So with cabin fever well and truly set in and the anticipation of the new season to come I thought it was about time for me to get a fishing blog post up.
I have for while now wanted to share more information about some of the tactics and lures I use out here on the Welsh coast for my bass lure angling.
On this new blog site when I can I will be giving away honest, and I hope engaging information for fellow lure anglers. I hope it will not just work here in Wales but across the United kingdom and hopefully further afield.
So here goes....
Starting at the beginning
Sorry about not smiling in the above photo, but it's always a shock and a very adrenaline fueled time when you hook, play and land big bass on lures.
For hard lure fishing
I prefer to give the sea in my area the time to warm up before I start using hard lures on a more regular basis. I love using the mainstay of the hard lures I use from about the end of April into early May.
I most definitely don't start throwing surface lures in the water until about mid May when the water temperature normally hits 12oc.
For all my lure fishing whether using hard or soft baits, I try and use naturally colored baits.
Matching the hatch is very important to my style and practices, so I try and use patterns of the bait fish that are present in that area, this includes the normal patterns like sand eels, gobies, blennies and rockling, squid and mullet etc, and of course where there are young sea trout and twait shads and common eels I will use appropriate patterns to tempt the bass.
I will write more on the subject of "matching the hatch" in the time to come.
The soft needle technique and similar methods
The soft needle technique by day and by night that I use for all my soft plastic lure fishing for bass was developed for our U.K waters by Keith and Kevin White in Jersey. In all honesty Keith has been an inspiration to me since I started the bass guiding back almost five years ago now. Keith was and is still there if I or any other person has any questions, I can never thank Keith enough for being encouraging and so helpful in my early and formative years.
I remember the days when I would head down to the water with a few bags of Sand eel, eel and bait fish pattern soft plastics and go through many hours of research in the motions of finding out which soft plastics worked best for bass.
Some soft plastic baits and whilst daytime practicing the soft needle technique also actually caught me some quality wrasse in the beginning sometimes with accidental intent. I soon came to love catching bigger wrasse and I still do take clients out to catch this very pleasing and hard fighting fish.
I sometimes find it surprising how things just sometimes click into place and just work and then everything makes sense.
Method - Simplicity and common sense
The best way that I describe this method when I am teaching people on my days out is this.
"The most important tool we have with this technique and with other forms of lure fishing is the water itself."
Take a look at this video below.
The white water that I call the chaos and the type of water that makes my heart skip a beat and gets me extremely excited.
It is so uncomplicated it's unreal. All you need is current and water flow, the rest takes care of itself.
Theres always current and tidal flow, but when we look at structure then this is where the real hot spots can be. These currents and flows of water have been happening in the same places for thousands of years. The push of the sea has shaped our coastlines and our favorite fishing marks.
A quick note on water temperature.
Whilst snorkeling you will notice when you are closer to rock structure theres A huge difference in water temperature. Being close to rock formations you can really feel the warmth, and when moving off to deeper water there is a pretty big and sudden drop in water temperature.
The water quite obviously near the rocks is warmer because the sun heats the exposed rocks up and like being close to a heat source on a cold winters day it feels very comforting indeed.
I have a feeling the bass enjoy this too. I have in evidence also seen good sized bass quietly resting up near the rocks in the middle of the day.
The next thing I look for is structure. Where there is structure, for example gullies with lots of weed, large pieces of rock, boulders and sizing down to pebbles and also sand bars.
I have broken this section into three parts. I experience different types of structure on my home turf.
Gullies are probably the best places to target bass.
I have lost count how many larger fish I have hooked and landed with the soft needle technique in a deep gullies. By fishing a soft plastic along the edge of a gully with weed then your in for a real chance of a good fish. Big fish will not over use their energy chasing bait.
Big fish are opportunistic hunters. They will move in on a tide and they will lay in wait to ambush or they will just pick up dead crabs and other fodder.
Here you will find food or bait like sand eels, gobies, blennies, rockling, crabs and prawns are prolific. All favorite foods of the bass.
Drop offs or tide dominated shelves
Hard edged rock, weed falling into deeper water onto smaller rocks and sand.
