Sunday, 18 November 2012

Shore Bass Fishing with Plugs 17-11-12

The mark overall consists of two bays.  Both are shallow rough ground marks with a mix of rocks, weed, and sand.  Around low water there is only about a foot of water covering the rocks and weed therefore, not an easy mark to fish but plenty of food available for the foraging Bass.

Excellent ground for Bass fishing with plugs

The most productive time to fish this mark is around low water, the last hour and a half of the ebb and the first two hours of the flood.  The Bass move in with the tide as it covers the rough weedy ground to feed on a wide variety of available food.  Crabs, prawns, and baitfish are the most common stomach contents of Bass taken from this mark.  This mark produces on both springs and neap tides although there appears to be more Bass available on spring tides.

At low water a very shallow diving plug is used the Tackle House Feed Shallow.  This only dives to about six inches to a foot, which is ideal when there is only a foot of water covering the rough ground.  As the tide floods and there is more depth a Savage Prey 130 is used which I find casts better therefore, more ground can be covered.  The Savage Prey dives a little deeper around one and a half to two and a half feet.  However, I alternate between the plugs as and when necessary.  Both plugs are excellent catches of Bass.  In the past I have tried surface plugs at this mark and have seen Bass show interest but without a take.  Shallow divers appear to be much more productive. 

The top plug is a Savage Prey 130 and the bottom a Tackle House Feed Shallow

The rod is a 7ft Grauvell Teklon Spin 702ML 10-35g.  A 7ft rod may seem a bit short for some but because I also kayak fish I like a rod I can use for both shore and kayak fishing and 7ft is ideal for the kayak.  The reel is a Pflueger Infusion (7640SS) loaded with 20Ib Varivas Braid with a 2ft Varivas 365 15Ib fluorocarbon leader and a small snap link to enable easy changing of plugs.

Small 4000 size spinning reel with 20Ib braid

The mark overall has several stopping points to try from therefore, the fishing is on the move trying each point until the fish are located.  I have found in the past that there are short windows of opportunity when Bass fishing and when plug fishing I find it is better to move around rather than fish one spot for the whole session.

At first, the session was very slow and an onshore breeze made the casting difficult.  Although both plugs cast well I had to cast very low into the wind to try to get some distance and cover some ground.  I moved around trying to find fish but it was not until one and a half hours into the flood that I hooked and landed a fish, which took the Tackle House Feed Shallow cast over a weed-covered rock.

First Bass of the session

Fifteen minutes later, I landed another fish from the same stopping point.  This time the fish took the Savage Prey 130 cast into a gully with slightly deeper water.

A lovely conditioned fish

As happens many times when Bass fishing you have a short spell of action and then the Bass are gone.  I landed no more fish this session but it was pleasing to get something.  The fish were not monsters but both keepers.  The Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority size limit is 37.5 centimetres and both of these fish were well over the size limit.  For me part of the joy of fishing is the meal when successful and with rod and line fishing there are many times when you are not however, I have a personal rule that all Bass over 5lb are returned.

Aside from the fishing, on very low water spring tides this mark exposes a sandy beach, which houses a razor clam bed.  Being a bit of a forager of all things edible such as mussels, prawns and sea weed I took the opportunity of gathering a few for the pot.  There was no need to use salt down the hole as some of them had exposed themselves above the sand.  You just have to creep up on them quietly, grab hold, and gently ease them out.  If you have not tried these, they are great eating.  In addition, they are a very good Bass bait with a tremendous scent and I have caught many fish using them.


This was a pleasing day.  I must have cast those plugs a couple of hundred times but eventually rewarded for the effort and no expensive plugs lost this time!

I shall look forward to the meal of razor clams followed by line caught wild sea bass.

Well worth the effort

  Update August 2014:  Below is a video about plug fishing for Bass over shallow rough ground.

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