In what has been my first year of ‘committing’ to fishing for bass with lures I thought now would be a good time to reflect on what has been The Summer Of Twenty One.
If I’m honest, I did plan to blog regularly when I set this page up but it just hasn’t really happened yet. The main reason being that when I’ve had spare time, I’ve gone fishing.
In the three months of June, July and August I have managed 29 bass in total, the biggest being 69cm and the smallest 27cm.
Although I was going to try a few different venues I actually stuck to roughly the same areas I’m already used to and learnt lots more about them whilst fishing.
Experimenting With Techniques
Earlier in the summer most of my bass were being caught off the top with a slow walk the dog and lots of pauses being popular with the smaller fish. The bigger fish were picked out whilst leaving the lure to drift into structure and adding twitches.
Weedless soft plastics have only started to catch more regularly in the last month or so. A lot of that is down to how much I’ve used them. The weedless soft plastics had been picking up lots floating weed through a lot of the summer but the surface plugs have done better at avoiding it. As the weed situation has improved I’ve been able to utilize the softs a bit more.
Where the soft plastics have done best is on the edge of or through bladderwrack weed. Fished nice and slow or adding twitches. Not forgetting, with a rattle shoved in wherever I can fit it.
Bouncing soft plastics on jig heads have picked up a few fish although actually nothing particularly big so far. The new Savage Gear V2 Sandeels and Minnows have worked well for me.
Lures That Have Worked
Despite having my favourite lures from previous experience I have always been happy to try new lures or even go back to one’s that haven’t previously worked. This has been particularly effective in the case of the Dolive sticks which are starting to do well for me.
Top lures from the summer
- IMA Salt Skimmer (silent) (Bora)
- IMA Pugachevs Cobra 90 (Bora)
- Seadra Spitta 125 (White Rainbow)
- Megabass Spindleworm 5″ (Ayu)
- OSP Dolive Stick 4.5″ & 6″ (Wakasagi)
- Savage Gear V2 Sandeel & Minnow (Various)
Things I Have Learnt
Because this is my first year of fishing for bass with lures properly I wanted to make sure I was learning as much as possible whilst fishing. Finding out what works for me and what doesn’t.
By fishing more this year I have caught more fish. I have learnt more about the areas. I have fished on days when the bass don’t seem in the mood and have been harder to tempt. I’ve fished on days when they have been easier to catch. I have fished when it just seems to be small fish and I have fished when there seems to be bigger fish.
I wouldn’t say I’ve let the weather or tides stop me fishing. I’ve certainly not waited around for the perfect conditions. By going out I’m always giving myself the chance that it might be the day that I trick one of those bigger bass to take my lure.
Following my gut
Whilst fishing I’m always looking around, watching the water, looking for features or movement in the water. When I have thought something looks good I’ve fished it. Sometimes I fancy a particular lure for a certain situation and may not have used it there before or in that way but something just felt right. Quite often, backing myself has led to fish.
A good example was when I saw a fast moving bit of current uncovering a sandbank. Because of the angle I could get to with wading, I realised I’d be able to just hold a lure there. I felt a top water lure would be good for this. Despite letting the lure drift almost out of sight, I was just about able to make out the splashes from the twitches I was making on my IMA Chappy. I had never seen fish or caught from this spot before but I just trusted my gut and held the lure there.
A seagull did start to show an interest before a bass (after 5 or 6 attempts) smashed my lure and shot off with it. After a really intense battle in the current a bass of 60cm was landed.
It’s easy to think that because you caught one day at that stage of the tide that it will happen again. Obviously it can but I learnt that if it’s not happening there is nothing wrong with trying somewhere else.
This was exactly what I did one morning in the middle of June when I felt nothing was happening where I was. I only had a short window to fish so I didn’t have the time to be patient. I moved and the result was a 61cm bass.
Keep it short and sweet
My best sessions tended to be when I only had 2-3 hours to fish. When I gave myself more I seemed to struggle. I think when lure fishing for bass it is easy to get mentally tired and even a bit lazy. By keeping the sessions short I felt I was probably sharper and more forward thinking which is why I had more success than on the longer sessions.
Plan For Autumn/Winter
My thoughts on where I go for the rest of the year do keep changing but one thing is for sure, I will be still getting out when I can. Fishing for bass with lures will be the main priority for me. Last year I had one or two up until November so I’ll go as long as I feel it’s worth while.
Embrace the bait
I may have to swallow my pride a little and turn to dirty bait if the conditions make it necessary. What I’m looking at really is some evenings down the beach with some big baits close in. After reading the book ‘The Song of The Solitary Bass Fisher’ I’ve been inspired to give this a go.
I have an LRF rod sat at home which I’m intending to attach a Power Isome Worm to and see if I can pick up some flatties. I’ve done a little research on this and it sounds fun on a light rod.
I’ve had a good time this summer doing the occasional bit of coarse fishing with Teddy. I’d probably try not to drag the boy out if it’s cold but I’m sure some feeder fishing for bream or even having a go for big perch could be fun.
If I am going to keep this blog a bit more frequent then the winter might be the time to do it. Although I will get out fishing when I can I very much doubt I’ll be out as much as I have been in the warmer months. Those dark, cold, wet and windy evenings could be enjoyed by writing about fishing rather than actually fishing.