And yes, my use of the term "sea bass" is deliberate here, for as much as many UK anglers might think that the bass swimming in our waters might well be the only bass around, in fact there are many different fresh and saltwater bass species around the world. Now it wasn't that many years ago when firstly I could never imagine obsessing about catching bass and secondly that there were actually many other places around Europe that held stocks of bass which in turn attracted serious interest from sport anglers. Hell, I used to go to France every year of my life from around the age of seven to probably eighteen, and considering that I started fishing at seven I still find it slightly worrying if you like that I only found out a few years back that they catch bass in France and that sport fishing for them is such a big thing.
You know that I am obsessed with Ireland. I make no bones about the fact that if my wife was up for it that we would be moving over there tomorrow, but of course there is a lot more bass fishing all around Europe - the report of a bass caught off the shore in Morocco last week on Facebook that went around 25lbs certainly got my eyes popping out of my head. I am assuming that the report and/or photo were not faked, for that is some bass is it not ? Let's not forget about the masses of bass fishing over in Japan, both in fresh and saltwater.
Through the course of running this blog especially I have had correspondence from (sea) bass anglers all over the place, including Israel, Japan, Turkey, Croatia, Greece, France, Spain, Holland, Norway and Portugal. I travel for my work and I am completely open to looking around for different fishing experiences, but I still can't help but wonder sometimes how many UK based saltwater anglers actually have half a clue that these bass they catch are not something unique to our waters at all. Big fish are not the be all and end all by any means, but there does seem to be some pretty serious bass fishing out there if one goes looking.
Have a close look at the predominantly boat-based bass fishing scene in France and you might be in for a bit of a shock for starters. There are some seriously forward-thinking and highly talented anglers over there, and there are parts of the French coastline that are about as perfect for bass as you could ever imagine. Nick and I lucked out with the weather off north west Brittany before Xmas last year, but as insane as the fishing was I could not help thinking about all those west coast islands they have and the shore fishing potential there might well be for example. The restless mind.............
I have been aware (but not very well informed to be honest) of some very good shore based bass fishing in Spain and Portugal for a while now, and although I had heard a bit about Morocco as a place to fish for bass as well, I had no idea there were bass that big down there. I was away for a few days with my family in Lanzarote over the Feb half term and whilst I was not doing any fishing I could not help looking around the local harbour and feeding the mullet on bread for a bit of fun - and clear as day I saw a bass around 5-6lbs swim under a shoal of (ravenous) mullet.
I would love to hear about your own bass fishing experiences outside of the UK and Ireland if you have had any, as indeed I am sure all of you here would - if you feel so inclined, please leave a few thoughts in the comments section at the end of this post. Lure fishing might well be different around the world, but at the end of the day there is often some kind of "connection" between anglers who fish with artificials and I would love to see even more sharing of info and techniques than there is already. It's such a small world these days that we really should be more aware of what is going on outside of this relatively small island we live on, and it fascinates me how this fish we obsess about is also obsessed about in so many other places. Not that I want to check out the bass fishing in Morocco or anything like that !!