BASS

Young an­gler’s ver­dict on plight of species.

Sea Angler (UK) - - CONTENTS - Words and pho­tog­ra­phy by Nathaniel James Keep up to date with BASS through its blog on www.uk­bass.com or on Face­book or Twit­ter.

F rom the mo­ment I picked up a rod and set off with a mate to a lo­cal pier in the hope of catch­ing any­thing that would bite, there has been one elu­sive fish that has cap­tured my imag­i­na­tion.

On first hear­ing of the bass caught lo­cally by fel­low surfers that I looked up to, it started my, so far, seven-year quest to catch these mag­nif­i­cent sil­ver bars.

Hav­ing fished for bass since the age of 13, I re­mem­ber the strug­gles and many fruit­less trips. Head­ing out with a head full of in­for­ma­tion gleaned on­line or passed on by other an­glers, and tac­tics con­jured up in my head, I sought out ar­eas where bass should be lo­cated.

Spend­ing many hours try­ing to catch them, one thing that be­came clear was hook­ing bass wasn’t the hard bit, find­ing them was.

Even­tu­ally, I con­cluded from my surf­ing back­ground that mixed or rocky ground venues that I surfed over would, un­der the right con­di­tions, be bass marks. Hav­ing knowl­edge of the ground from surf­ing over it, I was al­ready at an ad­van­tage.

There is no doubt that there are not as many bass about as there once were. The tales of old catches, from some of the ar­eas I fish, are, at times, enough to make your jaw drop. Now a six-pounder is enough to make a sea­son, with half-a-dozen 2-3lb fish mak­ing it a suc­cess­ful ses­sion, but it falls short when you com­pare this to catches of the past.

Are we be­com­ing sat­is­fied and openly ac­cept­ing catch­ing fewer and smaller bass, while the sport of bass fish­ing grows and is be­com­ing an in­creas­ing source of angling rev­enue?

GREAT IN­TER­EST

It wasn’t long into my bass fish­ing ex­ploits be­fore I be­came aware of BASS, the or­gan­i­sa­tion that rep­re­sents bass an­glers in the UK. I had taken great in­ter­est in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s blogs and, co­in­ci­dently, this page in Sea An­gler. The work of BASS in­spired me.

It wasn’t un­til 2015, though, with the im­po­si­tion of bass bag lim­its and the in­creased min­i­mum size, that I de­cided I needed to sup­port BASS by be­com­ing a mem­ber.

Since join­ing I’ve had ac­cess to a wealth of knowl­edge on its fo­rum, in­ter­est­ing and in­spir­ing reads in the mem­bers’ mag­a­zine, along with meet­ing other like-minded bass an­glers. There is a strong unity of trust within the so­ci­ety and, once a mem­ber, it opens doors with other bass an­glers. You get a sense of pride as to what it means to be in­volved and share a pas­sion to see these amaz­ing fish pro­tected and flour­ish to be­come the won­der­ful fish­ery it once was and could be.

To re­visit my point that the hard­est part is find­ing bass, I have vis­ited marks that were the lo­ca­tion of tales of the past and ex­tra­or­di­nary catches, only to find it a strug­gle and that these places now hold very few bass.

With the work of BASS and its cam­paign to see bass stocks in­crease, I hope there is a chance for some of these lo­ca­tions to re­cover and that, hope­fully, with some reg­u­lar­ity, my gen­er­a­tion can ex­pe­ri­ence the fish­ing of the past that we hear about. This can­not be done with­out sup­port, though; BASS needs an­glers like you.

My knowl­edge of surf­ing helps me lo­cate bass

Hope­fully, with the help of BASS, my gen­er­a­tion can ex­pe­ri­ence the fish­ing of the past

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