Conditions, conditions, conditions. How many times do you go bass fishing and hope for different conditions to what you've got in front of you ? Look at some of these photos and you might wonder what on earth I am on about with all that gorgeous Atlantic Ocean crashing around, but the lads who know these Moroccan waters were bleeding for us - we caught a few fish, but this time around Morocco kept her big bass hidden from view. The right conditions are what you need, and we didn't get them. If it was back home or along say the south coast of Ireland you would fancy your chances at a bit of decent fishing, but these big fish along the vast Moroccan coastline like big seas............
Wow what a coastline though. I had half a clue that some of it might look pretty impressive, but all of us were just blown away by how much insanely awesome looking bass ground there is out there. Seriously, you can't get your head around how many hundreds and hundreds (and possibly thousands) of miles of bass fishing there is. You know how when you get out of a car at a new spot and split the air asunder with a few inane profanities because it looks so frigging awesome ? Well that was all of us at every single spot we went to. Right outside of where we were staying was some of the most incredible looking bass terrain you could ever hope to see for example. Before I went on this trip I had an inkling of the potential, and although we landed no bass larger than about 6lbs, I have come away with all the proof I need that Morocco is a very serious destination for big bass. It's a bit of a freaky feeling casting lures at a spot when you have been told that 20lb plus fish have come out of there on lures, together with any number of double figure bass - but when the conditions are firing of course.
The trick to having half a chance at this kind of fishing is a good contact or two. We did this trip as a bit of a leap of faith, albeit with a lot of messaging back and forth between me and the main guy over there in the months preceding it. You see the photos, you get a few of the reports, but you then need to meet the guy(s) and see the ground. I cannot tell you how nice a bloke the lad was who sorted this trip out for us and took us to the fishing spots and essentially sorted every single thing out bar our flights to and from Morocco. Abdel Sabon is one of those anglers who you could not fail to like almost the moment you meet them. He's fished in some serious places and caught some serious fish, but his main passion is bass fishing in Morocco - and holy cow does he know his stuff. I feel big time for him at not being able to show us the bigger bass, but the guys on the trip could not have been more positive or fished harder and I feel for them as well. Sure, I would love to have seen a load of whopping big bass, but I came away knowing that my initial feelings were right about the bass fishing in Morocco - get it right and you could be in for some fishing the like of which we are simply never going to see in our waters. I have seen the photos of a 25lb bass that was taken on a soft plastic from a Moroccan estuary in March of this year, and Abdel himself has taken them to over 20lbs on hard lures from the open coast.
Abdel worked his proverbial socks off for us and all of us on the trip extend the biggest thank you possible. I spent a lot of time talking with Abdel throughout the week and I am happy to have come home having made a new friend who I hope to fish with loads over the coming years. Is there anything like fishing that brings people together so quickly and sometimes so effortlessly ? OK, so we didn't get the big bass we all know are there when the conditions are bouncing, but I think it safe to say that we all came away from the trip with a load more ideas for some of our own bass fishing and also a desire to get back to Morocco as soon as possible.
I cannot tell you how much lure fishing there is in Morocco and the potential there is as well for a whole load more. Sure, bass are top of the list and I hope to spend many more weeks along that glorious coastline, but my mind is a buzzing with all the other fishing there is - but I come back again to contacts. I work with all kinds of people all around the world and I know how much of it is about the right people on the ground with the skills, resources, info and insatiable appetite to keep exploring. I had a feeling that of course there had to be more to the 2800km long coastline of Morocco than "just" bass, and there is. Time will tell of course, but there is the potential out there for some relatively easily accessible, cost effective and not very far away, world class lure fishing. The stuff they do way down south for example sounds insane, and there is the chance also further north of some deadly lure fishing for leerfish/garrick from the shore. Anybody who has caught these fish on topwater lures will know how cool this could be.
We had our hearts set on trying to nail a big bass or two on this trip, but never far away from the saltwater fishing there is some awesome sounding freshwater fishing as well - and the beauty of working with somebody like Abdel is that he is happy to organise whatever kind of fishing trip his clients want. The black/largemouth bass fishing in the lakes sounds incredible, with Abdel's favourite method being topwater fishing for them. We are starting to talk about doing a (sea) bass fishing trip that revolves around camping so that we can move around and access even more coastline a little further south of where we were, with the opportunity to head inland and do some of that freshwater fishing as well. The beauty is that Abdel can organise the lot - sure, you pay for it, but it's some serious value for money and I for one can't wait to get myself back out there.
Abdel was also telling us about and showing us photos from a truly insane GT fishing destination that he has been to a couple of times now. He has landed GTs to 58kg from the boat and he has seen photos of larger fish. When you see some video footage of serious Japanese GT popping rods snapping on these fish you can't help but sit there with an open mouth. There is also some completely unexplored shore fishing there that nobody really knows anything about, save for the fact that there is some serious stuff swimming around in shallow clear water and who knows what might nail a lure or indeed a fly. We had a tough week on the fishing front, but I am incredibly excited about the potential for Morocco and its fishing - if any of you out there share this desire to fish new waters and catch sometimes who knows what, get in touch and I will keep you posted with future trips. Just so you know, there is nothing remotely financial in this for me save for taking photos. Fishing to me is a lot about the chance to explore and experience new things and I reckon a number of other anglers share those sentiments.............