I’m probably best described as an “all-rounder” not a bass expert, so to be writing this is a real honour for me!
I started out fishing with my father, 29 years ago, this when he took me to our local tackle shop in Pembroke, West Wales and bought me a grey Abu Garcia spinning rod (that I still have) for my 4th birthday and took me fishing for roach at our local pond. Like many of us I think this gave me a great grounding through my junior years to learn watercraft, presentation etc. and helped me to understand fish behaviour.
I didn’t start sea fishing properly until I was old enough to go out on his boat with him, I think I was about 7 or 8, and we learned to fish on the drift for bass with live sandeel that we netted ourselves on the beach at Freshwater east or Barafundle. I remember catching a bass about 5 miles offshore one day and being amazed at the fight, the subtle take and the attitude of the fish when boated. I ate that one, I was very proud of my prize.
Fast forward through my teenage years spent catching pike, carp, and learning to fly fish for trout, and then leading into my early twenties I came back to bass fishing. My favourite way to catch them was with live-bait and I spend many hours freelining joey mackerel off south Pembrokeshire rock ledges and catching what I thought were monster bass of probably 6lb tops. I did do some spinning too, catching bass on j11’s, j13’s, toby’s, krill type bars, and wedges. I learned so much about bass during these years, especially how close to shore they prowl, catching bass under my feet in shallow water when the other rod, blasted out only landed dogfish!
I then drifted away from bass again and spent years catching sewin and salmon (not many salmon) on the Towy and the Taf, before moving away. In 2014 I moved to the Isle of Wight, and fell in love with bass again, and started frequenting forums and chatrooms (lurking mainly) to learn what I could. After a few years of catching bass on lures I find it my only real passion now though I’m happy to baitfish too, and fill the winter months with ray fishing etc.
Its struck me in January 2017 after a bit of searching that amongst all the fishing groups on Facebook, and there are lots, there wasn’t a dedicated bass fishing with lures group, so I decided to start UK Bass Lure Fishing – U.K.B.L.F. was born. The group grew seriously quickly, and organically too mainly, without any of the usual like and share type posts to win a sticker that tends to attract just about anybody and not necessarily people who want to join because of a passion for bass, or a desire to learn.
At this point I realised it was going to get way bigger than I expected, with over 400 members in the first 6 weeks! Jamie Strike contacted me to ask some questions about protecting marks and I asked him to join as admin to make sure it was run smoothly. From there we have evolved into a group with 2 main sponsors, Pete Cook at the Lurehub and Steven Neely at Fishonlures have been awesome, offering free advice to new and old-comers to bass fishing about different products and providing excellent raffle prizes too, as have Art of fishing, and Bass go deeper too.
We ran a few bonus ball type raffles which were well received so, thinking about new prizes to offer I contacted David Miller, who is a group member and fantastic artist as most people already know, who said he would donate, free of charge 2 bass prints as a prize, if all the proceeds went to Save our sea-bass. Tickets sold out in about an hour I think! And £112 was raised for the cause, so huge thanks to David Miller and the members.
© David Miller
Moving forward we hope to be able to use the group to raise money for the cause, we are always looking for prizes if anyone wants to make a donation! I think it’s important as anglers to ensure the group is used to protect the fish we love so much, so fish ins, competitions, raffles etc are all in the pipeline and we hope to continue to support B.A.S.S and SOSB in the future months and years.
The group is a very- very lively active place, with a huge wealth of information for experienced anglers and newbies alike, with none of the chest beating and egotistical displays common elsewhere on social media, so has rapidly become a great hub (I think) for people who love bass fishing with lures to meet online and share information, ideas and advice. All welcome!
It’s made the winter cabin fever pass really quickly, and now we are all twitching to get out there and start nailing some fish when the water hits that magical 10 degrees.
Cheers, and hope to see you on the group soon, just be careful, every day sees a new shiny lure that is missing from the collection!
Text and images © -Rhys Hunt– UK Bass Lure Fishing
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