I am sure that many of you that read my almost daily forecasts know I think one of the most exciting and in some cases, most successful methods of fishing for a number of species including Bass, Pollock, Garfish, Mackerel and Wrasse is by lure. Hopefully this post will give you a taster off what is possible on a good day.
My friend Adrian, came down from London for the Lure Forum Weymouth meet this weekend. I had wanted to join him on Saturday afternoon, but other commitments would not allow it, so much against my rule of not getting up early I agreed to meet him at 6am on Sunday. What was worse was I had been out with my wife to our friends Birthday the night before, so when the alarm went I had to drag myself out of bed kicking and screaming. I am sure I heard my wife titter as she rolled over and snuggled back into the duvet.
We arrived at our chosen mark at 6.15, just as the dawn was breaking. This was a mark I had not fished before, but had often thought about fishing. A quick walk from the car and we are on a very Bassy looking mark. I was further excited as I clipped my Komono II and could see bait fish jumping just outside casting range. First cast out and straight away I got a knock followed by a splash. Ah Garfish was my response, and sure enough as I watched the lure come in the last few feet I could see a Garfish following closely behind. A couple of more casts and more Garfish activity. I looked to my right to see Adrian into his first fish. This was a Mackerel, that he quickly put back. next cast for me and the water erupted as a Garfish finally managed to hook itself.
After a fine aerobatic display I landed him. I love the way Garfish launch themselves into the air when hooked. Several more Garfish came in quick succession. However I had not really come for Garfish, so I changed the lure to try and target something else, mainly a Bass. A few cast with the Z-Claw was enough to convince me they wanted something else. I do tend to change lures and marks quite quickly when I am lure fishing. I normally know within 4 casts if I will get a fish on that type of lure or mark.
Adrian had swapped to a small Patchinko 100, and started getting some success with plenty of swirls from bass then finally hooking into an impressive looking fish. Then all went slack and I could hear some choice words being uttered. I went over to see what had happened and he showed me a straightened clip. Not only did he lose a decent fish probably a personal best for him, but he lost his lure too; something that he was later to regret even more. Next on went my trusty Gunfish, this raised quite a few splashes and swirls but no hook ups. In truth I would have normally persevered with the Gunfish, but my wrist was aching from a slight strain I had from work, so I opted to follow a similar path to Adrian and go smaller by putting on a 90mm Seaspin Pro-Q in silver.
first cast and I picked up some weed but not before a Garfish had a slash at it. Second cast and had another Garfish slash at the lure not long after it hit the water. I thought to my self that I would have to change lures again as this one seemed to be a Garfish magnet. I continued to work the lure towards the rod tip when I seen a large splash under the lure. My first thought was that the Garfish had followed it in for another go. Oh no not this time! Instead of an aerial display this fish went deep and ran hard. Wow! I could tell this was a good fish as yard after yard of Nanofil peeled from my reel spool and I could feel thunderous thumps as it shook its head. I shouted Adrian to come over and try and help me land it. As I started to regain some line and control of the fish I could see its huge dorsal fin and tail come out of the water. It was so dark in colour I thought it was a Cod at first, then as I drew it towards me I could see it was a big Bass. As it spotted me it set off on another drag smoking run, testing the rod and reel, but thankfully the power in my Century HPR was more than a match for its second run.
As the fight drew to a close Adrian had still not made it over to me to help me out, so I got my new Savage Gear boga type grips out and tried to grasp the fish with them. Big mistake. I had only just got the grips and to be honest I was not very familiar with them at all. I kept missing its mouth as it rolled about, so in the end I grabbed the short fluro leader and lifted it up onto the rocks. I could not believe what I was seeing, a big dark Bass. I weighed it on the grip scales at 9lb and measured it at 76cm. A quick few pictures then it was returned back to produce more babies and to fight another day.
After I finished shaking I moved along a little bit to another likely looking spot. Sure enough first cast and the water erupted around the lure, then again and again and finally on the 4th attempt it managed to get hold of the lure and after a very spirited fight I landed the first of 6 School Bass.
It did not matter what surface lure I put on tit had to be small to work. Unfortunately Adrian had lost his smaller lure earlier, so he ended up with nothing.
That was not the end of the adventure. I went on to land some more Garfish, then the tiniest Pollock that was about the same size as the lure.
As I waded out to a point I thought to myself this looks like good Wrasse ground. A quick change from surface lures to a Soft Plastic that I made myself and second cast I had a small Ballan Wrasse. By this time we had reached an open beach and we were both starving, we decided breakfast was needed and we went to reminisce about my new PB and Adrian’s lost Bass.
A couple of things I did learn was that the fish are taking the smaller lures at the moment, which is why I have been struggling to get Bass since I had my 200th Bass this year, as I have been using the 120mm lures that I normally prefer. The other thing was that I need to get more confident in using my grips. I could easily have lost that big Bass by messing around and being unprepared. If you have Boga Grips then practice using them. You never know the next fish that comes along might be a big one.