It was always my intention to have some sort of interactive commmunication between this website and its readers. Up til now, most of the responses have either been dealt with directly or actually incorporated into the site development program

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James Henchey wrote on 22 July 2000:
Just a quick note to let you know about my fly fishing for bass exploits and experiences. Having had my first fishing experience with my father at a famous bass fishing mark when I was 6 I have been a convert ever since (I am now 23!). Yet it was only last year that I tried using a fly with almost instant success: 14 fish in 1/2 hour and one of 6 lbs ( the only fish kept). When I returned this year to fish the same shore mark my worst fears had been realised as word of this bass hot spot had spread and I was faced with sharing ‘my’ mark with seven other anglers at times. I have always been a strict catch and release fisherman with the very occasional fish taken for the table yet what I discovered from other anglers sickened me. One particular chap fishing there was from the US and told me that he regularly was catchening upwards of 10 to 15 fish per session on a spinner and was keeping them no matter what the size due to the £2 he could get per fish which covered his petrol and tackle costs. I think as a community of BASS anglers although I don’t know too many we need to take a closer look towards ourselves rather than simply blaming the commercial netters. Obviously a commercial net can take a whole shoal of fish but if so called ‘anglers’ as I have mentioned above continue unrestricted they could wipe out an areas stock in a couple of weeks. Anyway enough moaning and hopefully there me be some fish left at my favourite fishing hole……

Peter Macconnell wrote on 10 July 2000:
In my bass fishing I mainly spin (plugs and very occasionally Toby spoons) I am looking to replace my main spinning reel which has had several years of heavy use and has been very satisfactory. It is a Shimano Biomaster 3000 front drag reel weighing about 10.5 oz. Filled with Spiderwire Fusion it does the job very well indeed. I bought it new in about 1992 for approximately £40. I now need to consider replacing it. I want a reel which is of Shimano quality, i.e., it more or less never goes wrong, is front drag (I can’t get on with rear drag reels or baitrunner type things), weighs not more than about 11 oz., and is saltwater proof to a reasonable degree (I bought a provisional replacement last year; from another well known company who make very good rods, and it was knackered after one season in the salt- It did get completely submerged several times, but then so did the Shimano). Have any members had good experiences with front drag reels and can they direct me towards a product which would suit my needs. Failing this I shall have to go back to my Mitchell 300!

Phil wrote on 24 June 2000:
I am thinking about doing some bass fishing with lures. I have for a while now being a fanatical lure fisherman for mainly pike and perch. I would like to know more about rock fishing and in particular if the east yorkshire coast is any good? Especially Flamborough Head. Any info would be gratefully recieved. Also tackle tips would be good.

Peter Macconnell replied on 21 July 2000:
In response to Phil who wrote on 24th June asking about lure fishing, I would make the following comments, but first would like to say that I am no expert. I made the switch from pike to bass a few years ago and it took me a while to adjust in terms of tackle and mentality. If you want to know how the experts (as distinct from me) do it read Steve Butler in the “Lure Angler” and BASS Magazine, Mike Ladle in “Hooked on Bass” or Dave Cooling on this website.

My humble attempts have led to the following:

First get some lures and the right rod/reel/line set-up and try it. If you like lure fishing for pike and perch you will like lure fishing for bass even more. Pikers these days tend to use short rods, baitcasting reels and jerkbait type lures, but Phil if that is what you are doing, you probably need to rethink your tackle for bass. What I find suits in most circumstances is an 11′ rod of the salmon spinning (up to 60 grams) or light carp rod (1.75 lbs test curve) type, a good quality fixed spool reel (or two), and some Spiderwire Fusion of about 8-10 lbs thickness (compared to mono) and about 12 – 15lbs actual breaking strain. I find that I need two fixed spool reels with me on many trips because if I get a ‘birds nest’ or sand in the reel (easily done) it is so much easier just to take one reel off and put on the other one and then sort out the mess when I get home. Unlike in pike fishing you don’t need many lures. In piking changing the lure for another one can make a difference to whether you get take or not, whereas in bassing I don’t think it matters at all. 6 lures would be absolutely plenty. A surface popper for on the top (Storm Big Chug Bug), and sandeel pattern for subsurface (Storm Joined Thunderstick) and a slow sinker for a bit deeper (9cm or 11cm Rapala Jointed Countdown). Silver/chrome lures, with blue or black backs, are better than any others. If you got two each of the above three lures (so you have got another when you lose one) you could probably go for a couple of seasons on those. Anything more is a waste of time and money.

I find lure fishing from rocks into deeper water under your feet is largely unproductive. I like it where rock, sand, and weed meet, and it is not more than 8-10 feet deep at the farthest distance you can cast to (preferably less).

The main thing is to think “Why would bass be right here right now”. If you can answer that question the mark is worth fishing.

The other stuff you need is a pair of chest waders, a waterproof wading jacket, a small rucksack, and a Petzel Headlamp.

As to Yorkshire, are you a member of BASS? If not, you could join, get on the ‘mailing list’ and begin to communicate with other members who fish the area.

