A Blog post on Henry Gilbey’s popular site recently stirred some thoughts that have been lingering for a while. The particular phrase that got the juices flowing was this ….
I also am becoming more and more convinced that visiting anglers who come to Ireland on the hunt for bass especially need to start thinking out of the box that bit more. Bass fishing may be bass fishing wherever you go, but I do think that it’s very easy to ignore local variations if you like that might well produce more and better fish for you.
It struck a chord. Increasingly bass anglers seem willing to travel to gain new angling experiences, but does local experience translate to other areas? When reading fishing forums, certain patterns begin to emerge. Anglers fishing in specific areas of the country seem to have developed local trends in fishing techniques & lures utilised. Are these trends simply ‘fashions’ based upon the success rates of a small number of anglers being repeated across a wider audience? Or are there local peculiarities of bass behaviour that make specific localised techniques more effective?
If fishing areas with shallow reefs then it makes perfect sense that anglers prefer shallow divers & top-waters, but are those same lures and techniques just as effective when people travel to fish a shingle beach on the South Coast, or the raging currents of the Channel Islands? In some parts of the country, bass anglers have developed successful techniques for deep-water headlands and weed-filled bays, but again these techniques do not necessarily translate well to an estuary mark or a harbour wall.
One of the key factors will be to understand what the bass are feeding on in that location at that time of year. Are they grubbing around for crabs and shrimps, are they chasing sandeels or sprats, or are there squid in attendance?
If anglers take the same box of lures with them to these differing locations, and fish them in the same old way, then success rates are likely to be poor.
Mastering a range of lures, and a range of techniques is the formula for consistent success when fishing different locations, along with taking the time to try and understand what is going on in the water.
Heavy weighted shads, weightless weedless soft plastics, sinking minnows, shallow divers, poppers, pencils & walk the dog topwaters all have their place in the armoury. Buying them is the easy bit … but what next? We’ll try to cover some basics on all of these lures over the coming months, with articles from anglers who’ve achieved success with each lure type.
On a separate note, some anglers from TLF (including several BASS members) will be travelling to France this weekend to fish alongside anglers from the APSB (Association Peche Sportive du Bar). The APSB is one of the organisations in France which shares the same basic values and wishes as BASS. The weekend is labelled as a competition, but in reality it’s a friendly affair where French, English, Scottish, Welsh & Channel Island anglers will meet to share experiences and wet a line together. Hopefully the travelling anglers can connect with some French bass in this ‘catch & release’ event.
Also coming over the next few weeks will be a competition to win copies of the fabulous BASS & B.A.S.S. book. Details to follow.
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