Have you ever heard people talking about fabulous places to fish, where the bass shoal thickly in the midst of turbot and rays? I certainly have, hearing many of the local tales of Lannacombe Bay until it whetted my appetite to have a go for myself and see if the legends were true!
Over in the wheelhouse, Steve was quietly humming as he decided which of the gullies would give us the best chance of a fish, using the echosounder to position us accurately over one of his favourite spots. He was bang on target too, with a reasonable fish taking my sandeel on the very first drop!
Alas, it was not to be, and the fish and hook parted company on the way up to the boat. I was, of course, disappointed, but soon cheered up when another bass took the place of his friend. Adam gave a grunt and watched his spool start to empty, but then, after a count of ten, tightened into his first ever bass. His Dad was not far behind with his!
I had another bite, tightening into a better fish as I watched Steve bring Adamís bass alongside the boat, reaching out to grasp the long trace (15 feet of 20 lbs breaking strain) while his crewman made swift and effective use of the net. Then the fish that I was playing gave a sharp nod and headed back to the bottom, requiring my full attention as I brought it back under control.
The deep water made the fight of the bass rather strange, with them heading for the surface with only minimal resistance at first, followed by much more severe struggles as the surface came in sight.
Fishing from Lannacombe Bay
Our bait was live sandeels, which did well as Charles proudly demonstrates with a nice bass that he caught on the day.
This pattern of fight continued throughout the day, with one notable exception, which I will come to later. However for the fish that I was playing at the moment it was nearly all over, with smiles all around as a nice bass, weighing just over five and three quarters pounds, was carefully netted and swung aboard.
Some other, smaller bass appeared, with one or two showing on every drift, followed by a lovely red gurnard to Charles which we admired and returned. He let his sandeel down again, only to have it taken by a mackerel, which he kept for his tea. He let it down again, only to find the mackerelís friend, followed by his cousin, brother, sister, aunt...