Sea Angler (UK) - - SHORE ANGLER - Mike Wils­don

■ 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.

Ja­son Lawry

Dean Watts

Sam Wad­man

Mark Wilkin­son

Ron­nie Brown

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