The first in a series of blogs to help you catch more Bass.
Okay, so we all know that Bass respond to various methods, both bait and lure, but on those days or nights where it’s hard work, or the fish aren’t really interested, all is not lost!
I have spent many years observing their habitual movements and feeding patterns, matched with other factors, such as the weather and tidal phases.
I find bass lazy at times, often located on the edge of a tidal rip or waiting motionless under weed beds ready to ambush any baitfish that seek shelter away from the tidal flow.
I have also witnessed more aggressive behaviour when bass are actively searching prey. I remember, several times, over the years observing large bass (6-9 pounders) actually turning over reasonably big stones to ambush shore crabs in an estuary situation! It’s as though the bass know where the crabs hide, or maybe they remember finding them before and are now expecting things to be in certain places.
Bass may be the absolute rulers of their inshore domain, but like us humans, they can be creatures of habit and, in decent conditions, they can be very predictable and easy to catch – it’s the flat days or nights that take a bit of working out as a Bass Angler.
The tide is the second biggest factor after the weather, different locations fish well on certain tides. I tend to rotate 3 or 4 marks every two weeks. One week I will fish certain marks on a run out ebbing tide, and the next week I will fish other beaches over high water usually coinciding with the big spring tide. I’ve done this for decades, and in the early years had a lot of disappointment due to the fact of not going in the right conditions or exact time frame,
It wasn’t until one day, in say my tenth year of bass fishing, that I finally said “No” to just going through the motions in the wrong conditions and catching ZERO BASS!
I now only fish the productive tides and weather patterns that should drive fish into range and stimulate the bass to feed, be it over shallow reef, open beach or estuary. The saying “RIGHT PLACE ,RIGHT TIME” is what it’s all about.
You can fish anywhere for a whole tide and waste 3 or 4 hours simply due to the fact the fish are somewhere else, feeding or resting. These dead periods can only be worked out by putting in the hours and noting either on paper or in mental storage. I kept a diary in the beginning, noting tide state and weather, including barometric records (low or high pressure systems), but after a number of years I felt confident of getting it right and ditched the diary!
It’s on the not so good days or nights that you can literally MAKE IT HAPPEN! Okay, so what do I mean by that?, Sometimes a bass will “hoover-up” a worm bait in a flash, and, on other nights they aren’t that bothered and a bit of encouragement!. Some nights, static bait is best and others a moving target will work – hence those good and bad nights when lure fishing …. it’s exactly the same with bait sessions, really!
TOP SECRET TIP!!!!
When you are bait fishing on a beach, or estuary mouth, and things are not really happening …. perhaps the odd bite here and there, try one quick rotation on your reel, I use braid and grip weights when using this searching method. What happens at the rig end? Well, basically, as there is no stretch in braided line, that one quick rotation on the reel moves the terminal tackle quickly over a short distance creating a puff of sand and a very audible sound. If a bass is anywhere near your end tackle and it either sees/hears or feels the disturbance you have created, it will become curious, and, more often than not you will GET HIT! I have saved many a blank doing this repeatedly, every couple of minutes, until my bait is almost at my feet.
This secret tip works best for school bass, when there is competition for food, it drives them to chase the moving bait and it’s not uncommon to hook two bass on one pennel rig.
This trick works better in total darkness as the fishes’ senses are in a heightened state. Pulling a worm bait away from a feeding fish is irresistible and not as crazy as it sounds!
So don’t just sit there waiting for things to happen, move your baits around, experiment with lighter leads in the tidal flow and you’ll soon be making things work and catching more Bass 😎
Thanks for looking 👍
After a busy couple of days and nights on the fish, Sunday presented itself as a stunner!
Gentle warm breeze, wall to wall sunshine, awesome, apart from the flat conditions on a dead tide….
Definitely not Bassing weather or tide so I opted for the obvious choice, WRASSE MISCHIEF….
I had a cunning plan in the form of some left over King Rag just in case things got desperate!
It’s fair to say it did get desperate after going through several favourite lures and Z man shrimp options rigged Texas style so inevitably my mind mind was on the Ragworm plan b.
This wee Corkwing was the first fish of 20 to be tempted on the Ragworm baited jig head
This chunk came out next and gave me 4 or 5 deep runs before switching off its turbo and giving up
The colours on these fish are just baffling!, it’s a bit like top trumps or colectors cards, trying to get that extra special colour pattern on your phones Wrasse album..
A nice desert Camo lump that battled all the way, you’ve almost got to lock up the drag and give no or little line which goes against the grain a bit with my usual style of light fishing
These battlers are great fun on the HTO Rockfish 2 ML which is a 7g-28g rod perfect for my needs and sensitive enough to feel the shy bites of the odd mini
Lure Wrasse fishing is very addictive when you’ve learnt the little things that can and will make all the difference, I absolutely love catching Wrasse on lures but on this occasion the sneaky bag of Rag did the business for me
I did however work the jig as normal, it was rarely static so effectively a lure I guess…
A cracking couple of hours catching these beauties in stunning surroundings.
I nipped out for a quick early evening flick on my continuing species hunt using my now trusted HTO Rockfish 73′.
This little gem of a rod never ceases to amaze me, at 1-9g rating its definitely not what you would call a bait rod by any means, but I’m a rule breaker, always have been, always will be, so I thought ultra light ledger for a Gilt head Bream maybe…
On went a very short trace and one of the new Big Dog hooks from tronix, a single lugworm was cast out and a few minutes later BOOM!, fish on.
I knew straight away I had hooked a decent Schoolie!
The fight was incredible on the little Rockfish 73, the fish made continued runs for cover and all I could do was hold on!
Eventually the fish was under control and landed much to my relief and obvious joy,
The Big Dog hook was nicely set in the corner of the mouth and came out easily, after a few pics the fish was returned and swam off back into the murky water, awesome..
I hadn’t intended targeting Bass until the silly ban was lifted on July 1st, oh well…
The next species on the list for the Rockfish 73 is the hard fighting shy biting Mullet!
It won’t be a long wait!
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