Friday, 17 August 2018

Well observed

This is an interesting observation from a guy who clearly spends more time chasing bass than me. As I've fumbled my way through targeting bass from my kayak last year but more so this year, I had been noticing a number of similarities in relation to what's being said on his blog post here  

Me with a Wexford bass from a few years back
When I live as far away from the main area I like to fish for bass as I do, at the same time, being limited to a couple of sessions a month, the conclusions take longer to arrive at. I'm not fishing in the exactly the same kind of situations but what I've noticed in the last two months has been interesting. Great post.

The forecast looks pretty shit this weekend.I'm currently weighing up whether I want to be fighting the wind on my Outback on Sunday....

Saturday, 11 August 2018

No pain No gain

Yesterday was a hardcore day. I arrived home at a minute past midnight,had something to eat and was in my bed about ten minutes later. My kayak is still on the roof of the car and I'll decide later today if it stays there till Sunday. Nice tides this week, I didn't like the look of how the wind was doing a complete 180 over 2/3 days so took Friday off. There were squalls and occasionally the wind would drop off, for the most part it seemed a constant 15-20mph.

As I drifted into a bay I had an explosive take on my mag popper, as the wind caught me I had to get on the pedals to manoeuvre myself back out . At one point the fish snagged me but I managed to get above it and coax it free. I netted the fish on the opposite side of my kayak and peddled out to open water to sort it out. I like a long handled net, the main reason being you can rest the fish in the water and get yourself sorted out. This normally works well, not today. I brought the fish in from my left(my routine is to the right) sat it between my legs and managed to got a loose treble deep in my finger with the point showing through on the other side. I went straight for the Leatherman and cut the shank and put the fish back in the net. Nightmare. Back on the pedals and out I went again, took a couple of pictures on timer and sorted the mess out.
I've put an effect on here to salvage something for this post

I thought about coming out the water an hour or two later but didn't and stuck to the plan. The fishing wasn't exactly fired up but with five fish and two crackers, on balance ,it was worth it. The water temp was a little cooler but the surface route seemed to be still the way to go. I'm just glad I crush barbs and on this occasion I wasn't on X3 hooks. Treble hooks are an absolute menace on a kayak. Having thought about using singles occasionally before it's maybe time to have a serious look at them. It was a tiring day with various problems. Yet again, I have had exposure problems on my TG-4 camera. I' have it set to auto and have a piece of electrical tape across the dial that can move the settings, despite this, the four images I took were ruined, in fact the worse yet. It might be the case that with the reflective nature of a Bass, of a decent size in the sunlight, at the distance my camera is at is causing the problem. I've had the same problem with any decent bass I've caught this year.
This was the best of the images
That was the longest 11 hours on my Outback yet, it was a very weary retrieval......

Sunday, 5 August 2018

No August blues this year!

I had a bit of company yesterday as my old bassing buddy Jamie dug out his Prowler and joined me for a session. We made do with plan B as I didn't fancy how conditions might end up in the afternoon. The 4.30am meet was a shock to Jamie's system but I think he felt relief when I told him that I had a few 2am starts in the last month or so. As I put my Outback in the water the first thing I noticed was how warm the water still is. Now I don't track water temps much other than around May time, an 18.7c surface temp at 6.30am is high I would imagine.

As we set off there was a light breeze and a fishy looking spot so I clipped on a mag popper and went about making a few casts as we drifted off. On the third cast, as I let the lure settle for a moment or two before retrieving it, a small bass nailed it. I had another hit the lure right at the side of the yak about ten minutes later, both ultimately came off but it was an encouraging start. We tried a few spots, trolling and casting and found an area with some fish, we had some fun on surface lures before splitting up to see if we could locate a better fish or two. Jamie trolled off into the distance. I tried a different approach.

