Big Cornish bass on lures in the middle of winter
I have to say that I was somewhat sceptical as I drove out of Plymouth on Tuesday morning - the moment I left my front door it began to snow, and with the usual idiots on the road who freak out at a single flake of the white stuff, I made my way cautiously over the Tamar bridge and down into the depths of Cornwall. Going lure fishing in the middle of what is turning out to be a seriously cold winter is not something I would usually be doing, but when Nathan Taylor and his dad Robert say they are going and that they fancy a few fish, you sit up and listen. Check out their new website here.These guys have been doing really well on the bass recently.........serious food for thought.
Their mate Steve had already landed a 4.5 bass before we even got there, so I guess you could say that I was sitting up properly now and really paying attention. Put lots of warm clothing on and then make our way down to the water's edge - great clarity, nice bit of lift on, looks pretty good to me - even if it is early January and there is a forecast of loads of snow for southern England over the next 24 hours.
Nathan can't have had more than ten casts with his beloved Tackle House Feed Shallow (one of the classic bass lures of recent years, see here) before he's hooked up into what looks like a proper fish that nailed him right beneath his feet. The bass goes 8lb 10oz on Nathan's scales that have been under-weighing fish by a few ounces, so I feel it's right to give the guy around 9lbs for the bass - it's what I would have guessed it at anyway. What a spectacular fish, and I just did what I could as regards photos - the rain was coming down fairly hard at that point and I had to keep water off the front of the lens. Plus Nathan wanted to get this fish back as quickly as possible (always good to see) - it swam off strong. In a perfect world you want to whack on a wide-angle lens for a fish like this, but needs must. Can't believe it really, what a result for a plugging session right in the middle of this proper winter we are getting.
In between taking a whole load of photos in some really interesting and up and down light, I fished as much as I could, and I saw one good bass turn on my lure but not hook up - again, really close in, saw it plain as day, wish it had got nailed !! The lure ? My lure of 2009 - the MegaBass Zonk Gataride 120. Perfect depth and stablity for the conditions and location we were fishing. Nathan's dad Robert also had a bass come off, again on the Tackle House Feed Shallow.
I have to say that I am pretty amazed by Nathan's bass - sure, this is a great time of year to head over to Ireland and chase some really big bass, but I don't tend to associate January in the UK as a time for big bass on lures. Bait fishing is a different matter, but a fish like that on an ultra-shallow diving lure when the temperature had to be struggling to get above zero ? Just plain awesome. Huge thanks to the guys for having me along. And as I am always saying, one of the best things about this sport we all love is that we are never going to come close to knowing it all - learning all the time is key to becoming a better angler, and it is something I strive for all the time. Cornish winter plugging eh ?