...AND YOU’VE BEEN GETTING BIG SHORE-CAUGHT BASS TOO
■ A big tide in early September was the signal for Sam Wadman to get out in search of bass and it paid off big style with a new personal best weighing 14lb 4oz. The Brighton aangler was on his first bass session of the year on the Sussex shingle.
“Conditions were perfect,” said Sam. “With the time of year and big tides, everything felt right to get the waders on and start soaking big baits again.”
There was plenty of action from the off with bites and knocks straight away, but it wasn't until three hours into the session that he got his first positive connection.
“The fish steamed off in the dark, ripping line from my reel. I knew instantly it was a special fish and the adrenaline kicked in big time,” said Sam.
“The power of the fish was incredible and there were many tense moments as it got caught in the undertow of the big breakers. Fortunately, the hook held and I was able to slide the fish up the beach with a well-timed wave and that's when I got my first look at it. I knew it was a personal best from the sheer bulk of the fish; it was as plump and fat as can be.”
Sam does not normally weigh fish but as he thought it was a PB, this one went in the sling bag to check before being quickly photographed and returned.
“At 14lb 4oz, it was indeed a new PB. A fish of a lifetime and on home turf too. It's unlikely I'll be topping that any time soon. I'm over the moon with this amazing fish... it's slowly sinking in,” he enthused.
The fish was caught on a mackerel fillet fished on a running paternoster with terminal tackle from the Rovex Sea range. He used a Rovex Fantazia 2-4oz Bass rod and 8000 Rovex Revenge Reel.
■ Two years after losing a double-figure bass, tackle shop owner Dean Watts has finally landed a dream fish.
The 46-year-old owner of Purbeck Angling in Wareham caught the 82cm long fish, estimated at 12lb 8oz on the BASS measuring tape, while fishing with a kharki Fiish Black Minnow No 3 13g lure.
Dean, who has been an angler since childhood, started sea fishing in his teens and has caught numerous big bass on bait. Having lost that previous double, this catch was, as he said, “all the sweeter”.
He fished with a Graphiteleader rod and Daiwa Certate spinning reel loaded with Berkley Whiplash braid.
“She fought like a demon and made three or four tackle-testing runs,” said Dean. “Luckily, I had good friends with me to photograph and watch her swim away.”
■ Ronnie Brown, from West Bexington, Dorset, took the short trip to Chesil Beach and caught a 10lb 9oz bass on a pulley rig baited with black lug.
■ Fishing at an undisclosed Welsh venue, a double-figure bass, estimated at 10-11lb, was caught by Mark Wilkinson, of Chester. He took it on a Savage Gear sandeel. The fish was released.
■ Taking his fishing rod on a baitdigging session proved a good idea for Mike Wilsdon because he caught a bass estimated to weigh 9lb.
“I went out for a worming session to stock up the freezer and took a rod with me as it seemed like a good idea and what an idea it was,” said the angler from Lytham St Annes Lancs.
“As I was travelling light, I didn't have my scales with me, but I had a measure and the bass was 74cm long, which equates on a local angling forum conversion to approximately 9lb, although it could have been heavier as this fish was very stocky.”
The fish was taken on some fresh yellowtail lug at low water when Mike was fishing about 30 yards out in about 18 inches of water at Squires Gate, between Lytham St Annes and Blackpool.
“As I was on a worming mission I only had wellies on. Needless to say, that to get the fish back into a decent depth of water for it to recover and swim away, both wellies took on a pint of Irish Sea, but it was well worth the soaking,” he said. “Since this session, my angling buddy also now takes a rod out when worming and I never leave without my scales,” said Mike.
■ It was a session to remember for Cornish angler Jason Lawry when he landed four bass to 9lb 2oz.
The angler from Newquay, used squid baits and live sandeels during an evening session at Hollywell Bay beach, Newquay.
First a 5lb 4oz fish took a live sandeel, but others of 8lb 8oz, 6lb and 9lb 2oz (pictured below) took squid baits. He lost several others in the surf too. The fish started to appear two hours after low water. Jason, whose previous best was 5lb 4oz, was fishing alongside his cousin Dan Lawry.
“This was the best fishing trip I have ever had with my cousin Dan. We’ve been fishing together since we were 15 and always dreamed of a night like this,” said Jason.
Both anglers were using Century Tip Tornado rods with Avet SX reels loaded with Asso Hard Skin line and tapered shockleaders. Their rigs were single-hook paternosters with Cox and Rawle size 5/0 hooks carrying a live sandeel, and a second rod with a Pennell rig loaded with a big squid bait.
“I could tell by the grin on Dan’s face as he was picking it out of the surf that it was a good fish,” added Jason.
Next Dan lost a fish, but soon landed a four-pounder that took his squid bait. This was followed by Jason landing an 8lb 8oz bass, which also took a squid bait, before losing a fish at the water’s edge, but that disappointment was soon forgotten when he landed a six-pounder followed by the 9lb 2oz beauty. All the fish were returned.