which included 2 nights accommodation at the excellent Chillington House B&B. We had previously informed Marc that my father’s knees weren’t great and that he would struggle on challenging terrain. We needn’t have worried, Marc was able to draw upon his extensive experience and local knowledge to pick ideal fishing locations for us. Marc’s passion for this angling is infectious and he has a great tutoring style that allowed both my father and I to quickly learn the techniques required to improve our chances of landing some sizeable bass. We had a wonderful time fishing at four different places each for four hours including two night sessions. The scenery along the South Devon coast is stunning and enhances your enjoyment. We started slowly returning a nil count at our first session, improved to a small catch at our first nighter and then took two small ones the following morning. For our last night session Marc excelled himself. By this time my father’s knee was starting to pain him and Marc chose a specific location that he would not normally use but would be easier for my Dad and it was here that the highlight of our trip was landed, a 69cm beauty! An incredibly satisfying way to end our two days thanks to Marc. Highly recommend.
P. Williams June 18
The most amazing three days fishing! Marc is a great guy who really knows what he’s talking about. But he’s also good at putting his knowledge into words, I learnt so much about finding new marks at home and what lures to try. Before my three days with Marc had finished, I’d booked my next trip! If your sitting on the fence, go for it, you won’t regret it. The other great thing is the b&b that Marc had organised was perfect, clean, comfortable and great breakfast. Thanks Marc, can’t wait to come back…
T. Didymus June 18
I got back from a 3 night package with Marc about a week ago and am still buzzing. I learnt a lot from Marc about field craft and where to fish in places i never would have tried before. The package was just great from the super B&B to being picked up and driven to various marks as well as Marc being a top bloke. Thanks again. I will definitely be booking up again.
R. Parsons June 18
Marc is a brilliant guide who offers something really special. I’ve done a lot of guided sessions before on the fly, but nothing like this. We fished a variety of hard and soft plastic lures from some lovely spots, with Marc carefully and patiently explaining all the techniques and skills as we went along. I had never lure-fished for bass before but, by the end, I felt like I had acquired years of knowledge. The highlight was the night session. A real assault on the senses and properly exhilarating. After a few near misses, including a whopper who slipped me, I eventually bagged my first, lure-caught, bass. Still re-living it and will definitely be back for more. Thanks Marc!
J. Day May 18
Marc guided two of us for an 8 hour session through daylight into the night. Had a fantastic time culminating in catching my first ever Bass!
Marc is extremely knowledgable on the subject of lure fishing for Bass and shared information freely with us to enable us know what tackle to use, how to use it effectively, recognise a good mark, and recognise the lures to use and how to present them in variety of conditions.
Prior to the session he asked us to define what we wanted to achieve during the session and I can honestly state that all of our objectives were fully met.
On top of that Marc is a top bloke who is extremely sociable and great company to fish with. I would highly recommend his services to any Bass fisherman regardless of ability and experience.
J. Butterworth July 18
If your reading this it’s probably the only time I’ve ever felt the need to review anything or anyone in my life… enough said!
I’m probably the keenest angler you will ever meet targeting mainly freshwater species and competitions to national level. There are not many fish I’ve not caught… a big bass is one of them…
Booking the 3 day bass experience was something different and wow was I surprised for all the right reasons!
Marc is simply a top top bloke and the fishing, banter and locations he take you to made it a trip to remember! Catching a fish was a bonus… sounds strange to say but I don’t think I’ve worked that hard and enjoyed my fishing that much for many years!
Have to put a word in for the accommodation which he set up, so friendly and accommodating given the hours we were keeping and the breakfast was always magnificent!
I shall certainly be back and I’m sure his business will go from strength to strength – actually wondering if I should delete this post in case I can’t get another booking! Ha tight lines Marc and all who wet a line with you!! I swear your half bass!
C Skelt June 18
To those of you who think, hey maybe I could do with a few pointers in my pursuit of an absolutely magnificent fish the Bass “with a lure” or those of you that are taking up this type of angling for the first time I’d highly recommend you book a session with Marc Cowling.My angling chum and I had booked an eight hour experience with Marc on the 21st July 2018. All correspondence with Marc was great and answers to my questions of what kit specifically lures was provided and I was starting to build a picture of how much passion this guy has towards bass fishing. I must also add that Marc will also supply kit and honestly could not do enough to make it a brilliant experience.
