Like many anglers I am sure, this waiting for the bass to turn up properly is quite frankly doing my head in. Bearing in mind that I have come to "real" bass fishing fairly late in my fishing life, for the last few years I have been playing a serious amount of catch-up. Without a doubt I credit my good friend Graham Hill over in Ireland for really moving me over into obsessing about light tackle fishing for bass, and for that I am forever in his debt. Check out a load of photos of Graham fishing perhaps the most productive coastline there is for bass, click here. I am seriously considering moving over there for a couple of years to try and work this bass addiction out of my system - I never thought bass fishing would get to me like it has done, but it has. And I blame Graham !!
But I first came across "modern" bass fishing techniques over in Jersey some years ago now. I had been out taking photographs and that is when I first came across the lure you can see above - the Lucky Craft Sammy, one of the most successful surface "walk the dog" type lures there is. Still the biggest lure caught bass I have ever seen caught was taken on that particular photography trip over to Jersey, and the angler I was with nailed a bass of perhaps 12lbs on a Sammy. He was a hell of a good bass angler. You seriously have to get some of these lures for your own bass fishing - use them in shallow water when it is nice and calm and work the rod tip and reel slowly to get this thing walking from side to side. The Sammy tends to get knocked off balance when it is choppy, but it is perfect for calm conditions. They cast like a bullet and enable you to really cover a lot of water. "Walking the dog" takes a bit of practise, but it is pretty easy to do. Nothing beats any kind of fish nailing you on the surface.
Fishing for me is all about a mixture of fun and work, but over the years I have learnt how to manage my desire to fish all the time with my need to get photos and material for my work. The fact that I love photography as much as I love fishing really helps, and the real secret to nailing proper photos is knowing when not to fish. OK, so I can't get to fish all the time, but the trade off for me is that I get to work right in amongst the best sport in the world, and I would not have it any other way. There are plenty of photos of the kinds of fishing I work around here.
But this still does not get away from the fact that I am wanting to spend too much time wandering "my" coastline looking for bass. Sure, there are harder fighting fish out there, and there are fish that grow plenty bigger, but the bass is the one chance we UK sea anglers have to scale down, get mobile and fish with ultra-modern lure fishing tackle and techniques. I realise that I have a vast amount to learn about lure fishing, and increasingly I am looking to places like Japan, France and the USA for information. Again, this is a mix of work and pleasure for me - I want to learn, and I need to learn.
And now we have howling east winds for the next few days down here - hardly the kind of weather to get out on the coast and play with some more lures. Plus I am on my own this weekend with my two girls as my wife is off to London for a hen weekend - help !!