Back To School

Following on from Geoff Gonella and Steve Pitts recent post ‘Have You Done Your Homework?‘ Rhys Hunt shares the results of some of his homework, some background behind a recent capture, and why he went back to school.

About five years ago, via Google Earth, I identified an area of coastline that looked rough and broken in an area known for a lateral tidal flow (all tide flow is lateral, but some more pronounced than others).

After a couple of reconnaissance trips to assess access, safety, what the ground looked like and what lived there at low tide, I began to fish the mark, pretty quickly figuring out that on the ebb, the tide pushed through some bays. Where the tide hits these bays it’s coming from the open sea, so it’s a natural point for nutrients and bait to hit the shore first. This was reflected in the amount of prawns, crabs and small brown fish found in the pools there.

Having done some initial homework it was now time to formulate and execute a plan. Facing extremely broken and shallow ground covered with bladderwrack, and with, at that time, a lack of understanding or faith in soft plastics, I decided on a topwater approach. I recorded each session fished and, whilst the ground didn’t yield it’s fish easily, I found the general stamp of fish consistently larger than many of my other marks.

I believed I was on my way to cracking a code here but there are many pieces to every puzzle and after a couple of barren years on this ground, I decided to go back to go back to school and do some more homework.

I started fishing a slightly different area to before where the tide and eroding cliffs had changed things up slightly. This does leave a smaller window of opportunity as it uncovers the reef faster but, the opportunity was still there.

The ground – boulders and bladderwrack

I checked my diary looking at previous key captures for this mark and, after consulting the tidetables, a plan was hatched, executed successfully and chalked up to the many hours of homework that had gone into this mark previously.

I can’t stress enough that simply turning up somewhere that looks good a couple times and expecting fish just isn’t enough in many cases. The code is always there to be cracked, I can pretty much guarantee that if there is cover, food and tide, or current and food, bass will visit at some point in the season. When, is up to you to find out!

The results of homework and a well executed plan

It’s worth noting that all of my homework, reconnaissance trips and fishing over the space of five years has not yielded more than 10 fish for perhaps 25 sessions (didn’t record a few and didn’t fish it enough!) but, two were over 70cms and one I think was over 10lb but she swam away unweighed and unmeasured.

Also, every decent fish came on a topwater – although nowadays I’m more than happy fishing soft plastics that approach has not yielded a single fish …….

Author: Rhys Hunt

Photos: Rhys Hunt

© Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society 2021

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