Now down to the angling!!! As we walked down to the marks that had been selected for us Marc was pumped full of questions about the environment that’s most likely to produce a Bass. Factors like weather specifically wind direction, air pressure, cloud cover and water temperature. We talked about the Bass’s diet, how vibrations of lures work. When and where Marc would use a certain tactic. Lots of questions were asked and everyone was answered and I could tell that Marc knew his stuff. Either that or in a past life he was an actual Bass himself!
The mark was an absolute cracker and conditions were spot on. We fished hard with surface lures but no Bass were to be had in daylight. A little walk to the next spot that we had looked at on low tide was fished until the early hours of the morning. I did start to think that maybe a blank was on the cards. Marc kept encouraging us and giving us snippets of information and tweaking our techniques. Then out of the blue in the last three quarters of an hour the fishing simply switched on. I managed a small Bass “my first ever!” took a needle fish lure. Then my friend Tom hooked into an absolutely cracking 3lber “Caught on an Albie Snax”. After a few photos plus fish care info from Marc the silver bar was returned. I then walked back to where I was angling absolutely chuffed to bits and after two casts managed to bag myself a 4lber that at one point put my spool on my reel into meltdown. Now I was ecstatic!!!!!! Unfortunately time beat us and the session drew to a close. Marc was just as buzzing as us on the walk back to the car park. A truly brilliant experience.
I’ve always found fishing about being an odds game. The more things that you can get in your favour and with a bit of confidence in what you are doing is only going to increase your chances of catching that dream fish.
So if you want to learn how to give yourself a great chance of that leviathan then I’d recommend you book an outing with Marc. You have to experience it for yourself to truly appreciate this guys talents as a Bass lure fishing guru!
J. Harcom July 18
“I’ve been lucky enough to find out about Marc from WSF forum and we booked a 4hr session as I was short of time due to family vacation. As a fairly experienced angler (20+ years) I wasn’t sure what to expect and in the back of my mind didn’t want to ‘waste’ money on a guide…well I can honestly say it was well worth it…every penny. I could have wasted a day just to look for marks let alone knowing how and when to approach them… Marc was excellent throughout…communication was top-notch, when we met at agreed 1:50am he was on time to a minute (which is a good indicator of a professional in my books). We went to a nice safe spot, he really knows the South Devon coastline well to pick the right mark in the right weather/tide conditions. He was very encouraging during the session and kept my morale high when I was becoming a bit doubtful…after 3 hours of ‘combing’ the beach it has all paid off- 70cm bass, my PB for a long time I suspect. I went home with a big grin on my face and I’m a lot more confident bass angler…what more can you ask for? Thanks Marc.”
S. Smiga November 17
“What a great all round Guy to venture out onto the stunning Devon shoreline with & he certainly knows every inch of his coastline virtually down to the second the fish is going to hit the lure ! I would recommend him to experienced and beginners alike .
Certainly be back!”
D. McPhillips July 17
“Just got back from an amazing 8 hour session. Shattered, soaking wet and couldn’t be happier. Marc’s knowledge of the marks, techniques, watercraft and lure selection is second to none. I caught bass in places I wouldn’t have even considered fishing before this trip, landing a bass off the beach in heavy surf was the absolute highlight. I’m now going to revisit some marks I’ve overlooked in the past, definitely an eye-opening experience and a real confidence booster. Couldn’t recommend it more.”
A. Grimmer August 17
I grew up fishing in the Bristol Channel and moved to south Devon a few years ago and discovered lure fishing…. something very alien to fishing the murky upper reaches from where I was familiar! I was intrigued to try and understand a bit more about venue, state of tide, weather, tides, lure selection etc. I first became aware of Marc when his F.B page appeared via a childhood friend of mine Jansen Teakle who has since become a respected fishing guide in the Bristol Channel. I decided to treat myself to a guided session.
I was a little apprehensive about what to expect but straight away Marc put me at ease with his friendly and enthusiastic manner. We fished for 8 hours in tough conditions and at no point did he lose his optimism or encouragement. The knowledge he has built up over years turned out to be invaluable. We fished into the night and sure enough we dialled into prolific action…. many takes, lost fish, schoolies landed, then culminating in a stunning 3lb plus fish in great condition. A thoroughly enjoyable experience that I would recommend to anyone. Cheers Marc.”
S. Angelinetta July 17
“Hi Marc, Thanks for a fantastic weekend. I learnt so much in one weekend from you. I am so grateful for the knowledge you shared with me. I was very impressed with your patience and having you right next to me giving great advice was reassuring.
