It was raining that hard yesterday morning that I didn't even get my camera out, but we had five or six small bass on lures, plus a few pollack. I was fishing with a thoroughly nice guy over in Cornwall and we managed to duck out of the howling northerly wind for a really fun session.
I heard recently that some good bass over in Jersey are being taken on the Duo Tide Minnow lure, so I put that one on first and hooked a bass within about five casts early yesterday. It is great when a new lure works so well !! The one I was using was the Tide Minnow Slim 120 (but they come in various sizes), and it casts really well and has a stunning kind of rolling, side to side action when you retrieve it. A shallow diving lure that was designed by the French bass anglers, I know you can get them here.
At least twice I was hit by a fish that did not connect, and I then cast in the same kind of area on the very next cast and hooked a bass both times. Was it the same fish hitting me again ? Good to know that there were a few fish about - what an awesome mark to fish, very awkward to get down to, but I suppose that is what protects it from getting a hammering from other fishermen. Lots of rocks, weed and gullies, plus plenty of different depths of water. I really fancy the area for surface lures as well.
I reckon the better size of fish will come in time, and to be perfectly honest, I love this style of fishing that much that I simply couldn't care how big or small the fish are. My opinion is that if you are putting yourself in the right place to catch bass, then the size of them will take care of itself - at least one can hope !! Big or small, they are great fish to be around.
I just wish that our bass stocks were properly looked after and managed so that these magnificent fish offered a real sporting proposition to more fishermen. Imagine if there were lots of big bass to fish for ? Just think about what a thriving sport fishing industry we could have that was based solely around the bass if we had more and bigger fish to catch. Think about the money that this would be worth to the economy. Think about the commercial value of a thriving sports fishery compared to commercial landings - the bass is worth far more to us swimming around than on a plate. When are the powers that be going to wake up and see what needs to be done ? All they have to do is to make a brief study of the US striped bass fishery to see just what can be done.
We managed to get a few hours in early yesterday morning before the wind swung around from northerly and off our backs, right round to due east and smacking us in the side. Time to head for home. My dog Jess had cut her leg on the way down to the mark and for a while it was pouring so much blood we considered getting her back straight away, but I managed to wash the cut in saltwater, bind the wound in a bit of fishing rag (thanks Andy) and the bleeding began to slow and then eventually stopped. She has ripped one of the pads on the heel of a front leg, but luckily it is not affecting her walking at all and I cleaned it off properly when I got back home. All fine. I don't like seeing my dog in pain.
Just how much rain did we have yesterday and overnight ? Proper stuff. I feel really sorry for all the people who have come to the westcountry for the long weekend, but what can you do ? This is England after all. One day you're walking around in shorts and slapping some suncream on, and the next you're turning the heating on in the house and getting the waterproofs out. It's just a shame to get such ropey weather on an important weekend for tourism down here, especially when we see footage of the north of the country basking in warm sunshine. At least they managed to complete the Test match - well done England, a good win after such a poor first innings score. Monty is the the real deal and it's great to see Strauss scoring proper runs again. I love cricket, what a great sport.
Check out some really nice fly fishing photos of mine in the current issue of Trout Fisherman magazine - look at pages 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. These were shot on the stunning River Mole, and have a look at some awesome sea trout fishing that Nick Hart has been guiding his clients on to over the weekend - click here for the report.
If you ever get a chance to have a look at the Danish fishing magazine Sportsfiskeren, look for a feature of mine in the current issue. It is all about fishing in Africa and I am blown away at how good they have made the piece look. I love fishing and photographing in Africa. At the end of September I am booked up to fly down to South Africa to photograph some really wild shore fishing near to the border with Mozambique, and then head inland to do some more stuff on the fantastic yellowfish of the Vaal river. Look here for some photos of when I was last there. Too few anglers know about this great fly fishing for yellowfish. I will be working once more with the excellent FlyCastaway guys, and you can book some of the best fly fishing in the world with them through Aardvark McLeod.