Similar to gullies but obviously drop offs do as they are so called they drop off to deeper water. Bass will use the cover of the weed and they will lay in wait at distance for sand eels and other bait fish to pass by.
Sand banks and holes on storm beaches are deadly for bass. I think out of all the places to catch bass this is my favorite area, lots of people give beaches a miss but you should try it or of course come and join me and learn how to read a beach with me here on the Welsh coast.
Even a small bass will go like the clappers in the undertow when theres a nice bit of surf on.
There are different ways to target bass in the surf, sometimes its nice to have a lure that can cast a long way. It's also great to bounce heavier plastics though the Fiiish black minnow does well for this terrain too.
Lures to use over surf
Over the surf I love to use the Xorus Patchinko 2. The Xorus Patchinko 2 is a legendary lure and its a proven lure.
I don't like using surface lures on bright days as I feel they scare the fish. On overcast days and at night time I like to give a gentle walk the dog action and I also like waking them across the water too.
The Xorus Patchinko 2 can be deadly over surf beaches.
The Xorus asturies has become a bit of a legend in its own right as a lure. I will be doing more work with this lovely looking lure this year. It doesn't cast as far as the patchinko 2 but I really like the subtlety of it.
Soft plastic Lures
Below are a list of lures for you to take into consideration and if you have not tried them then please do they are all proven fish catchers for me and they really do work.
The lunker city slug-go has been a staple of mine now for the last five years. It took me a good while to start hitting fish with these soft lures, but when I did build my confidence with them then it was hard to stop. For about two seasons they were the only soft plastic I would turn too. I would use a selection of 4.5in and 6in size and I would for daytime and low light fishing only use the Arkansas shiner colour. I have landed fish of up to 8 lbs on these excellent lures up to this day. I usually use a 3.5g or a 5g cone head weight for these sizes.
At night time I love to use the lunker city slug-go in in the slightly larger 7.5in size. I prefer to use either a black slug-go or a white slug-go.
This year I have caught bass in all types of terrain and situation with the O.S.P Do live stick.
I fished my soft plastics completely weightless in 2017. No weight and no clip. I caught many good fish on the Do live sticks from the first cast I took a good fish of just under 6lb.
I really love these lures in the electric shrimp colour but I have also done very well with the wakasagi coloured lure as well. I also really like the special edition "goby" colour as well and I had a few nice fish in the night on this lovely lure.
The O.S.P Do live sticks have been a revelation for my fishing over the last season. I have fished the 6in range in this lure. I fished all my soft plastics last year completely weightless.
With the "less is more" approach, I am in the thinking that may have something to do with the stamp of fish they have been taking? The 6in version cast really far for a soft plastic without any weight added at all. I want to size down to the smaller 4.5in next year for the timing of the early sand eel hatches. For more information on this wonderful soft plastic visit O.S.P's website here.
Hawg Wild senkos
The original Hawg wild black and white senkos are legendary. I still have a few packs of the original ones of my own. I am sure the company changed the density of the plastic they were using, that's what I recall somebody telling me anyway?
Please don't quote me on that though. I used to fish these senkos when I first started out bass fishing and before they became famous. I used to get a supply from my good friend Andy Kendrick. If it helps, they can now be found in the United Kingdom here.
Lures I am looking forward to using more in 2018
It's always a tough one when you are running a small business and funds are not always there for splashing out, so you tend to stick to the lures that work, and then when funds allow you can buy some new and interesting gear to try out. Theres some great stuff available these days and these are a few soft plastics I am looking forward to using in 2018.
I got to use the Albie snax lures a little bit last year and I did catch fish on them within the first few casts, in all honesty I haven't caught anything large on them yet. Although I think that will change in the near future. The Albie snax are a lovely looking "squid" style lure though and I am looking forward to working with them a lot more in 2018.
The Rai's spotter is not a lure I have used yet but I am looking forward to trying these lures out in 2018. The ones in the photo are the 7in version, I am also keen to test out the 5in version too. It's always a tough one when you are running a small business and funds are not always there for splashing out so you tend to stick to the ones that work and then when funds allow you can buy some new and interesting gear.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch to book in for the bass fishing or wrasse fishing season ahead.
Thanks for reading.
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