It gave me confidence to cast in areas I would not normally fish and in ways I have never fished before. I loved using all the lures that I have purchased and catching on them. Knowing how to use new lures will save me valuable time on my solo trips instead of learning the hard way. Learning to identify potentially good places to fish was also an added bonus. You have given me much food for thought. First night was an absolute blast and very exciting. Loved every minute of it and I will be back for more sessions. To anybody reading this, make a date with Marc. You will not regret it. Cheers!”
K. Dewey August 17
“I’ve holidayed in South Devon for over 30 years and have fished the area for most of that time. I thought I would book a day out with Marc to try and learn new marks in the area. We fished areas I wouldn’t even thought of going to before. I learned a whole lot more than I ever knew about the area before and fished some super looking spots. Unfortunately we were not blessed with the bass gods that day, but did get a couple of feisty wrasse. Top bloke and top guiding service, can’t wait to get back down there!”
T. Lambert June 17
“I recently had a couple of bass guiding sessions with Marc Cowling, one in the daylight and another in the dark and what a thoroughly informative, exciting, tiring and enjoyable experience it was.
I had been out with a bass guide on a boat previously and last year a few times on the coast and some guided trips for bone fish /sea trout etc. What I’ve noticed is that every guide I have been lucky enough to use, really knew their craft and for me being a tourist on vacation the money spent with a local guide was well worth it. I did do my home work though!
I had been leisure fishing in Cornwall for nearly 50 years either alone or for last twenty years with my nephew or younger son on holidays but never caught bass when we were trying to do so! This brings me around to why I started thinking about using a bass guide. I was realising that although I thought I had made a big progression, it is water craft /knowledge of conditions/temperature etc. that is such a huge factor and I simply had not put in enough hours to give me a picture of where the best marks I knew would be on a particular day.
I don’t live near the sea I am more than happy to spend money on a guide who will impart his knowledge on given day but what I do know is that when I met Marc a few weeks back I got my money’s worth from my endless questions and knowledge freely imparted from him. I knew I was in for one of the best opportunities I would ever get to catch my best bass to date. Was I surprised it happened ? NOT AT ALL. Having completed the formalities of filling in forms for his insurance which was very reassuring and something I don’t think I’ve been asked to do before in the UK. He’s also very professional and reassuring gauging risk assessment all the time. I felt from his infectious enthusiasm when we made our way to the 3 marks chosen that he was very optimistic about my chances (* key note Marc never fishes himself when guiding.
Would I go again with Marc as guide? I would say unequivocally yes.I have also gone more than once with other bass guides and I think he’s great value for what he offers. If you are a holiday maker who lives far from south Devon as I do and probably countless other clients of his, then you know that you have a good a chance as any of getting a good fish and learn more about this craft .I know that good bass guides like Marc put in a huge amount of hours to find marks that suit different client skills and physical capabilities for a given day on someone’s holiday when shuffling dates are awkward.
Regarding the fishing I did feel relaxed very early on when he had set me a few casts and then he just stepped well back and let me do my own thing. There was no pressure at all and when you add up a lot of the seemingly small plus points they amount to a guide that has obviously put a lot of time in to thinking about how to go about a days fishing with their client to make it memorable, enjoyable, safe and informative and in this respect he delivers in spades. I hope that this laboured review will help anyone who has found South Devon Bass Guide site make a decision about whether hiring a bass guide is worth it.”
J. Clarke September 17
“Saturday 19th August, what an amazing 8 hours! I’ve been sea fishing on and off for about 20 years but recently got back into it about 3 or 4 years ago. Even more recently I decided to take the plunge into lure fishing. I would by no means call myself a fishing expert or a novice but lure fishing is still all fairly new to me.
I’ve had a few successful trips on the lures but I wanted to learn more! In steps the fabulous Marc Cowling. Marc picked me up and took us to our venue for the day. Marc was very keen to know about my experience and what I wanted from the day, this allowed Marc to give me the best fishing experience.
As soon as we got to the location for the day (just before low tide) Marc was pointing out marks to fish that I would never normally have thought to fish and from them on in Marc unloaded his wealth of knowledge throughout the day.
Marc definitely put me on the fish and almost timed bites to the minute. We landed some good fish and lost some even better fish. Marc cares so much about his clients experience he was more disappointed about the lost fish than me.