I've been thinking a lot about presentation recently. The kayak provides a lot of advantages but at the same time, a few issues to deal with. I'm pretty sure I'm missing opportunities to catch bigger bass, all part of the game I guess. I'm keen do some night sessions afloat and also some more anchoring rather drifting. This would enable me approach things differently and fish some areas more effectively if done quietly and with stealth.
I set up a few drifts using the Wexford worm fished weedless and weightless. Now I've not used these for a while but the Wave Worm tiki stick casts well and I did catch my PB on a white one, I just hadn't got around to using them afloat yet. I wasn't too happy with my hook choice as the Nogales Monster is quite a heavy hook and I didn't like the way the lure was sinking. This kind or stuff does my head in.... Anyway, I had a couple of fish and lost one before I joined up with Jamie again. The  afternoon was a dour affair, the wind got up and we couldn't find any fish. It was long session and a good effort from the big guy who hasn't been out for over a year. I guess we fished from 6.30am till about 3.30pm. To be honest I'm rinsed today myself, really felt that one! August is normally a month that I end up feeling burned out.At the minute I'm stuck to windguru and tide tables. I can't wait to get back on the water....
A weary paddle home for Jamie

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Old faithful- the Yo-Zuri Mag Popper

Battered and bruised but still floating. It was all about the surface action today. There are some days when the good old Mag Popper out fishes anything in the box. I'm glad I've got a few tucked away, no idea why Yo-zuri discontinued this lure, on its day it's irresistible. At 18g and with a longish drop from the rod tip and a snap cast to get the internal weight system working, it can live with any of the modern lures of similar style/weight.Twice today I had a hooked fish come off only to be replaced by another that must have been following. Despite trying a few different approaches I only had a solitary fish on an another lure, a khaki FBM. With nothing much bigger than about 40cm it was nice to find the fish where I had previously blanked a couple of years ago. Still, with the number I caught today I was surprised I didn't sneak out a better one despite it being a nasty neap tide. Thanks for the tip Craig.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A couple of trips

I've fished the last two Fridays. I took a half day off work on the 6th and I spent the rest of the week questioning my decision making. Having done more prospecting for Bass this year than actual fishing I realised that with 4 hour return journeys and life I don't have the time. I had some pollack on the reefs and packed it in after 4 hours.
I'm liking the latest software upgrade on my Lowrance though. The fish ID makes the down-scan on the right more useful. Previously the fish would show up as tiny dots that you could hardly see and it was more about showing structure clearly. These are pollack.

I set off at 2am yesterday and after leaving my head torch at home I launched later than I hoped for at 4.30am.
I shouldn't really complain, 7 school bass and at least I was catching again.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

An early late start

Up at 2am and on the road for 2.45am I was wondering why I went to bed really. Having looked at what I have on in July I'll miss the nice set of tides around the middle of the month. Today was a bit of a push to get my first Bass of the year, in other words I'm late getting off the mark this year.
A lean 71cm
Gutted about the pic being out of focus( the other blurring is deliberate BTW) I had a magic fight off this fish and while it was resting in my net I set the camera on timer. In doing so I changed the mode to scene. I didn't muck about as I wanted the fish back so didn't check till I got back to the car. Lean for its length it will pack the weight on over the summer till the next time it does what it needs to do.

 Four bass and a lot of fun with some pollack that seemed to be up for a party despite the bright sunlight and low tide combination. Great days fishing, well the worth the effort and early start.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Taps aff !

Not quite but my drysuit was. With temperature at 29c there was no danger of me getting boiled in a bag yesterday afternoon. Having taken a half day off work the targets were wrasse and pollack. I picked up some ragworm and launched at 3pm on a flat sea, perfect! The wrasse fishing was a bit slow but I managed three species, ballan, corkwing and goldsinny. It was maybe the dropping tide but they didn't seem to be in the mood. The pollack however weren't holding back and I had a great few hours fishing. With the wind gusting to 20mph at the end of session about twice that of the forecast it was a wet and chilly two mile journey back to the launch site. It was however nice to be afloat without a drysuit and have a taste of what kayak fishing would be like in a warmer climate. That said, the water temperature was 15c and it would have made for a bit of shock if I ended up in the drink.