Now that we are properly into winter, what does the bass junkie do ? On a personal level, I used to spend virtually all my fishing time in the winter chasing cod - collecting bait, fishing, surviving on very little sleep, fishing again, crabbing at strange hours, and trying a few rigs up. And then fishing again - a lot !! Times have changed though. But what are our options if we want to carry on chasing bass through the colder months ?
Well, to be perfectly honest, I am not completely sure of all our options - there always seem to be bass around somewhere in the south west, and especially up the estuaries (bear in mind I am talking about shore fishing here). We used to sometimes catch schoolie bass in almost plague proportions when we were cod fishing in very rough seas just inside the Camel estuary (and especially off Flat Rock and Stepper Point), and I know of some really big bass caught when guys are flounder fishing. So it is not as if every single bass does a disappearing act until later on in the spring !!
So we know that bass are a distinct possibility when fishing with baits, and I know guys who love this time of year for going after big bass. But what about on the lures ? A tougher time without question, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it is worth a few attempts with these soft plastics that you can fish on jigs, bouncing them along the bottom. It is not going to be a bumper time of year on them, but I would guess that a few of us might get the odd surprise from time to time.............
The most famous place for "depths of winter" bass fishing has to be the south west of Ireland (and specifically Kerry and Dingle), where the local bass freaks can experience some staggeringly good fishing on the right conditions. All the tourists and visiting anglers have long gone home, but when they get the correct onshore conditions into January and February especially, I know of a few guys who do really well when bait fishing for the bass - the Irish strands are of course the stuff of bass fishing legend, and sometime soon I simply have to get myself over to the south west to experience it. I reckon that classic fishing could look very cool in black and white as well.
It is a real punt to go that far for winter bass fishing, for you are gambling with the weather in a big way, but it has to be worth it just for the chance to stand thigh deep in surf, waiting for a bite, and with nobody else around. If you are interested, the person I would contact can be found right here - Kevin is a professional shore fishing guide in Kerry, and he just happens to be a serious bass junkie. Check out some photos of him fishing right here. We never hear about a lot of their Irish winter bass fishing, but it can be very good.
As for the south east coast of Ireland that I am head over heels in love with (the country as whole in fact), well it does seem that they can catch bass all year round, depending on conditions of course - on baits and on lures. I am sure you can sense from this post that I have a lifetime of information still to absorb on bass fishing, and then I could probably live again and still be left with more to learn. But isn't that what makes fishing such a profoundly absorbing sport ? I stand by what I have always said - walk away from the angler who professes to know it all.......
I hope you like the two black and white bass photos here - they are such a magnificent species and in my view they deserve to be shown off in glorious colour. But I have stumbled on the odd shot in my (vast and ever growing !!) photo library that has jumped at me with my black and white eyes on. The tail shot especially is one I really like far more in black and white than in colour.