Bass And B.A.S.S

Contents | Foreward | Introduction


This book is a broad selection of articles from the Society’s magazine, covering tackle and techniques, recollections of bass fishing sessions, the Society and its activities and some wider perspectives. There is also some additional material written specifically for this book. It has been written to appeal to bass enthusiasts whether or not members of the Society.

It is assumed that you have at least a basic knowledge of tackle, casting and dealing with a fish, so these aspects have been left to the ‘how-to’ books.

In general, specific brands and models of tackle have not been named unless absolutely necessary. However, some names and models have become part of the sea angler’s vocabulary (e.g. Toby, J11, Amnesia, Redgill) and these generic names have been used for ease of reading.

At the time of going to press the angling fraternity in the UK was using both metric and imperial units, so it did not seem practical to standardize on one or the other. I have therefore used the conventions of CEFAS for fish length (cm), and B.A.S.S. for fish weight (pounds and ounces). Other units are as written by the authors.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to each author for permission to use their work, because without their full support this book would not exist. I also give my sincere thanks to the family of the late John Darling for permission to use John’s article ‘Is There a Cure for Constipation?’ Despite the best efforts of the publisher, Richard Huggett and Dave Capel could not be contacted regarding permission to use ‘Alice’s Pipe’ and ‘Sonnet of the Surf’ respectively; if any reader knows their whereabouts could they please contact the publisher. I would also like to thank B.A.S.S. for being able to take extracts from the website and Restoration Newsletters.

With regard to the text drawings I would like to thank Chris Barnard, Sophie Hazel and Tony Hooper for permission to use their superb work. I also wish to thank CEFAS for permission to use their illustrations for article: ‘Bass tagging 2000-2002’. The magnificent drawings by the late Glynne Griffiths have been reproduced from originals found in the B.A.S.S. archives, and being in such a location the publisher has assumed that Glynne had passed them over to B.A.S.S.; if any reader knows otherwise would they please contact the publisher.

I would like to thank David Miller for permission to use his excellent painting for the dust jacket, and to Peter James and Chris Barnard for permission to use their excellent cartoon illustrations. The full-page illustration of a bass is from the book ‘A History of the Fishes of the British Islands’ by Jonathan Couch. I would like to thank the many members of B.A.S.S. who have provided photographs (too many to list here) and Nigel Knight for the photograph of the ‘0’ class bass. I also thank Mel Russ of Sea Angler magazine for permission to use various extracts from old issues including the article by Alun Lewis. The picture of Paul McEwan has been reproduced from a newspaper cutting of unknown origin, and despite the best efforts of the publisher the copyright holder could not be identified- if any reader knows who owns the copyright would they please contact the publisher.

I would like to thank Paul Crampton for permission to use an abridged poem from the book ‘Hook Line and Sinker’ by Jessie Vine. The poem ‘The Lure of the Lonely Beach’ is from the book ‘The Call of the Surf’ by Van Campen Heilner and Frank Stick.

I am indebted to Peter Macconnell and John Morgan who tirelessly helped with the selection of articles and the sourcing of text from many years past. I also thank Peter and John for the painstaking task of proof reading, and in particular to John for his enormous help clearing up a multitude of loose ends. Peter and John are former editors of the Society’s magazine, so their experience and knowledge was invaluable.

I would particularly like to thank Richards Butler Solicitors (now Reed Smith) for generously providing legal advice on media matters.

As with most books the end result relies on information, advice and encouragement from reliable sources, and I give grateful thanks to Steve Binckes, Graham Cornish, Donovan Kelley MBE, John Leballeur, Bryan Meade, Ian Morris, Graham Pickett, Steve Pitts, David Riley & Mike Young.

I would like to emphasise that safety is paramount in bass angling. Some authors mention clifftop walking, scrambling over rocks, wading, kayak fishing etc. These anglers have many years of experience and they still don’t take any chances. If this book inspires you to try such approaches, do take safety precautions including the following:

  • understand and respect tidal movements
  • wear suitable clothing
  • respect the power of waves and undertows
  • fish in company, with a mobile phone on you
  • be careful on any type of uneven or high ground
  • wear a life Jacket (not a buoyancy aid)
  • seek out local information from reliable sources and use it wisely
  • check and recheck the local weather forecast and use it wisely

For the Society, this book represents a milestone after many years of anticipation. I hope that there is something here for everyone, and that we each learn from it, become better anglers and be more aware of the plight of the bass and the superb work of the Restoration Team.

This is the first book of the Society, now in its 35th year. It is dedicated to those that have made it into what it is today.

Geoff Gonella