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Hooray! Yes, we have managed to start the new season off, and with a bang for some. The thing is this year (2022) we have had a different approach to the way we have started the previous season. As we have mentioned in the past that although we struggle to find the right conditions here in Kent, other parts of the country can fish throughout the year, the Channel Islands is one for sure.
The difference between this year and last
So the difference between this year and last year is we haven’t travelled further down the south coast to try and seek out that bass. The fishing was extremely slow down there last year, although it had picked up towards the end of the season. The thing is, it’s very important to stay consistent at whatever venue you are fishing so you can try and work out what is working and what is not. We had found that with travelling down there the conditions were not what they said on the label. Therefore wasting our time completely. Also, we just never seemed to find the fish, they just weren’t there.
Slack Water Proved To Be Productive
Yes, last year (locally) we found that we were catching a lot of fish on the slack water at low tide. You see it is important to understand that most of the time that we would be fishing was in the evening after we had finished work. Good old work ruins everything eh. But we need the money to buy those lures (Don’t tell the misses).
FirstLight Most Productive
First light was definitely the most productive time of the day as far as catching bass goes. Again, not always favourable when you still have to get back home to get to work. The bass seemed to spring into action once that light came up on the ebbing tides. We would normally fish about two hours before the low. That time seemed to be the most productive.
Night Time High Water
Another productive time for us catching bass was fishing the high water after darkness. We would normally turn up again about two hours before high water then fish through till we had had enough. Funnily enough, like other venues, there seems to be no logical reason why the fish are there compared to other areas.
Some Days They’re There Others Days They’re
Yes to me sometimes it just does not make sense when or whether those bass are going to show. It can be so frustrating and this year 2022 is no exception. It seems they are still not quite here and we’re in the middle of May. The best fish this year is a 62cm fish caught by Steve Wood at first light on an ebbing tide.
High Water Weed Nightmare
Yes, we are only in May and we seem to have our fair share of weed already. The weed was with us much later last year this is when the soft plastics come into their own. Low water is not so much a problem but we seemed to be finding the fish over the high.
The Good Old Joker
Amazing eh, last year I never had a single fish on my favourite Joker. This lure is responsible for my PB, a 67cm fish caught right under my feet in literally a foot of water. Unbelievable.
Lure Fishing Tactics And The Start Of The New Season
2022 Run Of Blanks
This year (2022) we had a run of blanks. And to be totally honest, and in our defence, we still started the season too early the conditions were not great.
So basically, this particular evening we had turned up to one of our regular venues. Amazingly, this can be one of our more productive venues where we fish. But not always easy for sure.
As per usual, we had been trying every lure under the sun, but to no avail. Then as soon as the light faded and the tide turned there started to be some activity.
The bass was jumping all over the place, a good sign: at least we know there are some fish out there. Then before you know it, I had a fish on, the first of the year and caught on the amazing joker. Not the biggest fish of the century, but I was off to a rather frustrating start to the season.
Literally two minutes later, Steve Wood had hooked into his first fish of the evening. You’ll never guess what lure he had on? The Joker! Ironically, he had never caught on the joker up until now.
I’m not saying that the joker is the greatest lure in the world but it is a good lure to have in your arsenal.
The DC12 does it again
One of the hardest lures to get hold of (IMO) is the DC12. Whether or not they have stopped making them is something I need to look into. But it’s always a good sign when a lure is out of stock. It’s simple; “they probably work”. Sounds counter-productive, but if you scan the internet, I’m sure some countries like Japan, Bulgaria or anywhere else abroad, will have some.
I recently purchased a Duo DC9 from Bulgaria. Incredibly, I’ve never owned one before. As for the DC12, this has to be the best lure so far this year. Steve Wood had a great 62cm on the Duo DC12. This fish was taken on an ebbing tide right under his feet. Hopefully, there will be many more.
New Venue: Cracking The Code
We all love a new venue to find our beloved bass. Or hope that the venue will ultimately produce any fish. Steve Wood and I have been testing out this venue although I had been given the heads up about where we were fishing. Trust me, you still have to go there and catch the fish, or better still work out why you are not catching the fish.
We were informed that the venue only fishes on the ebbing tide about an hour after the high, with the first light being the ideal time. Apparently, this venue does not produce in the darkness of the night. That was ironically my favourite time to fish up until last year. We seemed to do better in the light of day, so my thoughts about lure fishing had done a massive u-turn. By the light of day, I mean early morning and evenings up until dark. With work annoyingly getting in the way in between.
We Had Been Fishing This Venue All Wrong
So with all the efforts, we made fishing this particular venue we realised we were doing something wrong. Sometimes this is what it’s all lure fishing for bass. Sussing out how different venues fish can be a mission if you’re stuck at work and can’t go regularly. When I think about this now this dilemma It seemed pretty obvious in the end.
This particular venue has a rocky set of boulders that go out to sea about 30 meters. When the tide ebbs the bass come in and feed what we think over the top of the rocks. If you can imagine the strong tide running left to right, we were standing to the right of the boulders casting over them and letting the tide take the lure over the top of them. What I sussed out was the lure had whizzed straight over the boulders without barely covering any of them. Although we had caught the odd bass and Steve 62cm it was hard going we had too many blanks.
As we walked to the next set of boulders I had this brainwave to stand on the left side and cast in the same place. But because I was retrieving back against the tide the lure had more time over the boulders. First cast, Bang I was in a fish at last. So perseverance is definitely the key. That fish was caught on the IMA Houndglide Cotton Candy and was the first fish on that lure.