Monday, 10 August 2009

Bass - On the fly!

Just spent a week in North Wales, camping at Shell Island. Fishing was very hard and the tides were not the best I'd fished on previous holidays to the site. The first two days were very windy and I remembering what happened at Westward Ho! last month, the first couple of trips proved to have the same problem, lots of weed. As soon as I cast out a bottom bait clumps of weed would collect on the line rendering every cast useless after a couple of minutes in the water, I tried spinning but reeled in only to find a weed covered hook on every cast, things did not look good.

After a couple of days the wind eased and the weather broke, blue skies and hot sunshine were forecast for the rest of the week, smiles all round, I even managed to get the inflatable out early one morning, although a dodgy leaking valve nearly put a stop to that!. I like to have a row around the mud flats where the tide meets and flows over the road to the island, Bass, Mullet and Flounder all make their way up these creeks as the tide floods so its always worth a fish and the boat is the easiest method of getting around.
Later in the week, I gave bottom baits another go and had success with Flounders caught on Peeler Crab, I was hoping for a good Bass or two but they tend prefer duller weather conditions or a rising tide at night and as neither of these were going to happen this week I would have to make do.

I saw a few shoals of Bass making their way into the bay as the tide flooded and thought the fly rod would have to be tried. I have wanted to catch a Bass on a Fly for a couple of years now and now I had another chance. The entrance to the harbour is fairly narrow at low tide and the first couple of hours is the best as the fish make their way into the harbour and the mudflats beyond. I tried a variety of flies including some sandeel and shrimp patterns eventually I settled on a small minnow pattern that resembled the fry seen in the rock pools at low water. I only had the one Bass, a small schoolie, but to see the way it chased the fly as I stripped it across the current was magic, when the Bass hit the fly first and missed and missed a second and third time I remembered something I heard about having to keep stripping the fly and it would take it, it did, Magic.

Perfection in miniature!

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