Sunday, 28 July 2013

Bass, Mackerel, Herring, and Anchovies 27-07-13

Although Bass are around earlier, I usually focus on catching them from September through to December.  Bass fishing can be addictive and there was a time when it was the only fish I really wanted to catch however, since taking up kayak fishing, I can now access marks I could not access from the shore, and my target species at different times of the year has become more varied.  Having said that, sometimes opportunities arise that tempts you to change your normal game plan.

A couple of days ago, I was collecting razorfish for future bait stocks and personal consumption.  Out in the bay, I noticed a great deal of surface activity from baitfish trying to escape their predator.  As this was shallow water, I was certain that the predators were Bass.  Judging by the activity, there appeared to be plenty of Bass around therefore; I decided at the earliest opportunity I would return in the kayak.

My plan was to start fishing at dawn, which was about two hours into the flooding tide.  I had fished this location before and caught Bass within the first three hours of the flooding tide.  I am a great believer in the Solunar Theory and the time I planned to start fishing, fell within a major period of solunar activity where according to the theory the fish would be most active.

The mark is a shallow rough ground mark with a mixture of sand and weed covered rocks. Due to the nature of the ground, I fish this mark with surface plugs, shallow diving plugs, or weedless soft plastics.  My choice of lures today was shallow diving plugs.

On arrival at the mark, I immediately noticed the surface activity I noticed two days earlier, which was a good sign that the Bass were here once again.  After working out the direction of the drift, which would keep me close to the shoreline, the fishing began. When lure fishing for Bass in shallow water I deploy a drift chute at the stern. This turns the stern of the kayak into the wind, which means I am facing down wind making it easy to cast the lure down wind or to the sides and work the lure back to the kayak.

The fist cast immediately produced a take on the Savage Prey 130.

The Cornish Inshore Fishing and Conservation Authorities landing size limit is 37.5cm and although I could have kept this fish, I have a personal size limit of 40cm therefore; I returned the fish as there is always a better fish around the corner.

The fish were still very active chasing the baitfish close to the surface so I changed the plug to a Tackle House Feed Shallow, which dives just under the surface, and the first cast produced another fish.
This fish was under both my size limit and the IFCA's size limit therefore, returned.
The next three fish were all a better size of 42cm, 40cm, and 45cm and all fell for the Tackle House Feed Shallow.
As usual, with Bass fishing the activity stopped and the takes stopped therefore, I decided to paddle out into deeper water and jig a Herring Rig in the hope of Mackerel or Herring. 
The fish finder showed plenty of baitfish and to my surprise, they were Anchovies.

Commercial fleets catch Anchovies in UK waters and have done for several years now but it is a first for me to catch them on rod and line. This highlights the advantage of jigging mini feathers on small size 4 to 6 hooks rather than conventional Mackerel feathers on size 2/0 hooks. There is always the chance of a bonus catch using the small lures and of course, they will still catch Mackerel.
I managed to catch more Anchovies along with a couple of Herring and a good bag of Mackerel as shown below.  I apologise for the quality of the following pictures.  Salt spray must have got onto the lens!

A very pleasing mornings fishing and worth getting up at 4 o'clock although I must admit, I nearly rolled over and said forget it!


  1. Excellent as usual, We night fish off L. Beach most Friday nights and you would be welcome to joing Nobby and I.


    1. Hi Simon. Thank you for your comment. Hope the fishing has been going well. I have some time early September so maybe we can get together then. A Friday evening sounds good.


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