Ralph Sommerville wrote on Tuesday, April 25, 2000:
Tried my 1st short session for bass this morning. Tide only 5m but weather perfect for the local beaches. Some cuttle shells on beach also slipper limpets. Fished for 1.5 hours from low water and was delighted to take a 6lb10z fish. This is the best 1st fish of the season ever. Fish took squid fished about 30 yards out.

I have just returned from 2 weeks in Goa, where I fished with lures from the rocks most mornings. I didn’t catch much though only a small 2lb-ish trevally, a gar fish, a lady fish and some sort of catfish (foul hooked). Not great results but the snap swivel wire was bitten through by a powerful fish on one occasion and there was plenty of fishey activity some mornings just out of casting range. There were dolphins most mornings along the beach and it really was a wonderful place, hope to return in the early winter.

Will Shaw wrote on Friday, April 21, 2000:
Great to see the site expanding and I agree that we need a photo gallery. The other thing I think you definitely should have is a bulletin board. Examples of good BBS sites can be found at http://www.fishandfly.co.uk/messageboard.html and the american site http://www.flyfishsaltwaters.com

The down-side might be the amount of time taken up in administering the board, however it will make the site much more interactive.

Will, as fast as I get feedback from members, I am posting it on this page. When the volume rises to the point where it causes problems, I will investigate a formal bulletin board like the excellent ones you suggest. Likewise with pictures!

Has anyone out there noticed that the pictures of Bob Spurgeon and the striped bass, and the juvenile bass with spots on the Migration and Spawning page have become buttons allowing you to see a high resolution picture if you want. Does it work for you? Do you want more?

Willard Terrahe wrote on Wednesday, April 12, 2000 with the following question:
Hello, this is Willard from the Netherlands. Your site was mentioned on the French pecheaubar bass-site. I always fish seabass during the summer in France (boatfishing). I troll with which the french call a ‘raglou’ (light lure, just beneath the surface, 50 meters behind the boat). Is this also done in (clear) English waters? I also fish this lure in combination with a buldo when there is a chase going on. I hope to get your response. It’s very interesting to see bass-sites in several countries. It offers the opportunity to compare and learn. Success with your site !!!!

All right you boat anglers out there – can anyone answer Willard’s question?

Ian Morris wrote to me on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 with several comments which seemed to form a framework for starting this feature.

Just a quick line to congratulate you on the superb job you’ve done with the BASS website. During these recent months, ”ve been keeping a keen eye on its development, and now it’s clear you’ve truly achieved a first class result.

Many thanks Ian. Always remember, however, that the website depends on its readers to guide us in the right direction, and to supply material. Never be afraid of offering constructive criticism.

I was wondering whether or not you had any plans on including a gallery of some sort, showing examples of some of the great catches made by club members, and I’d also heard you may be looking into creating a members-only section on the site as well; perhaps shots taken at fish-ins, good fishing marks etc. could be included on that, unless of course it was felt that to have stuff like that accessible to non-members could lead to increasing the membership count.

There are several different issues here:

Firstly the concept of a gallery: posting pictures on the website is simple, and I will do it as soon as people start sending in scans. In a way, it’s already happening, as many of the pictures already there came in this way. We do have a certain shortage of scanners within the organisation, so volunteers to take on additional scanning work are always welcome.

At present, the pictures on the site are all displayed at low resolution and small size so that the site runs as quickly as practical. If there is a demand for a gallery with options to see bigger and better photographs displayed slowly then we can provide this facility. It is up to the members, really.

You know how we all love looking at pictures of fishy looking marks and the great fish that can be caught there, as well as reading those great stories of success that continually spur us into action ? a bit like tackleshop syndrome ? I’ve read some stuff in the Magazine about what number of members is ideal, and feel that if this is a priority, then the website could act like the proverbial shop window.

Many members are understandably reluctant to publicise their catches and locations. Like Malcolm Brindle, I will only publicise what people want publicising. Always remember, however, that the mark you give away may be someone else’s closely guarded secret. We have lost members this way in the past.

There may be other things that members want, more in the way of a bulletin board. Perhaps this page will fill that need, so people can ask questions and others provide answers – even Wanted and For Sale ads? Perhaps we need something more structured. Let me have your suggestions.

Finally, the issue of a members-only area is entirely open for discussion – if there is a need, we will deliver.

I haven’t got a clue how many sea anglers actually have access to the internet, but one things for sure, whatever number or percentage it is, you can safely bet it’s well on the increase with PCs in the home now becoming so popular.

When Bob Spurgeon first raised this issue several years ago, many people had doubts. He also suggested distributing the Magazine on video, but we were told not enough people had video players. Andy Davies really drove the issue to the fore, and time will tell how fruitful it will become. At present the visit rate is fairly low, but we haven’t publicised the site widely. If you like it, remember to tell your friends! And make sure we know your current email address, as there are new ideas for e-BASS coming along all the time!

Dave Cooling, webmaster