Were the bass this weekend bass that have just turned up, or bass that never left?

Saturday morning was about as epic as it’s going to get for me, and I didn’t catch a single thing. Nope, for me it was the simple fact that I was out fishing again after my skin cancer stuff, and to clip on a lure at about 6.15am on Saturday morning and hurl it out to sea felt pretty damn good let me tell you. It may only be fishing, but there were a bundle of emotions wrapped up in those first few casts on a stunning spring morning as the light started to sneak up on us. There was a gentle roll on the sea, the water was pretty damn clear, we had a very light northerly breeze instead of the light southerly that every forecast was forecasting, and whilst I can’t pretend that I was expecting to see much caught, believe me when I say that being out there really was more than enough for me.

But Mark being Mark (rather good angler!) went and nailed a bass. I didn’t get to see it because I was around the corner and had forgotten to bring the walkie talkies we usually use for exactly this kind of thing - call it being out of practise on my part - but he was one buzzed up angler when he came wandering round to tell me about it. Mark put the fish around 4lbs, and he nailed it on a dark coloured Feed Shallow. What a result for 12th March, and as awesome as it was to know that there were fish like this around, I can’t help but wonder if we are seeing bass now moving in around here, or did a bunch of fish stay here all winter and not actually go very far? Questions, questions……..

Catching bass this early on really gets me thinking about this sort of stuff. We have a few spots around here that can fish well right at the backend of the year and on into January, but of course you have to get the right conditions. I couldn’t fish anyway because I was sat on my arse for weeks on end with my leg, but things were blown out for weeks on end anyway. Do some bass stick around all year if things stay relatively mild, or because of these relatively warm water temps, are bass moving in nice and early because whatever they want to feed on has moved in? So good to see bass on lures before the middle of March, but wow does it throw up some questions.

We went out again yesterday morning, and whilst my lures remained resolutely fish-free,  Mark and Aaron both lost a bass each when their braid went over the top of fingers of reef. I do think that there might have been a bit of early season, dodgy-drag settings and quite possibly some piss-poor knots in there as well(!), but whatever the case, the lads hooked bass. East winds, early brightness, a slightly later HW which I’d have liked a few hours earlier, hardly the sort of conditions you’d pick to fish for bass any time of the year, but the fish were there. I enjoy mulling over the various questions because in reality none of us actually know all the answers at all, but more than that of course, holy cow doesn’t it buzz you up to know that things are kicking off again. The cabin fever shackles are coming off, those lures I might have bought over the winter are starting to get some water time, spring feels like it’s here with this stunning weather we’ve been having (shorts on yesterday, with tubi-grip over the hole in my leg), and it just feels pretty damn good to be out there again. You’ll never know until you give it a go. And as nervy as those final few minutes might have been, I reckon that was a pretty impressive victory on Saturday. We’ve won the title, but come on lads, one more push and let’s get the Grand Slam next weekend. Do we start dreaming again?