Bass fishing is a specialized style of sea fishing to specifically single out and target Bass. It is not a new sport, but one that has come very big into the mainstream UK fishing community. In this article we will focus on the shore fishing aspect of the sport. There are many more styles such as Kayak, Inflatable boat, boat, fly and spearfishing.
The sport is light agile and fast paced and that’s what i think people love about the sport. Its more akin to stalking the fish, as opposed to standing static in one position waiting or the fish to bit. Tides, times, daylight, moon activity, lures, sunlight and water color play juts but a few variable roles in determinate your success rate of fish catches. It takes a while to master so if your looking for a quick return on your time investment in terms of success, take a note now that it requires a fair bit of research and hours on the water before the fish jump onto your lure! BUT and this is the big but, when it all comes together and you get your first fish, it will be more than worth it.
I have been now going fishing for Bass in north wales and Anglesey, specifically for four years and in that time improved a lot. Local knowledge is key in anywhere that you fish and the North Wales is no different. Expect to do your home work on locations, the tides and condition’s before you set out. Half the fun of Bass fishing in North Wales is finding where the fish are feeding and then using your new found skills to land one. Speak to local tackle shops, local fisherman and go to the fore shores to see what is moving around at low and high waters. Look at the OS maps of North Wales and see where you think maybe a good spot for bass, getting a birds eye view is always a useful angle.
Read about what kind of shoreline environments the Bass like to hang around in, what do they look for in a beach or rocky shore, then by exploring these areas st LW you will begin to get an idea of where they may lie towards high water. I find that there is a certain type of boulder beach they like with lots of sea weed around. Bass being price ambush predators with wait until the sea weed rises around these rocks on an incoming tide and then search for hardback and soft crab as well as shrimp and small fish.
Time of season your fishing is key also, so you must match your lures to the spring, summer and autumn respectively. By this i mean that there is no point using floating surface popper style lures in April that mimicking a fish in distress, when the Bass are actually feeding on spring Crab. If you catch an in size fish and you take it home for the pot, make sure you check whats in its contents of its stomach and note that down and the location as to give you some inside knowledge for the next time you fish there. Crab, peeler, edible or hardback is a popular bait in spring on a ledger style rig that is cast out with a long cylindrical style weight (2oz) to move around efficiently on the sea bed looking as natural as possible.
Sea Angler magazine has some fantastic article on Bass fishing and the various rods, reels and rigs / lures to use, so i wont go too into detail in this particular blog. But i can tell you what i use and maybe that will be a good place to start at least.
My rod- Savage 70z Bushwacker
Reel – Abu Soron 60 reel
Waders – Ocean Waders
Other useful pieces of equipment :Bag, Lure case, Line for reel, clips, polarized sunglasses, ledger rigs. Extra tackle, weights, hook snoods, hooks, rag, pliers.
Locations to fish vary considerably and it would be considered unlawful for me to give our local spots away for all and sundry to find-to which note we would be lynched from the nearest and highest tree. However, Bass can be caught on all beaches with a light storm blowing over night with some worm as bait. If you are after day time action on lures then it is more difficult for us to advise, because bass are a migratory species moving all the time from spot to spot, this means only some spots work some times. The Menai straits is renowned for its good Bass catches in summer time, take some time to go and have a look at its shores and speak to the locals for the best, tides,times and conditions to fish it. On Anglesey its more the beaches that fish in a storm, beaches such as Newborough, Cymyran, and Llanddona beach can be very good with wind blowing onto the shore in each case. Most produce better results at night.
The main thing is with Bass fishing is to go out and have a go, take a load of fishing rigs, plugs and soft plastic lures and test out locations. As with most other fishing nigh time can produce the best results when fishing with bait. Another top tip is find where people are catching small bait fish and, sure enough the Bass wont be too far away. Local bait works really well, live baits such as eel and crab are killers if you are ledgering so source it from a local tackle shop of if you are in the know collect your own.
Most importantly leave nothing but foot steps as we say on the island. Too much of our beautiful coast is now littered quite bad, especially the local popular rock marks that have become main stream. We must all do our bait and pick up a bit of litter if we sea it and never discard anything plastic onto the foreshore or into the sea. Tight lines!
There are some fantastic Bass Guide’s on our island and its sometimes very useful (as i did) to get some lesson’s and a mentor to get a leg up in the sport. It certainly accelerates your learning curve and its a fantastic experience also. Enjoy!
Local Guides and info.
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