Bass from Boat
Bass fishing from boat is one of the most exciting forms of fishing in the UK, especially if you use light tackle to enhance the quality of the sport. It is a thrill that more and more people are experiencing as UK bass fishing gradually improves.
Over the years I have followed that advice on many occasions. It is pretty sound and certainly minimises lost fish. It also worked on this occasion, with the result soon lying in the folds of Steve’s net – a beautiful bass weighing 9 lbs 12 ozs.
That fish was, of course, a team effort, since Steve knew exactly where to put the boat to give the rest of us the best chance of catching a decent fish. However it was also the result of carefully prepared rigs, years of experience in handling light tackle and first class bait, in this case live sandeels. Put together those factors and the chance of a good fish is always on the cards. It could be for you too, if you follow a few simple steps.
1) Tackle – When you are fishing for bass, you need to keep your end tackle as simple as possible. Complicated rigs only rouse the suspicious nature of the fish and minimise the number of bites, which, in turn, minimises the number of fish that you catch.
The best fish of the day; a 9 lbs 12 oz bass in prime condition.
One of my most exciting sea fishing moments ever came a few years ago, when I was fishing aboard Two Rivers out of Dartmouth. Steve Parker, the skipper, had just told us to watch out for a lobster pot, so we all had a cautious eye on the reel just in case. He’d reckoned to miss it, which we did, but as we drifted past it my reel began to scream, with yards of line disappearing in a moment.
Bracing my rod against the run of the fish in the depths far below, I put pressure on the spool to set the hook. I had to - by now the fish had taken so much line that the spool knot was showing and, just as I did, the end of the line was reached. My reel was completely out of line so I lifted straight into the fish to begin the long retrieve to the surface.
The results were electric. From the weight and the power of the fish I knew straight away that it had to be good. My rod, a two pound test curve baitcaster, was bent completely double and the line, as I tried to retrieve it, was simply slipping round the spool.
I had to establish control, quickly, before the fish threw the hook, so I gripped the line between my fingers and pulled back far enough to start making line. The fish, of course, didn’t like this at all, pulling back with considerable power, but against the arch of the rod he started lifting off the ocean floor.
The next thirty minutes were very tense, with the fish testing the limits of the eight pound breaking strain line that I was using on several occasions. If given the chance he would try for a little slack and then, with but a shake of his head, he would soon get rid of the hook.
Luckily, he didn’t get the chance. An old bass angler once told me that the secret of playing a bass in deep water lay in the setting of the drag. It had to be tight enough to recover line when the fish was running towards you, but slack enough to let the fish take line when it needed to. The other thing to do was to keep turning the handle!