Bass anglers once had a reputation for being sneaky secretive types who skulk out under the cover of darkness and would rather sacrifice a limb than share a secret bass mark. How things have changed over the last few years eh! Each set of spring tides we see a giant super shoal of Bass sweep through Facebook!
It may seem a tad ironic that someone such as myself who takes people fishing in a professional capacity (Call it the second oldest profession!) would have a story like this to tell. We all need special places. I have one, it’s my place where I go to fish for bass and daydream before the sun rises. It’s been like this for 10 years now and I remain faithful to a shore mark that has so many subtle quirks’ as the tide ebbs and flows through its weedy gullies that it could take a lifetime to understand. My son calls it Daddy’s secret place.
There was a time when I was so careful and secretive that I would enter into all manner of completely over paranoid routines to avoid giving away my location X. I would take different routes, put my waders on at home to avoid being seen togging up at the side of the van. Likewise I would often dash to the van and drive home with wet waders on just to avoid interrogation from passers-by. Daddy’s secret place was all mine for around 5 years. I would fly fish this gem on summer mornings but always leave before 7 am. I fell in love with this wild beach and it still remains very close to my heart. It is the ultimate Bass mark but ultimately it’s past its better days. I still fish there from boat and shore. I hope to continue for many years to come.
On to my story:
One summer’s afternoon I decided to take a trip to the beach. The fact that it was not dawn or dusk was unusual in itself. As I approached my secret parking spot I saw a car parked there. I had a bad feeling about this. Like a detective I analysed the car for clues. The car was possibly a Truro vehicle it had a Probus sticker on the rear window. The owner was quite a clean and tidy person I wish my van was half as tidy inside! On the back seat I saw a pair of shoes. Perhaps someone has parked in my secret space, put waders on and is now fishing on my secret rock? I headed to the beach in stealth mode, being careful not to stick my head above the horizon. I was correct, there in broad daylight an angler stood on my rock. My only hope was that he was a noddy angler, a hopeless beginner with silly gear and poor quality bait. Perhaps a tourist who had stumbled upon this spot by accident, my hopes were dashed. I could make out the breathable waders, light rucksack and lure rod, This impostor was casting surface lures through Daddy’s secret place !!!! My 5 year affair had ended. I had no intention of offering encouragement to this Bass fisherman so I carefully headed back home. My partner was surprised to see me return so soon. Its over!! I exclaimed to her, my 5 year secret affair is over. Someone has discovered location X !
I rarely fish location X these days I’m too busy guiding or being a Dad but I do go there when i can or when the conditions are perfect, it’s a very fickle place and far from reliable , I go for the scenery and to remind myself of the amazing relationship I once had with a small Cornish cove . Lure fishing had exploded and yet I still find this place empty every time I visit. The British Coastline is vast and there are hundreds or possibly thousands of location X’s out there. There was a time when the only way to find these places was to look at an ordinance survey map and get your boots on. Now we have Google earth, Facebook and information generous blogs to fall back on. I do wonder if some of the mystery and magic has been washed away in the process.
Oh and just in case you were wondering who the impostor was it was fellow UKBASS member Robin Bradley. I have been meaning to mention this story to him for several years. So next time you go Bass fishing and you hear a strange sound or feel as if you are being watched, perhaps you are!!!
Tight lines and Lips
Blogger – Austin Goldsmith