Sunday, November 12, 2017

My Season of 2017

 My Season started far earlier than normal this year but it wasn't to target Bass, having got some up to date advice from UK Mullet specialist Colin Macleod I got going in Jan with the fly rod and almost immediately found success with both Thick and Thin Lips but was unable to build any consistency with these notoriously fickle creatures, despite having plenty of opportunities to capitalize, but it more than kept me busy for a few weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a huge amount in the process. I will be doing more of this for sure!

The Bass fishing kicked off pretty much on time towards the end of May and it was all action from then on. I did the majority of my fishing after dark from a wide range of locations pretty much all of which produced when the conditions were right and I added a few new ones along the way. The average size of fish was up on previous years the being around 3-4lb and upwards!

The biggest change for me in 2017 was the lures I used, I'd pretty much settled on a reliable selection of soft and hard baits over the previous years but that all changed this year with the dawning of a Hard and Soft Needle revolution which swept across the sport of UK/I Bass fishing. Stand outs for me were the Albie Snax from Cape Cod based Fish Snax Lures (Soft) and the 27g Westin Kongetobis a Scandinavian Sea Trout Lure (Hard) which is very similar to the Bass Bullet of old but more easily found and made in a range of great colors. 

Visiting Anglers were more of a focus this year as I worked on growing my Coaching & Guiding operation
! I have to say I had a great time meeting other keen anglers and sharing some hard won knowledge with them out the coast. I look forward to doing lots more of it in 2018 !!

A Boat Trip, I finally got the call to fish on Peter Aspinwall's boat via local species hunter and friend Izaak Bradley and despite a heavy cold (Possibly man Flu) and torrential rain we had great fun all morning, boating and releasing quality Bass on float fished live Sand eel which was a real eye opener to me in many ways! Oh what fun we had :-)

Trips away were fewer than in previous years due to the Coaching & Guiding commitments but I had a great time as always with John Quinlan at Thatch Cottage, Kerry and some less than spectacular trips to the Copper Coast that were saved by meeting up with other hardcore Bass Anglers like Keith & Kenny along with other locals, some old friends and others who became new friends.

This year I was lucky to return to the fabulous Cape Cod via Boston for a holiday with my Wife during which I managed to fit in plenty of fishing including two lure & fly Striper sessions on the flats with Steve Kean along with my first sessions on the legendary Cape Cod Canal one of which was with local legend and true gent Redtop Bull, this turned out to be another huge eye opener as to what goes on at this totally unique place, can't wait to go back!

On returning from Cape Cod and having toyed with the idea after seeing the possibilities for our Bass Fishing I finally decided to invest in a Kayak from Bantry Bay Canoes in Bandon. I think this may have ruined everybody's season actually as from the minute I left the shop with my fine new vessel the wind howled relentlessly meaning I only got one test paddle in and zero fishing done from it but at least I have all the basics in place ready for next year...

So all in all a really interesting year on all fronts, lots of new experiences met some great people, caught a stack of decent Bass (Some with stripes) all of which were released, what more could I have asked for? Roll on next season !!