If anyone is sitting on the fence and can’t decide whether to book with Marc or not my advice would be book ASAP you won’t be disappointed and you’ll definitely have a good day! I will be re booking in the future.”
P. Richardson August 17
“I had an exceptional experience with Marc from South Devon Bass Guide! Last Autumn my legendary wife booked a surprise birthday Bass Guiding day with Marc and my Brother in law where Marc imparted a huge amount of Bass theory on the way to our marks. We fished all day and caught several lovely fish from varied locations and states of the tide.
This year, I had been pestering Marc all Winter to go guiding once again as soon as he thought we might have a chance of an early season catch, and through his expertise I landed a 3lb March Bass which I was thrilled about.I can now take my fishing forwards with the knowledge that I’m not wasting cash on pointless lures, or time on bad technique!A thoroughly great couple of experiences that I won’t forget. Cheers Marc, all the best for the future.”
J. Gunning March 17
“Me and a friend went out with Marc for a 4 hour session, keen to learn about marks, conditions, lures etc for catching bass. Marc was incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and passionate about lure fishing for bass.
We both came away with a vastly increased knowledge in what to look for, so we’re more than happy, and confident that we’ll be getting amongst these awesome fish on our own adventures. Marc knows the South Devon coastline as well as anyone. I can’t recommend Marc’s services highly enough.”
D. Rich May 17
“I had a day out with Marc in September 2016, where do you start, well 1. Safety –
Marc is A1 on this, we got onto some great rocks and I learnt about tides and timings so you don’t get wet or stuck and as Marc’s confidence grew in my ability we tried more challenging spots safely.
2. Marc knows his stuff and I learnt loads about what to look for, his knowledge is vast and he answers your questions 3. He tells you to keep notes….boring but it works 4. The pasties are great 5. He’s a really nice guy who wants you to catch bass.
Following another session in October 2017 – Andrew wrote “I was buzzing when we packed up, could have gone on for a couple of hours more! Thanks for a great evening.”
A. Price October 17
Had a great time being guided by Marc!! Would recommend to anyone who wants to try Bass fishing!!
B. Knight May 17
“Decided to have a try at bass fishing and Marc was recommended to me as a guide for South Devon. His knowledge of this coastline and fishing with lures is second to none. This is a very addictive form of angling and will definitely be booking again”.
M. Sinclair August 17
“Although you might have been fishing for many years sometimes it’s worth taking a step back. If that means going with a guide so be it. Like many other people I booked a two-day session with Marc hoping to be set in the right direction. Sometimes you miss some of the fundamentals so heading back to the classroom, or in this case the beach at low tide, to survey the landscape was very beneficial later on with the tide coming in. If you’re fishing at night and it’s pitch black you then have a much better idea of your surroundings. This is just one example of why it’s worth going out with a professional guide. Thank you, Marc, for your time and effort; it’s much appreciated.”
D. Froy November 17
“I had an 8 hour session with Marc and would highly recommend him he is full of use full information and he shares it all with you and no question is too much. I had a really good time, caught fish and learnt new things will definitely go again.”
S. Simpson September 17
“I can’t recommend Marc highly enough for whatever aspect of bass fishing you are looking to do or learn. He has a vast knowledge of the sport and is surrounded by amazing fishing marks which he knows extremely well from years of experience.
Personally I wanted to brush up skills and improve watercraft, we visited many marks and I learned loads while having a great day out and a good laugh too as Marc’s the easiest guy to get on with. I will definitely be going back down soon and look forward to it!”
G. Rhone May 17
“I was gifted a days Bass fishing with Marc by my wife Gill for my Birthday, not knowing what to expect an air of excitement came over me as our agreed meeting time got closer. I was not disappointed!!!!!!! Marc is a very personable Guy, who you know you are going to get along with as soon as you meet him. As the day progressed his wealth of knowledge of Fishing, tides and environment became apparent, constantly thinking of different lures and spinners to try as conditions changed. Safety is a major feature of the day, with Marc being ever mindful of our wellbeing.
The day will appeal to novice or experienced Anglers alike, for the more experienced Angler, you will be amazed at what you don’t know.
My day started slowly, with the words perseverance, patience and “try this one” being used frequently, after trying several marks, my patience was rewarded, with 3 Bass landed and returned, the best around 5 pounds. An unforgettable day, largely due to Marc’s professionalism, thoroughly recommended to any one with an interest to catch more Bass. DON’T CONSIDER IT………DO IT.
