Amazing Bait Fishing For Bass In The Eighties

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Amazing Bait Fishing For Bass: We all love a bit of lure fishing, don’t we? But sometimes (especially around Kent), the conditions can go against us. For example, water clarity can be a major problem. So, what do we do? Sit and wait for weeks on end for the water to clear. Or do we try catching those bars of silver another way, bait fishing?

Amazing Bait Fishing For Bass In The Eighties
Amazing Bait Fishing For Bass In The Eighties

I Lost Interest In Lure Fishing

Amazingly, losing interest was exactly how I felt about lure fishing on more than one occasion. Furthermore, the other problem was trying to fish when the conditions were not always in our favour. This would result in blanks. And no one wants to blank, do they?

The Problem

The result was simple: I found myself just sitting around waiting for something to turn right for the conditions. The problem is when the good weather came, and I just couldn’t be bothered to get out there and have a go. This isn’t very good when you think about it. I absolutely love fishing, but just relying on lure fishing and conditions is a bad move.

Zziplex 2500 old Classic

So for me, I decided to get the old beach caster out. This rod is a Zziplex 2500, a real old classic that belongs to an England international. I had bought another 5-foot butt for this rod to make it 13 feet. The action of this rod is amazing. It has a very soft tip. In fact, all the action is in the tip. It is an amazing rod. I’d never experienced a quality rod like this one before. But trust me, I didn’t have the luxury of a Zziplex to start with.

Way Back In The Eighties

I picked the Zziplex up way back in the eighties off a bloke I was working with. He fished all the local competitions and also a great angler. Fishing was not that much different back then from what it is today. It was back then that I had discovered the pulley rig that is so common today. The only difference being: those beaded swivels to just a swivel back then. We will go over my two ‘go-to’ rigs in a bit.

Abu Garcia…Just Pure Class

Yes, I have had a few reels in the past, but my 6500c is still with me today. Nowadays, I think Penn is probably the front runner in reels, but back then, it was Abu. Not to forget the Daiwa Millionaire, another classic reel. Nowadays, It blows me away when I came across some of the prices for these reels; anyone would think they were made of gold.

My very first reel was a Penn Seaboy. I think all my fishing buddy owned a Penn Reel of some sort. I took my Seaboy to bits the day I got it (Christmas Day) with the screwdriver/spanner tool that came with the reel. The trouble is I couldn’t put it back together again. This resulted in me having to loosen the drag right off so I could cast. Lesson learnt.

Mitchell Reels Another Classic Reel.

Yes, the Mitchell was another classic reel back in the day. I actually felt like I had an upgrade when I got mine. But, don’t worry, I left the spanner in the box this time. They were white, the Mitchell multipliers and a lot wider than the Penn Seaboy.

Best Lines Back Then

Well, the two that spring to mind is Seal cast and Maximas. My favourite was the Maximas there was just something about the smoothness of this amazing line. To the point where we even used it on our lure fishing gear back then. My reel for lure fishing in the eighties was an ABU Cardinal on a Daiwa Carp rod.

What Terminal Tackles Was Best

This is funny, but whether we were tight or plain didn’t have the money, we would use chalk If we lost any tackle. Especially off the rocks when that tide would drag your rig into all sorts of trouble. We never thought about using a breakaway to hold the bottom. I would always think that a grapnel would cause even more snagging problems.

Fine Wire Hooks

Now I never have forgotten these long gold fine wire hooks. They would easily bend out if you got snagged on the rocks. But if that weight had snagged, you’d had it. Get out the chalk or spark plugs, yes spark plugs. These made a great alternative for the chalk if you couldn’t find a bit with a hole in it. You

So, What Rigs  Did We Use Back Then?

When I think of some of the primitive rigs, we used back then most modern-day fisherman would be hysterical with laughter. Shock leaders weren’t even invented back then lol we just used a 30lb line straight through. Also, I had a fibreglass rod (before the Zziplex); I can’t even remember its make.

One day, I remember it shattering into many pieces. On that day, we were fishing for the eels of the cliff-top. A lovely venue with a pub ‘The Captain Digby. If you got a big bass that high up, you would be in trouble. It was hard work reeling an eel up the cliff. Honestly, none of us ever hooked into a bass up on the cliffs anyway.

Once, we started using 3-way swivels and those curly weight connectors that looked like a spring. We were definitely going up in the world. But we weren’t really catching any bass. However, other people were.

Broadstairs Vikings Fishing Club

There was this bloke called ‘Mass’ who seemed to be the bass master back then. He belonged to the “Broadstairs Vikings’ our local fishing club. So if anyone would get a bass at the comp, you can bet your life it would be him.

As time moved on, I had worked at a radiator factory in Ramsgate, Kent. This is where I met ‘Keith’, the bloke who sold me the Zziplex rod. Keith was a great fisherman, and he also was a member of the Broadstairs Vikings. But this was a few years later.

A New Fishing World Had Opened Up.

I was lucky enough to go fishing with Keith on several occasions. We had fished a few sessions off the rocks where we had some success, but unfortunately, not bass. So instead, we caught Cod on peeler crabs that he used to get sent up from Devon.

One evening, I went along to see how he was getting on at one of the local competitions. Ultimately, It was his night he had caught a bass. He went on to win that comp but trust me, It wasn’t life-changing winnings.

Amazing Bait Fishing For Bass

Luckily for me, I had learned so much about fishing through Keith. Everything from bait presentation to finding peeler crabs (when they were in moult) rigs, everything. Things that I wouldn’t have thought make a difference were the difference between catching or not.

This was when I discovered lure fishing for the first time but you can read about that in another post.


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