Is your October fishing feeling like it's October ?
Perhaps we as anglers still get too hung up on what we perceive as being fishing seasons - are there really any defined seasons these days when it comes to saltwater fishing, or has it always been this way and because we are what we are we look for definites and are then thrown a bit when we don't find them ? I went out fishing on Saturday morning, and as much as I said the other day that I like to stay away from this blog being no more than "I went fishing..........", I happen to think that what happened was kinda interesting from the point of view that the whole thing just felt more like what "should" be happening around here in August - or is that me wanting to almost cling to the comforting blanket that is a more defined season ?
I met up with my mate Andy at 6am on Saturday morning, and first off it felt like it has felt for a while now - unseasonably mild. Just the other day the forecast was giving night time temperatures of 17 degrees, for October. Anyway, with headlamps on we trekked off to the fishing spot, rigged up whatever lures we chose and started dangling away. First chuck and I'm into a fish which turns out to be the first of I almost dread to think how many pollack we caught. Honestly, it was like a plague of them out there - no size, but hey, it's fun to be catching a few fish.
The moment there was a proper hint of first light and I put a surface lure on, and straight off I've got pollack going loopy over it. You know when you can just make out fish literally leaping out of the water and over the top of the lure ? Tell me this doesn't make you giggle. I caught a couple of small bass and a mackerel in between a load more pollack, and Andy caught essentially the same with a garfish thrown in as well. I had to give up fishing for a while as the light was getting really, really interesting, and when it's like that I just can't not take photographs.
Yes, of course you can catch pollack, bass, mackerel and garfish in October, but it's the numbers of fish and the sizes of them that to the both of us just felt more like how say an early August morning around here might fish. I can remember a few August mornings in fact at this exact spot when small bass and pollack were going loopy on surface lures especially, and recently I have also been hammering a decent number of smallish bass at other spots on surface lures. And again, the way it's fishing just doesn't feel like October to me. What does this mean ? Well I could clutch at any number of straws, but I do wonder if this might translate into a pretty interesting few months on the bass front - if that is we don't get a massive cold snap like the one we had early on this year.
Anyway, the sun is climbing higher in the sky, the tide is ebbing and those mad numbers of smallish fish are going off the boil. So we go wandering. What's around the next corner and the one after that ? Some of the most stunning ground that I have come across for a long time, that's what was around the next few corners. I like the idea of a quick go for a few wrasse but my lure box is geared towards fishing any soft plastics I have with me weightless/weedless for bass. I have a Black Minnow with me but I don't tend to like using them for wrasse as they tend to get trashed pretty quickly and I like saving them for my bass fishing.
But I want to see if there are any wrasse around that might be keen on feeding on the back tide, and sure enough it's crawling with the things. In due course the tail is bitten off my Black Minnow but I'm still catching fish. I call Andy over and he's got some yellow/greeny thing on a jig head and he drops it in. A minute or so later and he's bringing a wrasse to hand that went 5lb on my Boga. Turns out to be his biggest ever wrasse and he's done it on a lure. Pretty cool.
OK, so we caught a heap of fish and had a serious giggle. I love that kind of fishing and I love how using lures gives me so many options like that. Bass, pollack, garfish, mackerel and wrasse. Species that you can of course catch in October, but I go back to how it "felt". It just didn't feel like an October morning's lure fishing to me. August ? I often get people asking me whether it's worth having a crack at bass say from mid-October onwards - where does this almost rigid seasons mentality come from ? I can remember having some good January and February small-eyed ray fishing for example when most things you learn about this style of fishing for example would say no way, it's spring to autumn.
I know that everywhere is different and I accept completely that in some places there may well be more defined "seasons", but when it is rammed home to me again and again that we could do with opening up that bit more and trying different stuff out, I often wonder what else goes on out there that at times perhaps we might be ignoring because we (mistakenly ?) believe that so and so time of year means so and so species around. Does an October feeling more like an August (and yes, I know there's some colder weather forecast) mean that the next few months could get really interesting, or am I once again trying to apply a degree of human logic to nature that is simply not there ?