Bass is a firm favourite of anglers because of the hard fighting characteristics of this sporting fish. As well as being a favourite of anglers, it's also a favourite of many diners and the past few years has seen much attention directed towards the Bass in restaurants. For boat anglers though, the bass provides some of the best sport available, especially when targeted with light tackle. They can be caught all year round, with many big bass falling for big baits intended for Cod. The peak months though are without a doubt May through to September when many anglers will target them drifting underwater banks with live baits and artificial lures. Live baits such as sand eel or mackerel, and artificial lures such as sand winders and savage gear eels.
Part of the fun of the day is catching the live baits, Literally, any small fish can be used as live bait with small pout and small whiting also being firm favourites.
As with all fishing trace length is something to trial and error and watch and learn, but if you start off with a 6 feet long trace you will not go too far wrong. Rig bodies are also a personal choice, with many liking the Portland rig style, whilst others prefer to use a standard running leger.
Drifting underwater banks for Bass normally involves using lighter rods more at home to freshwater uses. My personal favourite rod for Bass fishing is a 9ft freshwater stalker rod coupled with a freshwater style bait runner reel. Leads are normally no more than a few ounces, the trick is to let lots of line out so the bait trundles up the incline of the bank, you will want to “feel” the lead bouncing along the seabed, as it starts to fall once its reached the top the hungry bass are waiting in ambush.
If you are unable to obtain live baits, then fear not. Artificial lures can work just as well, and in many instances, will even out fish live baits. Artificial lure styles are numerous as are the colours available. A firm favourite amongst many anglers are styles such as Fish and Savage Gear sand eels. Again, look at what techniques, lures, trace lengths others are using and which is proving successful. Quite often no two days are the same and a change of lure colour can quite often be all that’s needed between blanking and catching.
Hook choice is again varied. Circle hooks will ensure the fish is caught in the lip. This will mean minimum damage to the fish. When using standard lures and hooks a preferred manner to ensure limited damage to the fish is to flatten the barb. This will make hook removal all the easier. Treble hooks: Dointhedo kindly asks anglers to refrain from using these hook patterns.
Restrictions on anglers keeping Bass that they have caught.
Current legislation prohibits Rod and Line pleasure anglers from keeping Bass for the table. Dointhedo observes all the regulations and promotes Catch and Release. Please be aware of this if specifically booking a Bass trip. If legislation changes then anglers will be notified.
An eating fish similar in taste and texture to Bass is the Bream; currently there are no restrictions on catching and keeping Bream.