Canon 1D MK111, 16-35mm f2.8L lens (at 16mm), ISO 400, f6.3, 1/400th, polarising filter
We were fishing by 5.30am this morning here in south east Ireland, and you can see the kind of stunning light and conditions we had in the photo above. I managed a nice fish of about 2.5lbs that smashed into my lure I swear not five yards out. The bass came in and swerved on my lure, and somehow I managed to dip the rod tip to give the fish a little bit more time, and I then saw it nail the lure right in front of me. I so love the bassing out here, and up until now I still have not found anywhere better - each and every time I come here reinforces this belief. When I get back home it is time to have a chat with my wife, along the lines of "I think we should look at moving over to Ireland"...........!!
The successful lure was a Duo Tide Minnow, and I know you can get them here. These things cast like bullets and work really nicely through the water - they are not cheap, but these Tide Minnow lures are fast becoming a "do not go out without one" kind of bass weapon for me, very much like the holographic silver Maria Chase BW. The Tide Minnow dives a little deeper than the Maria Chase and rolls from side to side on the retrieve, so they give a decent range of options between them.
Canon 1D MK111, 70-200mm f4L IS lens (at 85mm), ISO 200, f9, 1/200th
The great thing about this area is that there are so many different marks within close proximity of each other. After the early morning plugging session we headed out to a beach location for some bait fishing, but Graham's brother Alan did manage to get a couple of bass swirl on his surface lure while we were setting up. I hit a nice bass of about 5lbs on a crab bait on my first cast - the water looked so good and the tide was just about perfect. I have started to use 30lb braid on my Van Staal spinning reel for this bait fishing, teamed with the Greys BZe 3-50z light shore rod, and I am really liking the directness of the braid for this "static" fishing, as well as for the plugging. My fish hit me so hard on the braid that it went and hooked itself before I could even strike - seeing that fish moving through the water was fantastic, and of course we put it back.
Graham was next up with a bass that was nudging 7lbs, as you can see above. It could not have been in any better condition, and it went back strongly. What a scrap in the racing tide, and it was all we could do to stop grinning like a pair of monkeys. Loads of fish were moving around, and gannets and terns were working the bait shoals - this place is alive and it really gets me going to be out fishing and photographing it.
Canon 1D MK111, 70-200mm f4L IS lens (at 200mm), ISO 200, f8, 1/160th
I could photograph these fish only for the rest of my life and be happy - and the same for the fishing. Bass are such a blast to be around and they get me every single time. A king among fish, and I feel so lucky to come over here when possible and get in amongst this incredible fishing. In reality today has been a bit slow by Irish standards, but I'll take "slow" any day of the week.
Graham had another bass on bait, as did Alan, and we all had a number of dropped bites - not sure why really, but that's fishing. Tomorrow we are heading to a place that I have never fished before, but I know of some big fish from there in the last month or so - when I have time I will post reports here, so keep checking back to see how we do. This is how bassing should be.......
Canon 1D MK111, 70-200mm f4L IS lens (at 155mm), ISO 200, f8, 1/320th
The safest way to hold a bass and not get spiked !! It doesn't get much better than this. We are also trying something a little off the wall late tomorrow if the weather lets us.