Thank you Marc, again.”
R. West May 17
“Fishing with Marc was effortless. His enthusiasm and positive outlook to fishing are second to none. From the first minute I met Marc he started feeding me with valuable information about method, location and how to change tactics to adapt and overcome. We literally searched the marks that Marc picked until we found the fish.
Could be luck (but it definitely isn’t, but I have lure fished for bass maybe 100 times without Marc and the first time with him I nailed a PB and enjoyed every minute of the outing. I have learnt so much from Marc’s blog and newsfeed and everything fell into place last night. Book a session. You will not regret it!” THANKS MARC!!!
L. Russell July 17
“Well what can I say about my first guided session last night? Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic…. From the first moment I meet Marc and fellow angler Phil the learning tap was well and truly on! I am an experienced sea and trout angler but the whole lure fishing for bass thing had sort of passed me by. I wanted a session or two with Marc to learn as much as I could from the basics up, and I wasn’t disappointed. The guy is a font of knowledge on lure selection, watercraft, choosing locations, tackle.. the list goes on. One of the most important parts for me was learning how to select a mark and select the right types of lures for that mark and conditions, and finally how to work the lures effectively. Some of the things I was shown were mind blowing purely on the basis that I would never have even considered using those techniques without being shown. Once Marc explained the theory behind it, it made total sense.
I cannot even begin to describe just how good the guided session I had with Marc was, suffice to say I will be approaching my lure fishing with a totally fresh and confident outlook going forward, and will certainly be booking my next session soon!! I spend a fair chunk of money on tackle, as I’m sure a lot of us do – when it comes to lure fishing for bass this was without doubt the best money I have ever spent, just wish I’d done it sooner!!
Thanks Marc for a professional, tailored, and thoroughly enjoyable trip!! P.S sorry I lost the “Jim” lure!”
R. Allbones June 17
Had a brilliant day with Marc. He`s so knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and helpful, that any time spent in his company is an absolute pleasure. We’ll be booking again for next year!
M. Horne August 17
“I booked a four hour session with Marc for my 9yr old son’s Noah’s birthday. He’s been fascinated by bass fishing for a while but hasn’t had any success on his own. We met Marc last night and walked down to a beautiful beach with interesting rocky reefs. Marc walked us along the beach showing Noah all the places they would try and fish from during the evening, explaining where the bass would come once the tide had come in. After that, he got Noah practising his casting and use of various lures that Marc had brought to try.
Marc was endlessly patient and really hands-on but firmly making sure that Noah didn’t move on to another lure the minute he thought it wasn’t going to be successful! After the light faded we moved up to a sandy cove and finally perseverance paid off. Marc helped Noah to bring in his first bass. Noah was able to feel, for the first time, the power of this fish. It really was thrilling to be there, under the comforting presence of the Start Point lighthouse, the moonlit beach and the patient guiding of a very excited little boy.
After the bass was released, they were casting out straight away, and quickly Noah got another big take. He managed to bring it almost all the way in but it wriggled off close to the beach. A few more little knocks and then we had to leave. Noah learnt so much and now has the knowledge he needs to begin his own bass fishing journey. He wasn’t remotely disappointed to only land one smaller one, on the contrary it seems to have only deepened his interest and respect for bass fishing. I feel sure that he will always remember his 9th birthday and his first bass because of Marc’s fantastic guiding. I’m sure this will be the story Noah tells his children in years to come. Thank you so much Marc and we will definitely come out with you again.”
E. Dallaway July 17
“What a fantastic day! Great conditions, plenty of fish and excellent guiding! Thank you very much for all your help and advice. I had a wonderful day”
D. Wilson August 17
“Hi Marc, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your guiding last Thursday. I thoroughly enjoyed both day and night sessions and learned a great deal too. I really wish you all the very best in your new venture.
I am sure with your knowledge, enthusiasm and skills you will do very well! I, for one, look forward to another meet up some time in 2018. Many thanks Marc for a memorable day.”
R. Slatford October 17
“We had a quality time with a great host in two beautiful locations. We will be back for more next time!” Marc, really enjoyed the fishing on Monday/Tuesday – looking forward to the next trip!
N + R Widdoson September 17
“I’m still buzzing about the two days you took me out! Thank you Marc! I reckon I’ll be back!”
P. Thompson August 17